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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

When In Need, Call Upon God

In review of James 5:14-16 it says, "Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

Bottom Line:
In times of need, pray. In time of happiness, sing praises. Pray for and rejoice with others. Earnest prayers offered in faith will heal. Confessing will provide forgiveness.

What this means to me:
In times of suffering or hardship, I should pray. In times of happiness I should sing praises. I should pray and rejoice with others. For my earnest prayers offered in faith will heal and make things well. Confessing my sins will provide forgiveness.

Today’s passage comes from the middle of James 5. James is writing about the power of prayer in our lives and calling upon God in our times of need. He starts out by saying, Are any of you suffering hardships? If so you should pray. Are any of you happy? If so, you should sing praises. Are any of you sick? If so you should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. We are to confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that we may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

What I see in this passage is propositional revelation; if you do this, this will happen. In this section from James I see several propositions laid out for various audiences.

Sick: call on elders to pray over you and you will be made well
Sinners: confess your sins and be made whole

Whatever my needs are or the needs of others around me, I am to call upon God. He has promised to meet it according to His glorious richness.

What I’m learning is that as powerful as God is, He doesn’t answer prayers until they are prayed. Thus prayer should be my first choice, not my last one. So I should stop asking everyone’s opinion of what I should do and go directly to the Source of all knowledge, the Creator of heaven and earth. But key to this is the expectation that he will show up.

I’m reminded this morning that when I get into trouble, God will show up.  The stories of Daniel in the lion’s den or the Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace, illustrate this. He closed the mouths of the lions for Daniel. The Lord was the fourth man in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He will do the very same for me.

So when I have or see a need, I should call upon the Lord. The Power of Prayer should be my first choice, not my last.

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