As I grow older I am hearing about and experiencing more death than I ever have in my life to this point. In many ways I suppose I’m blessed. But life happens and eventually death will affect everyone. In response to this I have been thinking a lot about life. What I’m doing with mine, what I should be doing more of, and how to reconcile that I only have 24 hours in even an idealistic day. I’ve landed on prayer.
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16b). Sometimes it doesn’t feel like I’m doing much of anything when I pray. Often there is nothing else I CAN do for people. What I need to remember is that when I pray I am praying to a loving God who is alive and working! When I can’t speak with someone about Christ for whatever reason, my life and my prayers can.
Occasionally God will lay someone very heavily on my heart and I will pray very hard for them and often, that appears to be the end of it. But I am promised it isn’t the end of it. For God is working in ways I can’t see or understand. I don’t know the specifics of how or why prayer works, but I am promised that it does work.
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.