Daily reading: James 5:13-20
June 21, 2015

Focus scripture: The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve. James 5:16

James says in essence the wise will speak always as if God is present with them.  

The wisdom of the world led the early church movement into all kinds of trouble, the least of which is not the divisions that had taken place and the sin and sickness that was now affecting them.

Rather than getting all philosophical on them about why they have gotten into this rut, because James does not see it as just a problem with their thinking, he points out that it is a problem manifest in their concrete acts as a community of faith.  So James gives them concrete things to do, they are to pray for one another, they are to sing songs of praise to God, when ill they are to call for the elders to come and pray with and over them and the elders are to respond with prayer and with the anointing of oil, they are to confess their sins to one another and to seek for the lost ones on the fringe of their community and bring them back.

Basically James lays out the old prayer formula that you might have been taught as a beginning follower of Christ; the ACTS formula.  Are any of you familiar with this?
It breaks down to this:

While we take time for private prayer we are called as community of faith to pray for and with one another.  Prayer creates community, it brings about healing, it brings light into the darkness of our lives.  Prayer reminds us of what the world would like us to quickly forget, that we are loved by God, that we are worthy of forgiveness and grace.  I challenge you to boldly pray for one another when the need arises and not just at some time later in your day, I challenge you to meet real needs through the prompting of the Holy Spirit when we see a need.  I challenge you to speak and act always as if God is with you.  

Prayer:  Go I praise you today.  I confess that I have fallen short in my following of Christ and I seek your forgiveness.  I thank you for all that you have given to me and how you have blessed my community of faith.  Please help us as we move into tomorrow.  Amen


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