Praying in a Crisis

James 5:13-20

13 Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone happy? He should sing songs of thanks to God. 14 Is anyone among you sick? He should send for the church leaders and they should pray for him. They should pour oil on him in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer given in faith will heal the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Tell your sins to each other. And pray for each other so you may be healed. The prayer from the heart of a man right with God has much power. 17 Elijah was a man as we are. He prayed that it might not rain. It did not rain on the earth for three and one-half years. 18 Then he prayed again that it would rain. It rained much and the fields of the earth gave fruit.

19 My Christian brothers, if any of you should be led away from the truth, let someone turn him back again. 20 That person should know that if he turns a sinner from the wrong way, he will save the sinner’s soul from death and many sins will be forgiven.

When was the last time you cried out to God about something other than personal issues? Sometimes we’re so engrossed in our own life that we fail to see the crises others face. Whether circumstances involve total strangers or hit close to home, it may feel as if such matters are too big for one person’s prayer to make a difference.

Well, don’t believe it. James 5:16 assures us that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”(NIV). In order to accomplish His will in Israel, the Lord used Elijah’s prayers in a mighty way, even though the prophet was just a human being like us.

Almighty God is able to heal, bring peace, and change circumstances, and He has chosen to let His children participate in the process through prayer. He instructs us to talk with Him about everything (Do not worry. Learn to pray about everything. Give thanks to God as you ask Him for what you need. Phil. 4:6) and promises to hear and answer our requests that align with His will (14 We are sure that if we ask anything that He wants us to have, He will hear us. 15 If we are sure He hears us when we ask, we can be sure He will give us what we ask for. 1 John 5:14-15).

You can have an impact on the lives of others when you intercede on their behalf. So let news of a tragedy or problem—regardless of whether it affects you—become a catalyst to talk to God.

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