"Who am I to…?"
Lord, You are faithful to Your promises and consistent in Your purposes. Today, do Your work in me.
Read James 5:13-20
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Prayerless people cut themselves off from God’s peace and from his prevailing power, and a common result is that they feel overwhelmed, overrun, beaten down, pushed around and defeated” (Bill Hybels). If nothing else, that ought to motivate us to pray!
Who am I to expect much?” This can be the nervous question of those stuck on the sidelines. So often we struggle in prayer and are easily distracted. Too troubled to pray, too happy to pray, too sick to pray (13,14)? Which of us hasn’t felt that?
Reminders alone don’t always bring us to our knees. Who am I to be that spiritual? We easily dismiss praying people as the “super-saints.” James won’t let us escape that easily! This is not advice for the big church with the specially gifted ones any more than it is for those Christians so spiritual that they are beyond the rest of us. He doesn’t suggest that the sick person calls for the “healer,” but for the elders (14). For the power to restore lies with God, not with the gifted. Similarly he does not speak of Elijah as the “great prophet” beyond us all, but as “a human being, even as we are” (17). His secret did not lie in his special powers but in something that is within reach of all of us–he prayed! (In a day of spiritual apostasy and moral vacuum with truly double-minded people! No excuses here either.)
Our relationship with the living God is our most urgent priority. The phrase “the Lord will raise them up” (15) can mean from the sick bed. The insistence on confession and forgiveness of sins spotlights the spiritual and not just the physical (16,17). Not even my health matters more than my walk with the Lord. Sometimes we watch as a brother or sister wanders from the truth, and we wonder, “Who am I to speak or act or say anything to them?” Verses 19 and 20 are a powerful reminder that we cannot stay nervously on the sidelines.
Which “wanderer” needs your prayers now? What can you do or say to restore them?
Lord, may I overcome my fears, walk closely with You and help others do the same.
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