PRAYER AND PRAISE
Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.
James 5:13 NLT
James begins to wrap up his letter with a discussion of prayer. Because there is so much in this passage, I am going to break it down over a few days. He starts with two questions—Anybody got a problem? Anybody happy? This pretty much covers all of us. There are those who are suffering while others have all the sufficiency they need. James tells both groups how to respond to their present circumstance. If you are suffering, you should pray. If you have sufficiency, you should praise. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray if we are happy. Nor does it mean we shouldn’t praise when we are suffering. It does mean that when we are hurting our first response should be to go to God in prayer. When life is going well, we should go to God in praise. As followers of Christ in this present culture I think we should be known for our prayer and praise. Too many churches miss out on providing these as a regular part of our worship experience. We can sing songs without really entering into praise. We can recite a few words without really focusing our attention on a personal encounter with God through prayer. I hope that we begin to be known as people of prayer and praise.
Holy Spirit please help me to always be coming to You in prayer and praise. Help me make prayer my first response to problems. Help me to remember to praise You when good things happen.
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