One of the best ways you can love and encourage one another is to pray for one another. Not to pray for one another is more than forgetfulness or carelessness. It is sin. 1 Samuel 12:23 says, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you….” When Jesus gave the model prayer, He prayed, “our Father,” “give us,” “forgive us,” “lead us.”
Pray for Those Suffering
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray” (James 5:13). The suffering talked about here is not physical sickness, but is more general. The word means hardship or trouble. It refers to difficult circumstances. James is writing to believers. Christians have hard times too. Being a Christian does not exempt you from the trials of life. I have good news, however! When your life becomes His life, your problems become His problems. When it is hardest to pray, pray hardest!
Pray for The Sick
“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” (v. 14). “Sick” here is a physical illness. “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up” (v. 15). Picture the man in Mark 2 who could not get to Jesus. His friends carried him, ultimately lowering him through the roof. Mark 2:5 says, “When Jesus saw their faith….” He called his friends in faith. In faith, they helped him get to Jesus.
Pray for All Saints
In verse 16, we read the phrase “one another” twice. Don’t be a loner. Get in a group and pray for each other. What do you pray? Pray scripture! There is power in the word of God.
Pray for God’s Servants
In James 5:14 we read “the elders of the church,” and in James 5:17, “Elijah.” We are to pray for those who watch over our soul. We are to pray for pastors, teachers, shepherds, staff members, missionaries, and evangelists. Pray daily for their care, their families, and their protection. God’s servants are a target of the enemy with a bullseye on their back. Pray for their ministry to be fruitful and to multiply. Ask God to open doors for them. Pray for wisdom and insight from above.
Pray for Spiritual Awakening
Verses 17 and 18 tell of Elijah praying for rain. Elijah is an example of a man who prayed for his nation. Elijah is a hero and Elijah is human! He is like us. Don’t read the Bible and say, “But that was Elijah!” In context, prayer is effective, not Elijah. We pray as ordinary people to an extraordinary God! We pray to the same God Elijah did. Pray specific prayers and don’t give up! We need revival in the church, in our own personal lives, and awakening in the land. We need to pray with the Psalmist, “Revive us again.”
Pray for Salvation
“Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (v.19-20). When we lose our burden for people to be saved, there is something wrong. Are you praying for unbelieving family members? Neighbors? We all like sheep have gone astray. Never give up on people. God is still God and still on the throne. He is a God of miracles. He is in the saving business.
We pray to the Father, in the name of the Son, through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the will of God, with faith and thanksgiving, knowing our problems are not working against us but for us. Pray to the one who works all things together for our good and His glory. Pray for one another!