James 5:13-16: “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 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. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
For the Christ-follower prayer is equal to life. Similar to an umbilical cord providing nourishment and substance to an unborn child, prayer offers the same life giving properties. Prayer accomplishes many things that are needed in a Christ-followers journey. For one thing, prayer is our communication to God. It is our way of relaying to Him our needs. God is all knowing, so prayer does not provide God with information, it provides Him with our humility and dependence on Him. When we surrender our lives and hearts to Jesus, we begin this wonderful journey of faith. We can now have a relationship with our creator. As with all relationships, communication is the key to a productive, alive, and harmonious relationship. How else are we to have a passion and desire for our God unless we learn to communicate with Him? We must also take time to quietly approach Him and seek out His speaking to us.
James says that prayer is used for other things, when we are sick we are to pray; when we are suffering, we are to pray; when we are cheerful, we are to sing psalms (prayers). For the Christ-follower, prayer is a constant action. It is a defining mark of a mature believer, and should be taught to immature believers as well. James says that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. If our prayers are active, passionate, and full of Godly conviction, our prayers will accomplish much. Prayer is work and labor intensive. If we want our prayers to be effective we must pray with intensity. That does not mean loud for loud sake or with false intentions to impress the hearers around you or to put on a show, but rather with a sincere passion that will move the heart of God.
Old Testament: Ezek. 32-33 New Testament I Peter 1