Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up, if they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:13-16
These words of James bring me comfort. It reminds me that I am blessed to be part of a community of faith that goes by the name of First Presbyterian Church Winter Haven. I am blessed that people pray with and for me, and I am blessed that people celebrate with me. I have witnessed the power of prayer to bring a collective focus to personal and world concerns.
I will be the first to admit, and others would probably agree, that I have some work to do on my public praying. I am still much more comfortable singing or playing my songs of praise! I am guessing that there might be some type of organizational thought that goes into praying that makes it easier for people to follow and to make sure I don’t forget something important – I haven’t discovered it quite yet. What I do know is that no matter how or when or with whom I pray, the Lord is there, waiting to hear and offering his unconditional presence in our lives.
Dear Lord, help us remember that no matter how or when we visit, You will be there. Amen.