The book of James concludes with practical instruction about prayer. Prayer is a powerful force! Christian pastor and writer Andrew Murray (1828−1917) said, “In relation to his people, God works only in answer to their prayer.”
The Apostle Paul said, “Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2). This exhortation is to the church. God has invited us (collectively) to pray for each other, for our neighbors, and for His will to be done. Evangelist R.A. Torrey (1856−1928) said, “Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God.”
Key Attributes of Prayer
1. Integrity (James 5:16)
James admonishes us to confess our sins to one another. Confession of sin and answered prayer go hand in hand. Sin always hinders fervent prayer.
• Read Psalm 66:18. Take a moment to confess your sin.
2. Community (James 5:14)
James instructs us to call for the elders, or leaders, of the church. There is power in praying together and in having others pray for us. James also affirmed the value of anointing with oil, a symbol of our dependence on the Holy Spirit.
• This week, set aside time to pray with your family or friends.
3. Anticipation (James 5:16)
We should pray expectantly. James said, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” The keyword is “working.” In Colossians 4:2 Paul admonished that we should stay alert in prayer.
• Read Psalm 5:3. Determine to have this attitude of the psalmist when you pray — pray expectantly and eagerly watch.