“Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master.” James 5:14
James says we should pray when we are hurting, sing when we feel great, and if ill, call the church leaders together to pray. I have experienced serious illnesses and know how difficult it is to pray for your own cause. When weak, prayer seems like a weight-lifting exercise—no matter how hard I try to pray, I can’t lift a prayer to the Lord. This is when I’ve called upon prayer partners, pastors, or a book of prayers.
When I feel great, such as when I held each of my children for the first time or watched them succeed in a goal, to want to break into a song, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” When my heart is heavy, immediately I go to God and prayer flow out. This is a knee-jerk reaction from practicing praying.
Practicing praying is a relationship builder with God. The more I pray, the easier it becomes to talk to God in all circumstances. Try giving God thanks every time you eat–even if it is toast and peanut butter (or a big bowl of ice cream) before going to bed. Another prayer exercise is to talk to God with your eyes open while waiting for a red stop light to turn green.
Dear Lord, thank you for hearing all our prayers. Amen.