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James offers a lot of practical advice to Christians in his letter. He helps us see something of the practical difference that being a follower of Jesus should make in our lives as we try to live God's way in a far from godly world!
In chapter 5 he writes, "Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you."
To paraphrase loosely: Are you facing troubles? Pray! Are you happily not facing troubles? Pray! (Praise) Are you too sick to pray? Get someone to pray for you!
Whatever the circumstances of life, prayer is a good response. It helps us get God's perspective on the situation and gets him involved in it. It gives us access to God's help, wisdom, peace, strength or whatever we need.
Failure to pray limits and weakens us. It leaves us dependant on our own resources and increases the likelihood of us going wrong.
The Scriptures are full of encouragements to praise and to pray, for ourselves and for others. Yet most of us struggle to pray much of the time!
Let me encourage you in the struggle with the words of Psalm 37: "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."
May God help us to delight in him so that we see through his eyes and pray under the guidance of his Holy Spirit.
Yours In Christ,