James 5:13 ESV
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.”
James, who is a well known biblical straight shooter, offers simple advice for people who are hurting. Pray. Personal prayer when you are going through hard times is his Spirit led advice. He distinguishes suffering from being sick in verses 14-15 when he advocates calling for the church leaders to anoint with oil and pray.
But it is clear from this verse, and the ones that follow, that James believes in the power of prayer to change things. He sums it all up by declaring that the prayer of a righteous person has great power (vs. 16).
Too often we suffer and gripe or suffer and pout or just suffer in silence. But there is a better and higher way – we can pray. We can talk to God about our suffering.
Sometimes, I have personally felt as if I should not be talking to God, that I should be handling things better - probably a good dose of pride. So instead of suffering and waiting for the pain to ease up – I can pray. I can ask God for His help and then trust that He has answers. I can trust that He is not disappointed with me. That is so much better than suffering alone.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You that I can come to you when I am suffering. That You that You won’t kick me to the curb or turn away in disgust. Thank You for helping me when I hurt. Amen.
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