Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. - James 5:13a
It had been nearly two hours since the ambulance had pulled into the emergency room at Pupperville Hospital. And for nearly two hours all that Bill had been able to hear was the quiet beeping of a heart monitor and the occasional voice on the intercom asking Dr. Johnson to call extension 772. That was about to change.
“Hi Bill,” came a familiar sounding voice, “I came as soon as I got your message.” As Bill looked up he saw Preacher Smith walking towards him. “How bad is it? Randy asked as he reached out and put his hand on Bill’s shoulder. “Pretty bad,” Bill told him, “ They rushed him right into surgery as soon as the ambulance got here and they’ve been in surgery for almost two hours now”
After a moment of silence, Bill proceeded to tell Randy what had happened. “It all started when he scared Martha. He took of running and hid in the old gravel pit. When Martha had told me what he had done I went to find him and when I got to where he was he took off running. Than, without even looking he ran right out in front of a truck. Even thought the driver tried, there was no way he could have stopped in time.”
“Do the police know who was driving the truck that hit him?” Randy asked. “Yeah,” Bill replied, “They said the driver was someone named John McDonald.” “John McDonald!” exclaimed Randy. “I know him.” “You do?” asked Bill. “Well, sort of.”Randy told him. “I have been talking to him over the phone for the last several weeks. He was going to be moving to the area and attend church with us.”
Randy was going to tell Bill what he had learned about the McDonald’s but Bill started to cry. “What am I going to do if Harold dies?” Bill said. “I don’t know,” Randy replied, “But I do know something you can do right now. Since the Bible says in James 5 that ‘if anyone among you is suffering then he must pray and prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick.’ You could do some praying.” “I already am.” Bill replied.
“Speaking of prayer,” Randy said, “I’m going to have Daisy get the prayer chain going.” “Thanks Randy.” Bill replied “And you may want to talk to the McDonald’s, they were both pretty shook up.” “I would be too.” thought Randy. “And maybe you can find who ever was hiding in the bushes with Harold.” Bill continued as a doctor came walking over to talk to him about Harold.
Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
James 5:13-16 (NAS)
How important is intercessory prayer (praying for someone other than self) in the lives of Christian's? Hardly a day goes by without someone requesting prayer for someone because of injury, sickness, loss, etc..
When we turn to the scriptures we find both commands to prayer for one another and examples. Besides James 5 above here are some more commands.
- Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. - Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
- With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, - Ephesians 6:18 (NAS)
As for examples, in the New Testament, Paul was one who was great for praying for others if they asked or not. Here are for examples from for of his letters.
- Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. - Romans 10:1 (NAS)
- I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. - Philippians 1:3-5 (NAS)
- We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, - Colossians 1:3 (NAS)
- To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, - 2 Thessalonians 1:11 (NAS)
Here's Something to Ponder
- Are you praying for others?
- Are you going to Pray?