Is anyone among you afflicted (ill-treated, suffering evil)? He should pray. Is anyone glad at heart? He should sing praise [to God]. Is anyone among you sick? He should call in the church elders (the spiritual guides). And they should pray over him…
— James 5:13-14 (AMPC)
Sometimes I marvel at how long Christians can struggle in a situation before thinking to pray about it. We complain about our problems, we grumble, we tell our friends, and we talk about how God should do something about it. We struggle with situations in our minds and in our emotions, while we often fail to take advantage of the simplest solution there is: prayer. We are all guilty of having treated prayer as a last-ditch effort. We carry burdens we do not need to bear—and life is much harder than it has to be—because we do not realize how powerful prayer is. If we did, we would pray about everything, not as a last resort, but as a first response.
In today’s scripture, the apostle James offers a simple, three-word solution to some of life’s challenges: He should pray. The message to us in this verse is that no matter what happens over the course of a day, we should pray. We should go to God immediately.
So, when you have a problem, pray; when you have a need, tell God what it is. When you are discouraged or you feel like giving up, pray. When you’re offended, pray. When you don’t know what to do, pray and ask God for wisdom. Whatever situation you find yourself in, pray before you do anything else.
Prayer Starter: Father, please forgive me for grumbling, murmuring, fault-finding and complaining about my problems! You know what I’m facing, and I come to you with all of my troubles. In Jesus’ name, amen.