The Power of Prayer

Don DeYoung

READ : James 5:16-18

James calls us to pray on this Memorial Day (USA). Prayer is a normal maintenance procedure for spiritual health. It is not alternative medicine. As we gratefully remember those who died serving us, let our “living memorial” be a ministry of healing through mutual confession and prayer by serving as priests with each other. We recall Elijah to whom James refers as “human just like us.”

Elijah’s prayers brought in changes God ordained for his purpose.

This normative prayer life bonds the faith community together in confession of sin for forgiveness, anointing with oil, and daily prayers for sick and troubled people. The care and prayer lines in our churches and the uplift we feel when a pastoral prayer includes a loved one, all together affirm our belief in the power and effectiveness of prayer.

Eugene Peterson illumines the passage. “The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.” So, let us, like Elijah, and many whose love and lives we remember today, strive to live right with God so our prayers will be powerful deeds as mandated in James’ “practical epistle.”


Keep us knee-bent, Lord, for your glory. Amen.