Prayer Possibilities

Joel Plantinga

READ : James 5:13-16

Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. (v. 16)

One of the values we’ve tried to instill in our children is the need to pray for those who are sick or in trouble. It’s tradition now for our kids to pray whenever an ambulance speeds by us. On one such occasion our son had no sooner finished his prayer than the ambulance lights went off and it turned around. You can imagine the excitement he felt from believing that God had heard his prayers and healed the person in the ambulance!

I am convicted about an attitude I often hold – that when it comes to helping others prayer is a last resort. Once we have exhausted all efforts and attempts to be helpful, we shrug our shoulders and say, “I guess all I can do is pray.” Yet we are told that prayer is the first thing we ought to do in times of trouble. By praying, we ask God to intervene in a powerful way, no matter how dire the situation might be.

As we pray for others, our attitude toward them becomes more compassionate and more empathetic. Imagine how the quality of our churches would improve if we all committed to and focused on praying for each other.


Lord, help me to be faithful in the practice of praying for others’ needs. Amen.