Read James 5:16
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. (NLT)
It all seems so simple. If we are sick,or if we are troubled,or if someone we love is having difficulties,pray about it and things will be fixed. But we know it doesn’t always work this way. This text reminds us that sincere prayer offered by someone in relationship with God through Jesus is powerful and produces results.
But what results? Our experience testifies that the results are not always what we ask for. Our reading of this and other Scriptures testifies that prayer is powerful and effective. So prayer is a bit of a mystery. It ‘works’,otherwise we would not persist with it. Besides,God does not command us to do futile things. But how it ‘works’ is more complex.
It works in that it sustains and deepens our relationship with God,much as any human relationship is nourished by communication. It works in that it reveals to God the state of our hearts and the depth of our desires. It works in that it somehow (and here is the real mystery) can affect the way God works. While our prayers don’t dictate terms to God,we have enough incidences in Scripture to remind us that situations change as a result of prayer: at least sometimes.
I may not know just how prayer works,and what answers I will get and when I will get them. But I do know I have a compelling need to share my heart with God and express my helpless dependence on him. I don’t have to figure out the mystery of prayer,I just have to pray.