“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16 ESV)
As Christians we bring our petitions before God. We believe our prayers are offered to a God who has the power to hear and answer us. He can heal and help those who are sick, aid us in times of trouble, and strengthen us when we or those we love are faced with bereavement or death. We read of the many prayers offered by figures in both the Old and New Testament. And, of course, we recall our Savior’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane just hours before His crucifixion.
Often, however, our faith in the power of prayer begins to waver, just a little, when we begin praying about the routine matters of daily living. We might find it hard to believe that God would help us in those things that seem beyond His scope of interest or that—if we were really honest about it—might be due to some mistake on our part. Oddly enough, we may have more faith in God’s power to move mountains than in His willingness to be involved in the “little things” in our lives.
The writer of the book of James reminds us that prayer offered sincerely to God can affect everything in the world and in our lives. If we have a God who knows when a sparrow falls to earth (see Matthew 10:29) and can number the hairs on your head (see Luke 12:7), then we certainly have a God who is interested in every aspect of our lives.
God is not lofty and aloof, far removed from our anxious job search or stomach ache. He has shown this to us by the fact of Jesus Christ, His Son, becoming a Man. Jesus’ infant birth, the taking on of our humanity by God’s own Son, dispels any notion that God is not intimately interested in His creation. This event tells us that the Father is vitally concerned with all that we bring to Him in prayer.
So when you begin your day and five minutes into it you feel like you’re already “behind the eight ball,” but don’t know why, bring it to God in prayer. When your concerns seem petty or inconsequential—but they’re bugging you nonetheless—take time out and pray about them. There is power in prayer—as well as clarity for your life and a heightened sensitivity to all the things others face in their lives, too.
Let’s face it, there are so many things that happen from day to day—and so many of them are beyond our control. When the apostle Paul tells us we’re more than conquerors, through Him who loved us (see Romans 8), this victory is over everything that would separate us from God: the big and the little things.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, our lives are so cluttered. Teach us to bring it all to You in prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
From The Lutheran Layman, July 1980 issue, “Pray for All the Little Things,” by an LHM volunteer
Reprinted with permission from Lutheran Hour Ministries
1. What sort of things are major prompts in your life for prayer?
2. How do you think that “the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working”?
3. How does confessing sins to someone accelerate healing?