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First Response

When my husband, Tom, was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, I began to call family members. My sister and her husband came right away to be with me, and we prayed as we waited. Tom’s sister listened to my anxious voice on the phone and immediately said, “Cindy, can I pray with you?” When my pastor and his wife arrived, he too prayed for us (James 5:13-16).

Oswald Chambers wrote: “We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.”

At its root, prayer is simply a conversation with God, spoken in the expectation that God hears and answers. Prayer should not be a last resort. In His Word, God encourages us to engage Him in prayer (Phil. 4:6). We also have His promise that when “two or three are gathered together” in His name, He will be “there in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20).

For those who have experienced the power of the Almighty, our first inclination often will be to cry out to Him. Nineteenth-century pastor Andrew Murray said: “Prayer opens the way for God Himself to do His work in us and through us.”

When I come before His presence
In the secret place of prayer,
Do I know the wondrous greatness
Of His power to meet me there? —Hallen
Pray first!

Insight

The book of James is often referred to as the Proverbs of the New Testament. This is an accurate description, for James is filled with practical advice for daily life as a Christian. In today’s passage, James points out that prayer is the appropriate response to any situation. If we suffer, we should pray. If we are happy, we should pray. If we are sick, prayer is the response. James uses a device called merism, which describes the whole by its parts. He highlights the extremes of life—suffering, happiness, sickness—to say that everything in between is included. Like Paul, James is telling us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17).

15 thoughts on “First Response

  1. nanxi says:

    I do my bedtime prayers by writing them all down. I even bring my notebook with me when I am travelling. It started four years ago on a cute sketch book someone gave to me as a birthday present. I now have a full drawer of notebooks filled with prayers. I have developed a little tennis elbow. My parents think I am crazy. Sometimes it is hard to persist. I long to see the day when prayers are no longer needed because I am face to face with him and all my needs are taken care of.

  2. praise the lord says:

    Adam and Eve had a personal relationship with God. He came to them in the garden.

    Genesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

    God created man and and he came to them to talk with them and they hid from Him. The relationship had changed.

    Genesis 4:26 And as for Seth, to him also a son
    Was born and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.

    Man prayed to God.

    Psalm 8:4 what is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that you visit him?

    Psalm 103:15. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.

    Jesus you came which shows me how mindful you are of us men. As I reflect on that Jesus you are fulfillment of prayer you are prayer.

    You said to ask in your name. You were prayer in action. You explained prayer, You gave us examples of prayer in the garden. It started in the garden and you finished the broken relationship in the garden. Your prayer was that we would be one with You Jesus, one with the Father with the Holy Spirit and one with our brothers and sisters in you.

    You restored what was broken in the garden by giving us the Holy Spirit so that we can be in relationship with You.

    You are the fullfillment of the Old Testament.
    They looked forward to the day of your coming.

    Thank you Jesus that is hardly enough words to express how grateful of how much you loved me and how much you love us all.

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