Prayer in Community

19 Mar


It is a quiet morning here.  Birds are at the feeder and there is a chill in the air.  We are all waiting for Spring.

This morning scripture text reminds me that we often miss the opportunity of prayer in community.  Although each Sunday we pray together ‘as it is written in the bulletin’ and may bow our heads with someone prays aloud, I think what is being said here is a real dialogue between the people of the Christian community and God’s divine presence.

Friday,  The prayer of faith              James 5:13-16

13 Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. 14 Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.

What strikes me in reading this passage from James this morning is the diversity of human community allows for a balance within the group.  So often this passage is used just to say that anyone can be cured of sickness if the elders will anoint and pray over them.  However, we miss the beauty of diversity is that is our only focus.

In a community there will be people who are suffering, so let them pray and find release in the peace and presence of Christ, there are those who are cheerful, so let them be a blessing and sing songs (note-my singing songs on my own would not help the community feel joyful.)  and if there are people who are ill, let them be held up and cared for by the leaders of the community.  Together, all the people of God in prayer care for all of the joys and concerns of the community.

It is a joy to travel with others along the Way.



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