James 5:13-16 (NIV)

13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.  14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.   

James 5:15 (NIV)

15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.   

DEVOTION – Debbi Whitezell (Pennsylvania)

For years I worked as a cardiothoracic surgical nurse, preparing and sending people to heart bypass surgery.  Twenty-four hours after surgery, patients return to our floor with tubes and drains and often in considerable discomfort.  Each shift my patients had been randomly assigned to me by a nurse on the previous shift, so I never knew exactly who they were until I received my assignment.  Consequently, I developed a strict habit of praying for each of my patients during my 30-minute commute to the hospital each day.  Even if I didn’t know who those patients would be, there was a great peace in knowing that God knew.

Heart bypass surgery is a frightening experience for patients; they know their heart will be temporarily stopped while being repaired by human hands.  Seeing their fear, I often asked if they wanted me to pray for them.  No one ever refused.  I never knew my patients’ spiritual background, but I did find a common human need for God’s comfort and healing power.  Knowing I was praying for them seemed to give my patients a visible peace.  Psalm 29:11 says, “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Through prayer God offers us comfort and healing.

PRAYER: Dear Father God, help us always to be sensitive to the fears and needs of others and to strengthen them with your word.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE FACING SURGERY

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