James 5:13-14-18 (NIV)

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.
17 Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.
18 Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.

James 5:16 (NIV)

16 Therefore confess your sins1 to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.2 The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.3

DEVOTION – Janet Seever (Alberta, Canada)

I work as a writer  for a missions organization.  One morning my supervisor handed me a letter,saying, “I’d like you to answer this because you wrote such good letters.”  The letter – from a woman named Doris – consisted of several paragraphs requesting prayer for her macular degeneration, a devastating eye ailment.  I prayed for Doris and also asked God to give me the words to respond to her letter.  In my letter, I assured Doris that we had prayed for her and told her a little about my work.  Then I asked her to pray for my husband, who is disabled from a stroke.

Several weeks later, a letter arrived from Doris – two pages, neatly written and cheerful.  “Your letter put a smile on my face,” she wrote.  “By all means, I’ll be honored to pray for your husband.”  She wrote that having turned 93, she had been telling God, “It is time for you to take me home.”  Then she continued, “But by the prayer requests I’m getting, the Lord seems to be saying, ‘Not yet.'”

Doris’s letter reminded me that when we think there’s nothing we can do for God’s kingdom, we can pray.  Prayer isn’t a last resort; it’s a starting point.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Prayer is something we all can do for God’s kingdom.

PRAYER: Loving Father, thank you for allowing us to bring you our petitions and to pray for others.  Amen.