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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Monday, September 21

Pray for one another that you may be healed.
—James 5:16

It's so easy to tell someone that we will pray for them. We say it as if we were patting them on the shoulder to let them know we care. We believe that telling someone that they are in our prayers will bring them some respite and hope in their troubles. We feel, too, that it is an act of charity and compassion. 

In other words, we feel relieved that we are able to do something for someone that we care about. This is especially important when a person is in such deep need that we otherwise stand by impotent and helpless. In the face of deep disturbance, deep distress, and
deep despair, saying, “I'll pray for you,”  becomes a way for us to divert attention from our powerlessness. 

We want to steer to the other side ofour deficiencies, and prayer becomes the way to care and also a way to avoid our own inadequacy in the face of struggle.

What makes prayer effective is the belief that it is effective. To say
prayers because we don't want to face our own lack may still get results, but our soul will not be edged toward holiness and miracle in the midst of it. 

But when we really believe that prayer is the path for healing, when we really believe that prayer provides the power that we are missing, when we really believe that prayer provides the pattern for wholeness and holiness, we become witnesses to miracles that would stun even the most faithful among us. 

If we say we will pray for someone, and we really believe that prayer will make a difference, we'll catch our breath when we see what God does.

Gracious God, give me the courage to believe that prayer is the way to wholeness.