Prayer is one of the cornerstones of the Christian faith. Prayer gives us a unique and a personal way to speak with God and helps us maintain a relationship with Him. Back before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, people would confess their sins to their priest, much like present day Catholics, and then the priest would ask the Lord for forgiveness of that person’s sins. That’s the beauty of what Jesus did for us. When He died on the cross, not only did He save us from death, but also He gave us the opportunity to be able to speak directly with God and to have a real and personal relationship with Him. There was a veil that hung in the temple where the priest would talk to God and after Jesus died, the veil was ripped in two from top to bottom symbolizing that we could go right to God without having to confess to a priest.
Even though God did this for us, in James 5:16 it is explained that we should confess our sins to one another.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
So, according to these words if we tell people what we’re struggling with in our lives and ask for prayer, then God can heal us from that sin that way as well. When we pray for other people it shows that person we care for them, but as a family in Christ, it is our duty to pray for one another so we can heal from our sickness and sins.
The power of prayer is so amazing and outstanding. This is why prayer chains are so effective. When the prayer gets around to your friends and to people in your church, you have so many people praying for one issue and the strength of the Lord just surrounds and enters in. Though there are prayer chains, often times people think they cannot make a difference in the world because they are not publicly known in the Christian community. I ran into this problem once.
My mom once told me, and continues to tell me, that I have made and will make huge impacts on peoples’ lives because of my story and my strength with my cleft. And no matter how many times she told me, I couldn’t get it into my head that I could really leave an impact on people. I thought because I was pretty much at the bottom of the “popularity scale” at my school no one would even notice anything I said or did.
Then one day I was sitting in youth group listening to my pastor speak about these passages (James 5:13-20) and they totally changed my perspective of what one person can do. There was this man named Elijah who was a prophet in the Old Testament of the Bible. James 5:17-18 says this about him:
“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.”
You see, Elijah was someone who had the same struggles and issues we have now with sin or the same likenesses as us. Besides these similarities, Elijah was a man of great faith. He was a servant of God and through God he, one man, did so many amazing things.
So it doesn’t matter who you are, how big you are, or how old you are, ANYONE can make an impact on the people around you or even the world. That’s how strong God’s power is. His power can be reached though faith and it can also be reached through prayer.
Prayer doesn’t always have to be spoken out loud or in public, though. You can pray silently in your head so only God will hear when you are at the grocery store or at home in bed or at school. But it isn’t always “spoken” at all. Most of my prayers are written out. I like to journal a lot and instead of opening out my entry as “Dear Diary”, I start it out as “Dear God”. Here I ask for help with my life, the health and wellbeing of others, and I give thanks.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t pray with my mouth. Believe me; I pray out loud at school a lot. It’s just that when I write I like to write to God. It’s a way to get my prayers out. God knows what I write, and it’s a way to track my faith. I like to look back on what I’ve written and see how my faith has been growing throughout the past months and years.
Also, speaking keeps and makes a relationship. I like to talk A LOT and I wouldn’t have the friends I have if I never spoke with them. God is my best friend; He responds, listens and is always there just like any other friend should be. So why should talking with Him be any different?