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      5 Things

      April 24, 2020 Pastor Byron Hand

                 We have been studying James in our Sunday service and if we have been urged to do anything we have been encouraged to pray. James, is really a book devoted to prayer (especially during times of crisis). 

                 In James 1 we are called to pray for wisdom because we need it to navigate the challenges before us. James 4 calls us to prayer when we are faced with the reality of conflict. Here James exhorts us to pray selflessly. Chapter 5, in no less than five places James shows us how desperately we need to pray. In 5:16 we read: “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (NLT)

      James is telling us that when righteous people pray righteous prayers, things happen. Things change. The prayers of God’s people are powerful . They are not powerful because we are powerful, or because the words we say are somehow magic, but because the Person we pray to is infinitely, unimaginably powerful. And our prayers are effective not because we are special, or because there is a special formula to use, but because the God we pray to delights to answer our prayers and change the world because of them. (Rachel Jones) 

                  In the midst of this Global Pandemic I commend to you Rachel Jones new book “5 Things to Pray in a Global Crisis.” Rachel is the author of the series of books “5 Things to Pray ….” (Kids, Church, World, People you Love, City). In this most recent book she addresses how we can best pray in the midst of our current crisis. We have ordered a number of these books to help you be able to pray during this time. We will let you know when they arrive (You can get the book digitally on amazon.com or wtsbooks.com). The author guides us in praying for our own heart (anxiety, loneliness, frustration), for our family (Spouse, kids, the ones I cannot visit), for the response to Covid-19 (Our Government, essential workers, the sick), for our church (Unity, growth, Sunday service, leaders) and for Kingdom Growth (in our community, around the world, and after the pandemic).  

                  Over the next several weeks I will be sharing some of the principles Rachel presents in her book. For now I will conclude by sharing Carl Laferton’s introduction to the book: 

      We are living in literally extraordinary times—times that will permanently shape us, our families and our nations. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that, even in the 21st-century Western world, life is fragile, wealth is fleeting and plans are easily disrupted. In other words, we are living in the same world that James wrote about in his letter to our first-century spiritual ancestors (read James 4 v 14; 1 v 10; 4 v 13, 15). And what does James urge God’s people to do when crises come? “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray” … When righteous people pray righteous prayers, things happen. Things change. God is powerful; and so your prayers are too.”

       

      “See” You Sunday,

       Pastor Byron 

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