Scripture: James 5:13-20
There is probably one very important aspect of the christian life that is mentioned in scriptures that is not practice frequently today, corporate prayer. There issomething about the sharing of struggles and weaknesses that is both scary and freeing.
James, the brother of Jesus, encourages us to pray when we are suffering, sing when we are cheerful, call the elders when we are sick, and confess our sins when we stumble. I do not know about you but I rarely do these things in a corporate setting. I really do not know why that is, but I think that during the reformation we protestants lost something when we left the Catholic Church. There is a power ad strength in the community knowledge of what is happening in the lives of worshipers. I am not advicating that we go back to a priestly order where you gain absolution, but I do think in our personalized faiths we have lost community.
Just think for a moment, if someone knows you suffering what would happen? Either you get a lot of bad advice or you have a friend that can cry with you. If someone else know your cheerful things, they can help celebrate and a celebration is always more fun in a group. If you are stuggling in an area with sin, then you have someone that can help you overcome, encourage, and remind you that the grace of God is covering you where you fail.
Imagine if we lived in a community like that? Imagine if your worship community would drop everything and anoint you with oil and pray when you were sick, even if God did not heal your illness the encouragement would give you added strength to fight the illness.
I think we do not spend enough time in real prayer. We have religated God and worship to one day, or possibly two days in the week. In those days we try to look like we are doing fine, but in reality we all struggle. We do need to share and encourage one another. I am advicating that we restart community. Imagine if we built community kitchens where not only families shared meals but friends. Not just occasionally but regularly. What would happen if we came together to encourage each other daily or at least given the opportunity to share daily?
We need God to rain down on our nation and our world. We need to awaken our spirits and have revival in our souls. I do not think this will come from knowing more about scripture or even providing more humanitarian aid, but through being honest and loving to one another and praying as a corporate body. Praying for peace, prosperity, hope, and healing in our lands. Praying for the grace of God to rain down on us so that we can bless our nations once again.