…and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. James 5: 16
Without trying to take anything out of context, can I share with you how I started my day? I woke up ten minutes before the alarm went off and lay there thinking about my day. Then I was prompted to pray for people – not the usual prayers I offer up for my family and friends, but prayer for a totally different group of people – people I may never meet this side of heaven – people living in abusive homes or having just left abusive homes. I know that must have been God prompting because I wouldn’t go there at 5 am on my own. I didn’t pray long but felt peace and got up and went about my way. It wasn’t until I was halfway down the stairs that I noticed something unusual. I wasn’t in pain! I was walking down the stairs without leaning into the handrail and experiencing no pain in my legs. O happy day! That has not happened once in the past 4+ years. Not once in 4+ years! It felt so good I walked back up the stairs -pain free and not dragging myself up by the handrails. O happy, happy day!
I had just read this verse in James yesterday and honestly it didn’t stand out to me – then, but I started thinking about that part of the verse after this experience this morning. I have prayed many times for many people, what was different today? I don’t have an answer; I do know though, that these were totally unselfish prayers. You know and I know that sometimes even when praying for others, that our motives serve us. If our spouse gets saved, healed, delivered, it benefits us. If our child gets turned around, it can’t help but make our life easier. The prayers this morning had absolutely no pay-off for me at all. Maybe that’s what brought the relief from pain, I don’t really know.
When I arrived at work, I saw this more clearly. I was fixing a mobile I had made with the kids using old CD’s, yarn and sticks. I used it to show them how interconnected we all are with the people in our center. Even the people we don’t know or like. I showed them how one CD (representing a person) could upset the entire balance of every other CD (person) whether we mean to or not. Our actions don’t happen in a vacuum; they affect other people. Today when I looked at it, I wondered is this what James was getting at? The interconnectedness we are to have with other people, so much so that if one is sick, that affects us all. And when we lift up one person in prayer, we lift up ourselves as well. Maybe my healing, your healing, depends upon my prayers, your prayers, our genuine, heartfelt, unself-serving prayers for others. What do you think?
Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me how connected we all are, how much You desire for us to move as one. Forgive me for my self-serving prayers and the countless hours I have spent thinking only of me. Lead me to pray for others, help me to be obedient to do as You direct, help me to be a part of the healing You desire to bring to others. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.