June 18 Praying in a Crisis

Scripture Reading: James 5:13–18

Key Verse: James 5:13

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.

During the Persian Gulf War, prayer made a comeback in mainstream America. Commentators regularly mentioned prayer. The president prayed for our troops. But some of the most intense prayer arose from the hot sands of the Arabian desert.

“Praying makes me feel better, makes me a little more secure,” said one army lieutenant who skipped a card game to attend a worship service. An army staff sergeant commented, “I have always prayed, but I need it now more than ever.”

Adversity motivates people to prayer. Crises quickly filter the trivial and expose the essential. In the midst of crises, we must remember several crucial truths.

We must be rightly related to the God we petition. The nonbeliever may pray; but until he places his faith in Christ, his pleas are in vain. God desires to bring all men to saving faith, but He is not obligated to respond to the nonbeliever’s prayers.

Another important principle is that while prayer moves God to act on man’s behalf, it does not guarantee preferred answers. We cannot manipulate God. But crises turn us toward Him for His sovereign answers, the most critical being His provision for our sins through faith in Jesus Christ. We then ask in His name and trust Him for the outcome.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the privilege of prayer—that I can ask for Your provision and trust You for the outcome. In the face of every crisis, let me flee to You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 177). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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