November 16, 2017

Too Busy to Pray?

James 5:13-20

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

—  James 5:16

A sign on a friend’s desk states, “If you’re too busy to pray, you’re too busy!” But let’s admit that we’re often so busy that we lose sight of the importance of prayer. I have a hand-written, stern reminder to myself in the form of a yellowed piece of ­paper: “Busyness does not equal spirituality.” In my work as a pastor, busyness was often an excuse for not praying.

Like the friends who carried a man with paralysis to Jesus (Luke 5:18-19), we can carry our friends to Jesus in prayer.

Interceding for others helps us to keep our focus. We live life in community. It’s our duty toward fellow followers, journeying together in an unfriendly world.

We can never underestimate the power and importance of praying for one another. It’s necessary, beneficial, and entirely appropriate. Ephesians 6:18 teaches us to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”

Sometimes our prayers may be a few words of confession or lament; at other times we may be asking for wisdom in how to deal with a delinquent child.

Praying isn’t a separate segment of living in a complicated world. It’s what a hymn declares: “While I breathe, I pray.” Is that true for you?

Father God, you heard the prayers of your Son, Jesus, and you hear my prayers. Lead and guide me as I follow you today and every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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