THE PEOPLE OF GOD: PRAYING FOR ONE ANOTHER
By Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Johnson, Sr.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and prayer for
one another, that you may be healed. So reads James
The People of God: Praying for One Another is the
theme adopted by our congregation during the mid-year church wide meeting. I
was inspired to recommend this theme because I sincerely believe prayer to be
the means by which so many of our problems will be resolved. This text in the
Epistle of James is one of many admonitions found in scripture that call the
people of God to prayer. I have no doubt this most congregations consider themselves
to be praying churches. However, my observation has been that many of our prayers
have become petitions for our own wants and needs with little concern the needs
This particular scripture also make a reference to healing.
Healing in this sense may refer to the entire human situation. There is the
need for healing of our fellow disciples here at Canaan and there are so much
need for healing in our community, our nation and the world. James states that
if these healings are to occur then intercessory prayer for one another is requires.
We promote this because we are encouraging Canaan disciples in particular to
prayer for all of your fellow disciples. Remember, we are a family, a community
of faith with the common goal of pleasing our Lord, Jesus Christ.
I guess I am as excited as anyone else about the technological
advancements made available to us. Like many pastors and church leaders, I am
inclined to utilize these advancements in the church in order to simply our
work and keep pace with the types of challenges the church is faced with the
21st century. So many of the meetings I attend are rich with recommendations
and opinions, but very little is said about the need for prayer. The believer
must be confident that James is one point when he declares, “the effective,
fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much” (James 5:16b) The
answers to the challenges facing the church are not embedded in the human intellect.
Rather, the healing and vitality of the Body of Christ is tethered to prayer.
Let us think first to pray. Think of someone you know in our congregation (not
one of your best friends) but someone else you see in our pews, someone whose
name is called on our sick or shut in list, and earnestly pray for them. Pause
right now, as you read this newsletter and offer up a prayer to God for someone
other than yourself.
Now beloved, if we will resolve to continue in prayer for one
another, by faith, we will witness the hand of God moving mightily among us,
to empower this congregation to do what the Lord has called us to do, to preach,
teach, witness, and equip saints for ministry.
Finally, allow me to extend a welcome back to so many of you
who are returning from your summer vacations. We look forward to your active
participation in our work. And remember, we are the People of God: praying for