“The Prayer Of Great Power” (James 5: 16, ESV) by Carley Evans

“And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5: 15)

James calls us to pray for one another. Our prayers are for healing; our prayers are for forgiveness. We forgive each other; God forgives us.

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power.”

James tells us of Elijah who “prays fervently that it might not rain.” (James 5: 17) For three and a half years, no rain falls until Elijah “prays again, and heaven gives rain, and the earth bears its fruit.” (James 5: 18)

James is certain to remind us that “Elijah is a man with a nature like ours.” (James 5: 17) Yet, his prayer is powerful beyond what we often expect our prayers to be.

Let us pray fervently, confessing our wrongdoings to each other, expecting the best gifts from God. For “the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” (James 5: 11)

“Strength Through Weakness” (2 Corinthians 12: 9 – 10, HCSB) by Carley Evans

Paul, of all people, boasts in his weaknesses. He even writes that he “takes pleasure” in them, recognizing that when he is “weak, then [he] is strong.”

How is this possible? In weaknesses, strength is perfected through the grace afforded by Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father — i.e. through the works and persons of the Godhead.

Paul claims that his physical [or perhaps psychological] weakness, his “thorn in the flesh” remains in order that he “not exalt [himself].” (2 Corinthians 12: 7) Within his weaknesses, including “insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and pressures,” Paul finds God’s “grace is sufficient for [him].”

Weakness remains in order that we not exalt ourselves, in order that we do not think more of ourselves than we ought.

Paul prays, “that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.” (Ephesians 1: 18 – 19)