Asking for Prayer isn’t Easy
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. James 5:13-14
I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but I’d not made up my mind to ask you for prayer until just yesterday. Last Sunday, our pastor spoke of the importance of carrying others in their need and allowing ourselves to be carried when we’re in need. Still, it seems self-serving to use my blog to ask for prayer, but here goes . . .
Today, I’m scheduled to have a knee surgery. It’s been a long time coming. Three ACL tears, no cartilage, and a couple of previous operations have all made this day inevitable. I’ve been putting it off though. Why? Frankly, because I’m afraid.
There was a time when I would have used something like this to obtain and abuse opioid pain medications. I know that I’m not in that mindset anymore. I don’t even want opioids in my brain while I’m unconscious in surgery. I’ve been assured from everyone from the anesthesiologist to the surgeon that this can be done without opioids. I know that I can do it without putting my recovery at risk but still, I fear the pain. This is going to hurt.
In today’s passage, James said that as Christians, praying for each other should be a routine part of our lives. If one of us is suffering, we should all pray. If one of us is blessed, we should all give thanks. If one of us is sick, we should collectively turn to God. Still, I know that in the grand scheme of things, my knee replacement isn’t nearly as serious as the illnesses that some of you are facing, so, it’s hard to ask for prayer without feeling a little selfish.
This shouldn’t be unusual though. If we believe in God and if we believe prayer means anything, then this should be routine. The faith that James taught was one that is profoundly practical. If we believe in God, we must live like it. If we believe in prayer, we must pray like it. This means boldly praying for others in their need and being weak enough to ask others to pray for us in our need.