James 5 v 16 - 18

Prayer is an astonishingly powerful gift. It can bring healing, it can bring drought and rain. This is also a huge challenge delivered by James: he states that by confessing our sins to each other as well as praying for one another, we can experience healing. Psychologists and general practitioners have known for some time that unforgiveness and bitterness can cause mental and physical health issues, but to be that open with another person is difficult. I would recommend thinking about a particular person that you might form a cell group with and praying that there might be an opening there for you both to come together and regularly speak openly with each other. I think that there are times when a public confession is necessary (one newly converted person I knew went away on a church weekend. He had received quite a rough upbringing, so some of the things he said and the way he said them were not well received on the opening day. The next day, during the service, he asked if he could speak and before the whole church, he apologised for his behaviour! What a response!) Generally, however healing can be experienced by these regular one to ones. I read somewhere recently that physical ailments are 95% psychosomatic. James also reminds his readers about that great Old Testament prophet, Elijah. The example of Elijah reminds us that as we draw closer to God and live more fully for Him, we begin to understand what His will is and to pray in accordance with that. I have been reading through the book of Exodus in the last few weeks and we are told that Moses met with God face to face (Exodus 33). Earlier, in the book of Genesis, God calls Abraham His friend (James 2 v 23). Make your ambition to draw closer to God, my friend.

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