Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. James 5:13 (NIV)
I have not been very good at doing either. What’s that? I have not been good at praying even when I have been in trouble. I have not been good at giving you praise even when I have been happy. Why is that? I’m not really sure. Oftentimes, I haven’t really reflected on my situation. There are days that I probably couldn’t tell you if I was in trouble or if I was happy. My days have blended together in a sort of a bland and gray and drab sameness. I just keep trudging forward. I don’t get too high and I don’t go too low. I haven’t gotten in big trouble very often. That’s what you think. I haven’t been too happy either. That’s not good. So, I haven’t prayed and given praise to you very much. I know this sounds pathetic. It does. I do regret that I have been living this unreflective prayerless and praiseless life. I do want to live a very different kind of life. I would like to live the life that you have called me to live. Do you think that I want you to live a bland and drab and gray kind of life? That can’t be the kind of life you want to live. It isn’t. Wouldn’t you rather have your life filled with joy? Wouldn’t you rather have your life filled with prayers that I will hear and answer? Wouldn’t you rather have your life filled with my peace? Yes, I would. That’s the kind of life I want to live. What do you suggest?
Let’s meet together and talk about your life. Right now? Yes, right now. You’re here. I’m here. Let’s talk. This can be the first day of every day, going forward, where you will meet with me to talk about your life. Tell me what you need. Ask for my help. Open up your heart and mind and life to me. Let’s talk about what troubles you. I know that you are quite a gifted worrier. That comes with not bringing my prayers to you. I know that you are filled with anxiety. That comes with trying to solve all my problems by myself. I know that you lack real happiness and joy in life. That comes with not carefully considering all that I have been given. I have been given much. You have richly blessed my life. Yes, I have richly blessed your life. I have helped you through every trouble you have faced in life. Will you come to meet with me? Will you offer all your prayers and praise to me? Yes, Lord, I will.
Lord, thank you that you delight to hear my prayers and praise. Help me to grow deep in my prayer and praise to you. In trouble I will pray. In happiness I will praise. Help me to bring my prayers and praise to you in both good and bad times. Amen
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