Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.
I read a very interesting piece out of the most recent Relevant Magazine yesterday. It was an article entitled, “Just Great…We’re The Most Anxious Generation Ever.” This article of course talks about a lot of things, but one part that really struck me was the following:
Modern life doesn’t give us as many opportunities to spend time with people and connect with them, at least in person, compared to, say, 80 years ago or 100 years ago,” Twenge told New York Magazine. She also pointed to millennials’ tendency to desire fame and money as a possible contributing factor. “There’s clear evidence that people who focus on money, fame and image are more likely to be depressed and anxious,” she said. But another study, also led by Twenge, may offer another clue. Not only is belief in God at an all-time low, but the amount of people who say they pray is five times less than the number of individuals who prayed in 1980.”
This study led by San Diego University social psychologist Jean Twenge definitely brings up some excellent points for us to consider. It’s worthy of us noting in our lives how connected as we? Also what is the connection between anxiety, isolation from community, and a down trend in our prayer life?
We would naive if we thought these are not connected because they are most definitely connected. From the beginning of time God has designed us to be beings that connected to nature, others in community, and of course to God himself. That design is everywhere in our lives and in creation.
The rise of social media and technology itself even speaks to our need to be in connection with others.However, we can be so connected to everything that we are really not connected to anything. Being connected in the sense that Jesus was speaking about in community is being all things for all people, but being intentionally connected to what or rather who matters.
As disciples of Jesus Christ our first and foremost connection should be lived out through prayer in the presence of God. By actively engaging in conversation with God through prayer the Holy Spirit molds us, convicts us, and empowers us to be more and more like Christ. If we are not connecting to that then we will stagnate and again will be controlled by anxiety, our will, and ultimately fear.
The argument is that we have too much going on to invest in this time with God and with our community the church.
I completely agree. It all comes down to intentionally connected to what or who really matters. We will have to sacrifice some things to invest in this connection and THAT IS A GOOD THING, becuase our connection with God should supercede everything, but it doesn’t because it’s easier or more comfortable to put God on the back burner than ourselves or others.
I pray that we will be in prayer with each other, and at times confess what we need and what God needs us to be and to do. And may we do what the Holy Spirit guides to do.