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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | James 5:13–20

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest. My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (NRSV)

Reflection
Are any among you suffering?

Lord, we pray for all who are suffering, Syrian refugees, Central American immigrants, Palestinians, those affected by drug addictions, those who are poor and needy. We pray for those who experience prejudice and violence only because of the color of their skin. We pray for those seeking a home, seeking security and quality of life. We pray for those who are lost and confused about what to do next. We pray for those seeking you.

Are any cheerful?

Lord, we pray for those who are cheerful. Give them a sense of gratitude that will sustain them at all times. Help them be thankful for the many blessings, both known and unknown, that you have given each so freely. Shield them from any afflictions until they enter your heavenly realm, where there is no pain, nor sorrow, but only your unending love.

Are any among you sick?

Lord, we pray for those who are sick in mind, body, or spirit. Send your healing grace to all who suffer from depression or mental illness. Give them peace. Be with those in hospital, those in pain, and those who are healing. Be with them, their doctors, and all who provide care for them each day. Be with those who are sick in spirit. Help them to know that you are always there, even when they are not seeking you; help them to see glimpses of your love and light even in the darkest, bleakest moments. Sustain them and bring them home to you.

Prayer
Loving Lord, we pray all this for those who are suffering, cheerful, or sick today. Amen.

Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music


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