The Upper Room devotional reflection for Tuesday, June 23, comes to us from Missy Saiki of Hawaii
James 5:13-18: Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven, healed inside and out.
Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed that it would rain, and it didn’t – not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again. (The Message)
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God . . . will guard your hearts and your minds.
As someone who wrestles with anxiety, I know what it means to live every day with persistent worry. Instead of anticipating positive outcomes for situations in my life, I frequently fear the worst. I worry that I will never have the strength to overcome sins that I struggle with or that the dreams I have for my life will never come to pass. The list goes on.
When fear and worry threaten to consume me, I have a mighty, spiritual weapon to help me: prayer. As the writer of James tells us: “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” I am not righteous on my own; but as a Christian, I am made righteous through Christ. Scripture encourages me to take every concern I have to God in prayer. When I cry out and give God all of my worries, my prayers take on a power far beyond my own. By faith and prayer, I can experience freedom from worry and receive God’s transcendent peace in my mind and heart. Instead of constantly living in fear of what could go wrong, I can rest in prayer, knowing that God hears my prayers and blesses me with peace.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, thank you for inviting us to come to you with our worries. Help us to trust you. Amen.
–Missy Saiki Hawaii, USA
Thought for the Day: When I am afraid, I can turn to God.
Prayer Focus: Someone Suffering with Anxiety
This devotion seems to capture the spirit of the current circumstances of our world. We have no idea what might be coming next. Even when we find an unexpected “silver lining” in these events, many of us still feel very anxious. Missy Saiku and the author of James remind us where to take the energy that derives from this anxiety and send it to God in prayer.