Active Participation

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” —James 5:16


I’m not sure I can identify when I began to believe in the power of prayer, but I know I was an adult out of college. I was pretty good at faking it up until then. It’s easy to do when you grow up in church and you know what to say to make yourself sound like you’re on the right track.


I told people I picked my college and my major because I prayed about it. But really I picked my college because it was twelve hours from home and someplace snowy, and I picked my major because I didn’t want to study anything else. If I prayed about either of those things, it sounded in God’s ears much more like “Please don’t let people give me any guff about this” rather than “Thy will be done.”


This is why I’m grateful that God is in the business of making good out of bad, because that may be the story of my life if I consider how many decisions I have made without prayer.


I’m not sure when I began to believe that prayer is an essential element of friendship, but I know it took root last January when one of my favorite people on the planet, the mother of a dear friend, was diagnosed with cancer. The prognosis was beyond grim. Doctors told her she had six months if they did nothing, maybe a year with surgery, possibly five if they followed surgery with chemotherapy. Against the prognosis, against the doctors’ best guesses, all of us who loved her prayed for a miracle. And it was the very best thing we could do for her…


This is the beginning of another post I wrote for Off the Page, a second in a three part series on Spiritual Friendship. I’m proud of the work I’ve done there, and I’m proud of the work that team is doing. Make sure you pop over there and check out Active Participation. And then consider perusing some of the other articles there. You won’t be disappointed.

As always, thanks for reading. You are good friends.

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