Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises.
How do you react in times of suffering? How do you respond in a season full of joy? James outlines a good and simple reply to both situations. When suffering, pray! When cheerful and optimistic, sing and praise God!
Here are a couple of ways to put James 5:13 into practice. Choose the option that best fits your current life circumstances.
We are not meant to suffer in silence. Instead, we can bring our sorrows to God in prayer. Spend time praying through your suffering. Be specific in your prayers. It is helpful to list all the things that are causing you to suffer, both the small and big things. Bring them all before God in prayer.
In tough times, you might find yourself lost for words. So another suggestion is to find Bible verses that match how you are feeling in your suffering. Use God’s Word to fuel your prayers.
As a staff team we have spend time writing our own psalm based on an unanswered prayer in our life. Writing our own lament, in our own words, proved powerful. But equally powerful is singing our praises to God.
Write down all that God has done in your life. Again, be specific. Then sing these words out loud! When I have done this, I usually get a guitar or put on an instrumental song to help. Even if you think you are the least musical person around, it is a worthwhile, honouring experience to sing what you feel to God.
I hope that you draw closer to God in your time of prayer and that He brings cheerfulness, even in your times of suffering.