This series is titled Blessings and Harvest because stewardship is about so much more than money. I hope that by covering money first, we can now move on to some vital areas of stewardship in our lives. Establishing a mindset in our spirit that God is our creator and owner of everything he created is the only real starting point for a discussion on stewardship. That being said then we are nothing and can have nothing that is not provided by God. This helps us see stewardship as not just a formula or process to follow, where we give based purely on what we perceive we get in the way of blessings. It moves us to see stewardship as our responsibility to oversee what God has blessed us with and return to Him a part of that in all areas of our lives. As stated in our last post, money is the simplest to describe and cover because it has a formula which after searching our hearts can be applied to help keep us on track. There are a few areas that do not have a nice neat formula but require our thankfulness to God just the same. Talking about those will enhance and enrich our daily stewardship and experience with God.
James 5:13-16The Prayer of Faith
any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs
of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of
the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And
the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise
him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess
your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The
prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Today let’s look at Prayer – Prayer is our avenue through the Holy Spirit to connect with God. It is our private time of acknowledging God as our creator, seeking our forgiveness, our time of uplifting our needs and all other needs that are on our prayer list for the day. James covers all avenues and opportunity for prayer in his letter to the early Church. We are to pray when things aren’t going well, when they are going well, when one is sick we are not only to pray but to ask and utilize the power of numbers in prayer. Prayer has a unique power in that through it alone God may heal, raise us from our sickness, forgive our sins and transgressions. James says we are to pray for each other because the prayer of a believer is both powerful and effective. In the old testament God’s people typically observed prayer three times a day. In Jesus day and in the new Church after his death and resurrection prayer is seen more as a conversation with God that we are blessed to have through the Holy Spirit. It can start and end our days as well as be used anytime along the way during the day when we feel the need to talk with God. We may have a need of our own or we may be uplifting someone else as well. It seems that the open avenue allows for a greater opportunity of stewardship for us. If we have been entrusted as overseers of this communication with God, then it stands to reason that our best time to uplift a need would be when it was made known to us. For example, you are traveling during the day and get word from a friend that one of your mutual friends was in a car accident and taken to the hospital. You could for sure jot it down or try to remember it until your next appointed time of daily prayer came to uplift it. That is fine, but it gives away the power Jesus said we would have in the Holy Spirit once he went away and God sent it into our lives. We are not aware of the true nature of the accident or the injuries so it might be more effectual if we offer that prayer for our friend and all that are involved in the incident including the other drivers and the first responders that are getting them to the hospital and taking care of them. This timing could be a critical need of prayer for one or more of those involved. Some of the most connected and powerful prayers I have ever felt were offered while I was driving down the road ( eyes open of course ! )
Prayer is a method of stewardship for us where we come to God as our creator and all powerful owner of our lives as well as the places and people around us. Prayer in its proper perspective brings things in our lives that are bigger than we are to the one who is bigger than everything and asks Him for mercy and help. While it has no formula it is a confident and comfortable place to be when we know we can talk to God about anything because we do it all the time.