Passage: Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
Journal: I know that my prayers too often are not characterized as effective and fervent. Yet, it is this type of prayer that is required to circumvent spiritual weakness and a mind that strays from truth. This call to prayer is a call to the "righteous man." The righteous man has been healed in the midst of spiritual struggle, for he has "confessed his trespasses" and has enlisted other righteous men to pray on his behalf. ("Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.") The prayer of the righteous man, the prayer that is effective and fervent, the prayer that "avails much," is the prayer steeped in humility. It is prayed in complete recognition of the inherent wickedness of the child of God, and thankfulness for the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. It is prayed with a view of the suffering of the cross, where Christ availed much on behalf of the helpless sinner. It is here, where hope in self is revealed as hopelessness, that Christ is fervently displayed as our effective atonement. He is our hope where hopelessness once availed much.