“Beloved: Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing a song of praise. Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the Church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:13-14)
As I read this passage from James, as well as all of today's readings, I was taken back to how we taught our children to pray. You have probably heard of praying using the ACTS method. ACTS stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. Those elements of prayer are quite evident in today's readings:
Adoration is in Psalm 141: 8: "For toward you, O God, my LORD, my eyes are turned; in you I take refuge; strip me not of life."
Confession appears in James 5: 16: "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed."
Thanksgiving is express in James 5:13: "Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing a song of praise."
Supplication is in James 5:17: "Elijah was a man like us; yet he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain upon the land."
I sometimes find myself, selfishly moving straight to supplication. It's an easy trap to fall into. But whenever, wherever and however we conduct our prayer life, it's a good reminder to simply think about ACTS.