Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
- James 5:13
When we find ourselves in trying circumstances, often the temptation is to strike out at the person who helped bring those circumstances upon us. Or, we want to blame someone for our state of affairs. We may even become mad at God for allowing this in our lives. Or, we might wallow in self-pity.
But when we are afflicted, when we are suffering, or when we are in trouble, God tells us what we should do: pray. Why? For one thing, it just may be that God might remove that problem because of our prayers. That is not to say that God always will take our afflictions, suffering, or troubles away. But sometimes He will.
By simply bringing our circumstances before the Lord and acknowledging our need and dependence on Him, we can see God intervene in the situation we are presently facing. Prayer can also give us the grace we need to endure trouble and be brought much closer to God.
James 5:13 tells us, "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray." The word suffering used here also could be translated "in trouble" or "in distress." Is anyone among you in trouble? Are you distressed? Then you should pray.
So when the bottom drops out, when you feel you are just hanging by a thread, when circumstances have become incredibly difficult, or when they have grown worse by the minute, what should you do? You should pray. You should pray when you are afflicted. You should pray when you are sick. You should pray when you are corrupted by sin. And you should pray when specific needs occur. Pray, and don't give up.