No victory in dead prayers

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  James 2:14-17

Over the past couple of days I have written about intercessory prayer and what it is and what it is not. This morning I read this Scripture and it summed up the essence of what I have been trying to say for days. Who knew the Bible could be so “right on”? Just kidding!

Having faith in a good God, the pray-er talks to God about a person and his/her situation, but true intercession compels the person to move beyond words. The intercessor who feels the pain of the other, of necessity, picks up the cause and begins to move in it. I am learning to listen for my marching orders as I intercede. This is new for me.

Reporting for duty,



7 comments on “No victory in dead prayers

      • after all this marvelous farm work outside in this amazing weather I am sooo ready to meet you at the swing for a frozen banana/blueberry (organic with goats milk) smoothie… it is hot out today after having snow yesterday! Tea will be tomorrow!

  1. Cora sent me this by private e-mail. I think you all will LOVE it as I do. I am in awe of such talent in rhyme.

    The Bridge of Love

    Just now, oh Lord, before you I am kneeling,

    For Thou hast spoken and I must obey,

    And at Thy feet my selfish will I’m yielding,

    Empty, broken, cleansed anew today.

    Build through me a bridge of love, oh Jesus!

    Spanning o’er the depths of darkest sin.

    Clinging to Thy cross for strength and power,

    Fill me with Thy mighty love within.

    I cannot help the helpless on my own, Lord,

    To love a leper — I but shrink away,

    To lift another’s cross I have no burden,

    Words of comfort – I have none to say.

    Only through Thy love can I reach down, Lord,

    Some forgotten soul which Thou hast seen

    Needs a helping hand, a drink of water,

    Let me lead him to that Living Spring.

    And when I feel my faith begin to falter

    Against the raging winds I cannot stand,

    And when I feel I’ve given all I have, Lord,

    Oh, take again that hammer in Thy hand.

    Closer, ever closer, to thy Cross, Lord,

    Nail me, spare me not lest I should fall.

    For here I find my death, my life, my power,

    I cannot live lest Thou art all in all.

    Give me strength that I may lift the weary,

    One who fell beneath his cross today.

    When I feel I have no more to give him,

    May I hear the words, “Love found a way.”

    And when I stand before Thy throne in Glory,

    And I have given all that I can give,

    And through Thy love I’ve shown the way to others,

    And even died, that others, too, could live,

    There I will hang my head and blush before Thee,

    Unworthy of my crown, I’ll cry in shame.

    I only did the least that You expected,

    To honor and to glorify Thy Name.

    –Cora Eelman

  2. Just got over here, Dawn, and you humble me! I read that verse you posted, and I must admit, it is probably one of the most convicting of verses in the whole Bible for me. Yikes! I don’t even think I can count how many times I have prayed for someone, even TOLD them I would pray, but. . . did nothing. It’s the doing something that gets me every time. I can remember the haughty excuses given by others, “Well! We can’t help EVERYBODY, that’s for sure!” And that was supposed to excuse us from helping anybody. I loved the illustration of the boy standing on the beach where thousands of starfish had washed ashore in a storm. He bent over, and started thowing them back into the sea, one at a time. Someone came over and sarcastically asked the boy if he thought it mattered at all to throw a few back in — afterall, there were thousands of them. The boy kept thowing them back in the water, one by one, and said, “It matters to this one!”

    I want to matter to someone. Just like the boy with the 2 loaves and 5 fishes (or was it the other way around), wasn’t he just a “channel” for God to flow through? We can all be channels!

  3. I love the starfish story too, Cora . . . and I think sometimes what “matters” can be as simple as a smile, a hug, a kind word, even tears. I suspect that the definition of intercessary prayer is harder to define than usually understood and encompasses silence, tears, groanings, laughter, words both spoken and written, singing, serving, dancing, playing, working . . . and so much more. The key is to listen . . . to him who has an ear . . . let him hear.

    When my kids were little and they did what was asked of them, I would tell them they were “a good listening girl (or boy)”. That’s what I hear, Dawn, as I read this today . . . you are a “good listening girl”. Actually, as I am writing this I am getting the revelation that “good listening” means there is a follow through, some action taken.

    • I love how you expanded intercessory prayer for me, kinda like the amplified version (which I know you love in Scripture). Anyway, in response to your comment, I wanted to tell you what happened today when Cherie and I went to tell about the ministry at the Lycoming County United Churches board meeting. We had our say and it was miraculous (which I will share in thanksgiving on Monday), but when the meeting was over one of the pastors came up and began to talk to us about how it was the first anniversary of his daughter’s death from leukemia. I went about loading our car and talking to someone else, but Cherie stayed with the pastor and really listened to him. She really let him pour out his soul and retell the whole story of his daughter’s death. After we left, Cherie said, “You know, it’s all about listening and really hearing people.” Yes, it is.

      We know how to follow through if we’ve really heard what is needed.
      God bless you, Andrea Dawn,

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