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Daily Devotional • May 17

Melissa McKinney
The Lord Will Raise Us
A Reading from James 5:13-18

13 Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. 14 Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up, and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth yielded its harvest.

In preparation for tomorrow’s feast day, this week’s theme is ascension. Sunday we introduced the theme. Monday we discussed the paradoxical nature of the kingdom of God in which humble descent precedes glorious ascent. Yesterday, we discussed prideful self-lifting which forgets God and is resistant to his kingdom. Tomorrow, we will discuss the Ascension of our Lord, but today’s lectionary reading from James gives us a sneak peak at the power of the Ascension. 

In the context of the topic of sickness, James uses the metaphor of raising up to talk of Jesus healing those who are prayed for in faith. In verses 14 and 15a, James asks, “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 one who is sick, and the Lord ἐγερεῖ (will raise) him up.” This same verbal root was used in Luke 9:22, Monday’s lectionary reading, by Jesus: “the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected … and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Christ, who resurrected and later ascended to God’s right hand, had power while on this earth and still holds this power after the Ascension. This prayer in the name of the Lord, “the name that is above every name” (Phil. 2:8), none other than the name of Christ Jesus, has the power to heal the sick and resurrect the dead just as Jesus did while on this earth. Based on these types of prayers, the Lord Himself “will raise [us] up.” 

Prayerfully consider: In which ways may God be inviting you to call on his name? Are you suffering? Are you cheerful? Are you sick?

Melissa Amber McKinney is a Pittsburgh native, a writer, and an M.Div. student at Trinity School for Ministry. She works as an afterschool nanny and the music leader at Mosaic Anglican Church in Imperial, Pennsylvania. 

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Today we pray for:

The Diocese of Sydney – The Anglican Church of Australia
St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church, Harrod’s Creek, Kentucky
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