Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises. James (Jacob) 5:13, TLV
This verse leads into Yeshua’s half-brother’s instructions for praying for the sick. What I found interesting — and hadn’t noticed before — was that praying for our suffering and rejoicing in our gladness can be an intimate action. In other words, we don’t always need to rally the intercessors and worship team.
Sharing our burdens with the Body of Messiah is relevant and Scriptural, and worshipping as a corporate body is powerful, but there are things we do privately with our Heavenly Father.
It reminds me of the Biblical feasts (Leviticus 23). For thousands of years, the Jewish people carried out these holy days in their homes as a family in one form or another. Three festivals were carried out in worship as a corporate body (Passover, Pentecost, and Festival of Booths) in Jerusalem. The Shabbat and Yom Teruah (Day of Blowing of Trumpet/Shofar) were celebrated in their homes and communities.
It is the appointed festival of Shabbat that reminds us of how much the LORD wanted our homes to be places of worship and fellowship. Every week we set apart this day and worship and pray.
There are times when we need others to help share the burdens of suffering. And equally, there should be times when we share a great testimony of what God has done in our lives. But, our first inclination should be to go to Him. I realized today that if my immediate response to a difficulty or a testimony of great joy is to go to others, then I am missing a key component in my relationship with my Heavenly Father. My first response should be to go to Him. Always. From there He will instruct me whether to seek prayer or whatever He shows else.