September 26, 2021

The power of prayer

Passage: Psalm 19:7–15; James 5:13–20
Service Type:



September 26 2021





  • Ena has received the results of her  tests and confirmed that she has uterine cancer. At this point it is considered to be in an early stage, and preparations are being made to send her to a specialized surgeon in Vancouver. However  the time for this is still unknown as Covid protocols seem to change  with  emerging conditions around the province. Please keep her , her family  and our congregation  in prayer
  • September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. You may have your own plans to honour this day, but we would like to share a few possibilities with you, on behalf of the Shuswap Ecumenical KAIROS group, and St. Joseph’s Social Justice group. (To continue reading please go to "Recent Posts" for more info)



Our help is in the name of the Lord our God,

the maker of heaven and earth.

God our Maker is present with us at all times,

loving and gracious to all.

So, we come to worship God as we follow in the way of truth.

We offer our prayers and praise to the One who is freedom and life.


HYMN                 431 – Jesus, where’er thy people meet


  1. Jesus, wher e'er thy people meet,
    there they behold thy mercy seat;
    where'er they seek thee thou art found,
    and every place is hallowed ground.
  2. Here may we prove the power of prayer
    to strengthen faith and sweeten care,
    to teach our faint desires to rise,
    and bring all heaven before our eyes.
  3. Lord, we are few, but thou art near,
    nor short thine arm, nor deaf thine ear;
    oh rend the heavens, come quickly down
    and make a thousand hearts thine own.


CCLI  11394548




Holy One, Source, Story and Spirit of Love, You are perfect in wisdom. You are faithful in love. You are relentless in seeking reconciliation. When we feel alone, you offer community. When we face pain, you give healing. When danger surrounds us, you give us courage. When we work against each another, you urge peace. Holy One, you are the wellspring of grace and goodness.  We come to worship you in gratitude for all you offer through Christ in the power of the Spirit. Receive our praise this day, and renew us to serve you in the world you love.

Hear us now as we confess together ….



Holy One, Your generous mercy became flesh in Jesus Christ.

Yet we confess that often we hold grudges and cling to the past.

We focus on what we lack and resent what others have.

We turn a blind eye to what we know is evil

and fail to act for what we know to be good.

Forgive our jealousies and resentments,

and free us from any temptation to put others down.

By your generous mercy, strengthen our commitment

to follow Jesus’ example day by day. In his name AMEN




To all who turn from sin in sorrow; to al who turn to God in hope, this is God’s word of grace. We are accepted, we are forgiven, we are loved. This gift we receive from God     Thanks be to God



May the peace of the risen Christ be with you .   And also with you


HYMN                 685 – How firm a foundation


  1. How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
    is laid for your faith in God's excellent word!
    What more can God say than to you hath been said,
    to you that for refuge to Jesus have fled?
  2.  'Fear not, I am with thee; oh be not dismayed!
    For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
    I'll strengthen thee, help thee and cause thee to stand
    upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
  3.  'When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
    the rivers of woe shall not thee over flow,
    for I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
    and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
  4. 'When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
    my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply:
    the flames shall not hurt thee; I only design
    thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
  5. 'The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
    I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
    that soul, though all hell should endeavour to shake,
    I'll never, no, never, no, never forsake!'




Psalm 19:7–15

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,  making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?  Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.


James 5:13–20

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

SERMON            The Power of Prayer.


May these words of my mouth and the meditations of all our  hearts  be pleasing in your sight,  Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.

The author of the book, James, was the younger brother of Jesus and  an elder in the Jerusalem church. As James begins to draw his letter to a close, we should not be surprised to find that the topic of prayer closes his concluding message.

James returns to where he began, in chapter 1 He speaks of the hard times we all face and our need for perseverance. This comes as we pray. Verse 5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, they should ask -that is pray to God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to them."

Prayer is the proper use for our tongues, not judgmental attitudes of hurtful attacks on our sisters and brothers in Christ  or others who are in need.  However not all our prayers are answered and James tells us the reason is our motives as we ask. Nevertheless in these last verses, James underscores how prayer is appropriate in all of life’s situations. Prayer causes things to happen!

This is because active prayer isn’t about us but about God’s Kingdom. It lines us up with God’s agenda and desires. It puts us on the front line of being available to God for whatever the Holy Spirit wants from us

From verses 13-18 prayer is mentioned no less than seven times. Within six verses there are seven reminders to pray.

In verse 13 James refers to the importance of prayer during times of trouble as well as during times of happiness. In verses 14-15 James refers to the importance of prayer during times of physical sickness. In verse 16 James calls us to pray for each other when we have sinned. Then in verses 17-18 James uses the example of Elijah to remind us of the power and effectiveness of prayer.

In these verses James deals with other topics such as the responsibility of elders, the relationship between sickness and sin, and God’s will concerning the physical healing of sick Christians. But today our attention is on James’ major subject in these verses, and that is the power and effectiveness of prayer.

Prayer is appropriate when we’re face trouble. It is appropriate when our soul and body is well. It is appropriate when we are ill and when we confess and seek repentance. Prayer, for any reason, is always a good thing.

Prayer is active. yet  it is not easy to pray. It’s easy to say words but it is not easy to pray and believe. In the gospels our Lord was confronted by Satan when he was praying and fasting in the wilderness. Do you think it was easy for Him? Why should we expect any less?

James encourages us with two important points . Pray in all circumstances, at all times, for all things. Prayer is powerful. Do not ignore prayer. Do not neglect prayer. Once you pray, go and do the work of the Lord

The hard truth is that most of us don’t really believe that God has ordained our prayers to be the means of performing his great triumphs in the world. Otherwise we would take prayer more seriously than we do. So we settle in to a mundane form of spirituality, never praying for God to do anything for us or through us beyond what we ourselves could do in our own strength.

Earlier in this book James wrote, “You do not have because you do not ask” (4:2). I wonder how many Christians would have to confess that truth today. To say, “ I do not have because I do not ask.”

There are two types of prayer: maintenance prayer and front-line prayer. Maintenance prayers merely maintain and serve only to preserve the status quo and there is nothing wrong with praying about these things.

Nevertheless, front-line prayer is quite different. Front-line prayer has a revolutionary purpose. Rather than being self-centered, it is radically kingdom-centered. Such prayer is summarized by Jesus’ words, “Your kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10). The underlying passion of front-line prayer is to see the kingdom of God and the glory of God mightily manifested in the world today. There must be  a willingness to ask God for such great things that they can only be accomplished by his hand and they can only result in his glory.

There are two necessary elements that must be present if you are going to offer to God front-line prayers. The first is what I’ll call knowledge. You will begin to pray front-line prayers only when your eyes have been opened by God to see the direct correlation of your prayers to the work of God in the world today. Unless you are truly convinced of the necessity and efficacy of prayer, you will never make prayer the essential ministry God intended. We do not just pray for the work of God in the world today; prayer is the work! Prayer lifts our activities from the realm of human effort to the divine.

It’s been said, “When man works, man works; but when man prays, God works.” Through prayer you are able to move from time into eternity, sharing in the eternal plan of God for the ages.

But there is a second element necessary if you are going to be someone who offers to God front-line prayers. And that is what is called vision. People will pray front-line prayers only when they are filled with a vision of God’s inevitable triumph.

You see, God cannot be defeated! His purposes cannot be thwarted. Since God has revealed to us in Scripture that the evangelization of the world is his purpose, you can be absolutely sure it is going to happen! This is going to happen with your involvement or without your involvement! The Bible makes it very clear that one day “all the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:4).

There are no ifs, ands, or buts in that text. It does not say , “If you’ll get serious and give your money and work hard, God will finish the Great Commission.” The truth is that God is going to fulfill the Great Commission with you or without you. You can have the privilege of participating or simply watching from the sidelines.

In the beginning  verses of todays reading, James urges God’s people to call for the elders to pray for them when they are sick. James is not saying that the elders have special powers of healing. James is simply recognizing they represent the church as a whole.

James clearly says  that in order to experience the healing of the Holy Spirit, we must follow these things. First we must take initiative to let others be aware of our illness (v. 14a).

Verse 14a says this. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church The Greek term for ‘sick’ used here means “without strength.” It is the idea of being seriously sick. Therefore, James is not talking about getting sick with the common cold.

He is talking about more serious illnesses. However, James told us that being sick is normal… even for Christians. We get sick sometimes… even seriously. So, what does James recommend us to do when we get sick? We are most definitely called to pray for health concerns

The one who is sick should take the initiative to let others, especially the leaders of the church, know about it. There is no way anyone can know when we get sick unless we tell them. And yet, many expect everyone to somehow know when they get sick and they feel neglected when nobody visits them or calls them.

When we become seriously sick, our first step is to make others, especially the leaders of church, be aware of our illness. However, so often the pastors or elders are the last to know when someone is sick.  Let me make it very clear. Pastors or elders do not know everything about everyone.  However, some people do not want to tell church leaders about their illnesses.

Our culture has placed a high value on individuality and a supposed right to privacy. In fact, the Bible seems to promote the exact opposite. We are accountable to one another. Our lives reflect on the Body of Christ as a whole.

This is only passage in NT that specifically calls for the elders to pray for healing. Just as Jesus sent out the disciples to go and preach the word and heal the sick, the elders have also been given the ministry of healing . This dose not mean that they as indlviduals have the gift of healing, but that there is a healing power attached to the office of elder.

Elders are to anoint the person with oil in the name of the Lord. While we are to follow this teaching, be careful not to make it something that it is not. Admittingly our denominational roots  has not placed a focus on anointing the sick  as strongly as some others . Healing comes not through the anointing but through the prayer of faith.

There are two words for “anoint” in Greek. One always has a religious and ceremonial meaning. David was anointed with oil before he became the king of Israel. This was a ceremonial anointing, acknowledging that he was the chosen king. The other has a practical reason. “Anointing” is not really a good translation of the original term here. “Rubbing” would be a better translation.

When the Good Samaritan took care of the man who had been beaten by robbers he poured oil and wine into the man’s wounds. He “rubbed” those ingredients into the man’s wounds. Therefore, “anoint” here refers to the practical application of proper medicine. Such a procedure is practical. It has no religious connotation at all. Among these two words, it is the latter that is used here.  In today’s terms, it refers to “see your doctor and follow your doctor’s instructions.” Medical assistance is imperative. Regardless of the illness, seeking medical treatment is both wise and biblical.  We must employ the necessary medical treatment.

However, this does not mean that medical treatment is more important than spiritual treatment. Rather it tells us that we must receive medical and spiritual help at the same time. God sometimes uses medicine to heal us. Other times, He uses prayers to heal us. And still other times, God uses both to heal us.

However, some people make mistakes in two different ways. Some people who seek miracles from God often think that seeing a doctor is a sign of not trusting God. However, according to this verse, it is not only unwise, but it is also unbiblical. Back in ancient days, because there were so few medical doctors, the elders used to apply medicine. Getting medical help is not an enemy of our faith. It is not a sign of unbelief. Second, some people seek medical help but do not pray at all, because they do not believe in the Holy Spirit’s healing. However, both of these views are wrong. God uses both medicine and the Holy Spirit to heal us.

James tells us that mutual confession is part of the process of healing for those who follow Jesus. This goes beyond difficult for it invades the most private parts of our lives. Our own lives are laid bare and we know we are in no position to judge others. We know the reality of the sin of others because of the sin in our own lives. Notice how healing is directly linked to this confessing and prayer.

Wisdom is clear and honest in its recognition that life contains many ups and downs and often complex situations that we cannot always control. God heals us in different ways. Sometimes He allows us to struggle and grow over time as healing slowly takes place. Other times He may not give us physical healing but rather provide us with the strength to endure our illness or struggle .  Healing takes place in God’s timing and in God’s way.

I  set before you today one of the greatest privileges available to Christians today. That is the privilege of participating in God’s eternal plan for the ages through prayer. In God’s plan, others have already prayed and given of themselves sacrificially so that you would come to know Christ. Now you are called by God to do the same so that he will touch the lives of others through you.  We also give unending praise to God for his infinite love and grace  Life is not always difficult -we also experience many times of joy. When we are happy, James tells us to sing songs of praise

Whatever it is we may be facing as a church and whatever obstacle you may now be facing personally, I want you to know that our God reigns. No matter what you may now be facing, I want to remind you that our God is able to do beyond all that you could ever ask or think and that he has chosen to do mighty works through the simple prayers of his people.  AMEN

HYMN                 641 – One more step along the world I go


  1. One more step along the world I go.
    One more step along the world I go.
    From the old things to the new
    keep me traveling along with you.
    And it's from the old I travel to the new.
    Keep me traveling along with you.
  2. Round the corners of the world I turn.
    More and more about the world I learn.
    All the new things that I see
    you'll be looking at along with me.
    And it's from the old I travel to the new.
    Keep me traveling along with you.
  3. As I travel through the bad and good
    keep me traveling the way I should.
    Where I see no way to go,
    you'll be telling me the way, I know.
    And it's from the old I travel to the new.
    Keep me traveling along with you.
  4. Give me courage when the world is rough.
    Keep me loving though the world is tough.
    Leap and sing in all I do.
    Keep me traveling along with you.
    And it's from the old I travel to the new.
    Keep me traveling along with you.
  5. You are older than the world can be.
    You are younger than the life in me.
    Ever old and ever new,
    keep me traveling along with you.
    And it's from the old I travel to the new.
    Keep me traveling along with you.



Through our offering, we join in an outreach of creative and compassionate service across our country and around the world. Our gifts combine with those of many others to build up the body of Christ and its mission of healing and wholeness in Jesus’ name.



Praise God from whom all blessings flow;

Praise him all creatures here below

Praise him above ye heavenly host.

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.



God of goodness and loving kindness, we offer our gifts in gratitude for what you have given us in Christ and in creation. We know there are many who face danger and devastation daily. Bless these gifts and multiply them through what others share this day, so that your goodness and loving kindness will touch many in need, for the sake of Christ our Lord. Amen.



Gracious God,  you have called many people together to become the church that bears Jesus’ name. Thank you for joining us in fellowship is so many different places, and giving us opportunities to make a difference for Christ’s sake.


Bless our congregation and those in our community so that we are united in mission and purpose, wherever and however we serve. We give thanks and pray for those who are beginning a term as presbytery moderator. May they lead with hope and serve with kindness.

Creator God, you made all things and called them good. May the earth be held in reverence by all people. May its resources be used wisely,  and the fragile balance between all its species respected. Be with those whose lives have been disrupted by wildfire, storm and drought, and bring healing to creatures and communities struggling for life.


Comforting God, your Son became a refugee with no place to call his own. Look with mercy on all those who are fleeing from danger, and find themselves homeless and hungry and alone


Bless and protect those who work to bring relief; and inspire generosity and compassion in hearts that have resources to share. Guide the nations to work together to bring an end to conflict  so that little children may grow up safe and happy in their own homes.


Eternal Ruler,  all nations rise and fall in your sight. Hear our prayers for those who rule in countries around the world, that they may act with integrity, establish justice for all citizens, and seek the ways of peace. Give guidance to the government elected in Canada this week, We pray for the wisdom to see clearly the reality of racism and bigotry in the institutions of our country so that we may work to challenge and uproot these institutionalized concepts in ourselves, our churches and our society.


Healing God, we pray  to address the needs of the most vulnerable, and to lead recovery from the pandemic in prudent and generous ways.


Protecting God , we give you thanks that with the cooling rains, the wild fires are

Now under control and being held – that new fires are few  - that those who came from other provinces and countries  to be part of the team  have been able to return home .  We are so grateful  for the endless work of the first responders -the firefighters, paramedics,  police and volunteer Search and Rescue personelle. Renew them in strength and encouragement in body and soul


God of hope, we bring before you the names of people and places on our hearts this day, seeking the right gift only you can give them:

(Keep silence for 30 seconds)


Ever faithful God, you have knit together your people from all times and places into the body of Christ through his resurrecting love. Keep us in communion with all your saints, those we have known and loved, as well as those known best to you. Inspire us to learn from the examples of their faith in action, and bring us together in the joy we will know in your presence.


Merciful God, accept our prayers, spoken and unspoken, and strengthen us to do your will through Jesus Christ,  who taught us to pray, saying:



Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name,  thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.


HYMN                 757 – Come sing, O Church, in joy


Come sing O church in joy ,Come join O church in song
For Christ the Lord has led us Through the ages long

In bold accord Come celebrate the journey now
And praise the Lord


Long years have come and gone And still God reigns supreme
Empowering us to catch the vision Dream the dream

In bold accord  Come celebrate the journey now
And praise the Lord


Let courage be our friend Let wisdom be our guide
As we in mission Magnify the Crucified

In bold accord Come celebrate the journey now
And praise the Lord


Come sing O church in joy, Come join O church in song
For Christ the Lord has triumphed Over the ages long

In bold accord Come celebrate the journey now
And praise the Lord



God has given himself to us  and raised us as a new people . Let us go out and serve him in prayer and with joy  glorifying him in all things  Now may the grace of God, the love  of our Savior Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit be with you today and forever


May the peace of Christ go with you

And also with you

May the peace of Christ go with you

In all you do    (X2)

Online: Take me as I am