Evening reflection: Why we pray

So confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another to be cured; the heartfelt prayer of someone upright works very powerfully.
My brothers, if one of you strays away from the truth, and another brings him back to it, he may be sure that anyone who can bring back a sinner from his erring ways will be saving his soul from death and covering over many a sin.

James 5: 16,19-20

There is a hierarchy of sins. Some are worse than others, as today’s Bible passage, which we will hear at Vespers, reminds us. Many sins can be forgiven by a single act, such as the bringing “back a sinner from his erring way”. How do we do that? There are many ways, and they are dependent on the people involved. Some will work for one person, but not for another.

Prayer is always a first step. We do not pray solely for ourselves, but also for others. And a heartfelt prayer for someone we love can, literally, work wonders. But in order for that prayer to be heartfelt, we need to be honest to God, and no less to ourselves. God sees through pretenses, and He will know if a prayer for someone’s wellbeing is really only intended for our own peace of mind.

Pray honestly, knowing your own sins and faults. Pray for your own conversion of heart, so that you in turn may convert others to God, be it through prayer, words or deeds.

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