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Verses for the Week
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 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 will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
(James 5:13-20 ESV)
Songs for the Week
Charles Gabriel was a prolific writer of words and music for a number of gospel hymns. These hymns reflect a change in style for hymns. In the 1800s, hymns were often deeply theological. With the rise of gospel hymns, songwriters wrote highly energetic songs that were easy to remember. In this song, the focus in on our amazement at the gospel message. This Sunday morning, let us stand in amazement at the incredible sacrifice Jesus made so that we could have life eternal!
This song is an energetic song of adoration. To whom do we look for our daily strength? For whom do our hearts yearn? This week’s Scripture passage speaks of the power of prayer, even through sickness, pain, and suffering. “Hosanna,” the title of this song, means “He saves.” So often when we suffer, we seek conventional wisdom and not God. True, God gave us doctors, but He also commands us to come to Him for strength. Let us not neglect the One who saves as we face trials.
As we focus on our amazing God, let us also reflect on the incredible sacrifice He made for us on the cross. This week is communion Sunday, a time when we remember Christ’s death until His return. I encourage you to make this song a prayer. Use this song to reflect on the Love poured out for us. Let us respond by surrendering our all to Him. When we are tempted and tried, let us remember that Jesus was, too, just like us. Yet Jesus did not give in and instead died to save us from when we fall. Let us seek God’s heart!
This song is a beautiful promise that God will forgive us for our sins if we simply ask. His name truly is powerful, so we can trust Him to follow through with His promises. Listen to all happens at His name: lost are saved, those once condemned no longer feel shame, fears are driven out, Satan the enemy flees, the weak become strong, hungry souls are filled, the fatherless find rest, sick are healed, and dead are raised. If you have a need, come to Our Great Savior whose name is powerful enough to help you.
Similar to “Lead Me to the Cross” above, this song is designed to encourage us to reflect on the cross of Christ. A perfect communion song, my prayer is that we will all consider the astounding sacrifice made for us on the wondrous cross.
When we bring our requests to God, we often come burdened, yet God takes our chains and frees us. He may not take away every trial, but He does promise grace, forgiveness from sins, and everything that we need for godliness. Thank God!