Prayer First (1 John 5:14 - 21)
When COVID-19 gripped the world in 2020, we not only heard stories of how the hospitals or economies were struggling, but churches were also struggling to make sure that everyone was still connected and united. Even within churches, cases of domestic abuse and unmarried couples cohabitating due to lockdown were becoming a trend almost simultaneously with the rise of positive COVID-19 cases.
During last Sunday’s service, Pastor Tim shared how almost 78,000 divorces were recorded nation-wide in Malaysia since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak began. As humans, our first instinct would be to pass judgments on these couples, turn to the next person to gossip or even look at ourselves and think if we were in their shoes, surely we would be able to do better than them.
Yet, in John, he reminds us that if anyone sees his brother sinning, ask and He will give him life (verse 16). When we see a brother or sister in sin, John tells us the first thing to do is to pray for the person. All too often, prayer is the last thing we do, or the smallest thing we do in regard to our brother having a difficult time.
Not too long ago, someone I knew got into a relationship with a pre-believer and it tormented me; I wanted the best for this person, and I just knew this couldn’t be it. I would talk to anyone who would hear how I felt about it for weeks, but what I didn’t do was pray. When I stopped pushing my own agenda and allowed God to move, the breakthrough came even when I didn’t notice. The pre-believer started attending church regularly and has even started praying! This may not be a big deal but I believe this is significant step towards His kingdom.
God promised to bless the prayer made on behalf of a brother in sin. Perhaps, such prayer possesses special powers before God because they are prayers in fulfilment of the command to love the brethren. We love each other best when we pray for each other.