Canaan Baptist Church of Christ
Serving from the Heart of Harlem since 1932
Pastor's Page
The People of God: Praying for One Another


By Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Johnson, Sr.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and prayer for one another, that you may be healed. So reads James 5:16.

The People of God: Praying for One Another is the theme adopted by our congregation during the mid-year church wide meeting. I was inspired to recommend this theme because I sincerely believe prayer to be the means by which so many of our problems will be resolved. This text in the Epistle of James is one of many admonitions found in scripture that call the people of God to prayer. I have no doubt this most congregations consider themselves to be praying churches. However, my observation has been that many of our prayers have become petitions for our own wants and needs with little concern the needs of others.

This particular scripture also make a reference to healing. Healing in this sense may refer to the entire human situation. There is the need for healing of our fellow disciples here at Canaan and there are so much need for healing in our community, our nation and the world. James states that if these healings are to occur then intercessory prayer for one another is requires. We promote this because we are encouraging Canaan disciples in particular to prayer for all of your fellow disciples. Remember, we are a family, a community of faith with the common goal of pleasing our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I guess I am as excited as anyone else about the technological advancements made available to us. Like many pastors and church leaders, I am inclined to utilize these advancements in the church in order to simply our work and keep pace with the types of challenges the church is faced with the 21st century. So many of the meetings I attend are rich with recommendations and opinions, but very little is said about the need for prayer. The believer must be confident that James is one point when he declares, “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much” (James 5:16b) The answers to the challenges facing the church are not embedded in the human intellect. Rather, the healing and vitality of the Body of Christ is tethered to prayer. Let us think first to pray. Think of someone you know in our congregation (not one of your best friends) but someone else you see in our pews, someone whose name is called on our sick or shut in list, and earnestly pray for them. Pause right now, as you read this newsletter and offer up a prayer to God for someone other than yourself.

Now beloved, if we will resolve to continue in prayer for one another, by faith, we will witness the hand of God moving mightily among us, to empower this congregation to do what the Lord has called us to do, to preach, teach, witness, and equip saints for ministry.

Finally, allow me to extend a welcome back to so many of you who are returning from your summer vacations. We look forward to your active participation in our work. And remember, we are the People of God: praying for one another.


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132 West 116th Street - New York, NY 10026