During the past week the faithful prayers of a great many Canadians were answered when the two Michaels stepped off a government plane onto Canadian soil. The importance of being faithful in prayer was one of the themes in the four Scripture readings last Sunday.

The Book of Esther describes how Queen Esther was guided by God to turn the tables on Haman, the jealous enemy of Mordecai and his people, the Jews. Esther’s actions followed three days of fasting with prayer by all the Jews living in the city of Susa. Faithful prayer led to action guided by God. Psalm 124, a poetic prayer composed by King David for the people to sing as they approached the Temple in Jerusalem, first describes the catastrophe facing the people and secondly gives praise to God for the salvation that came when God answered their prayer for help and which they quickly acted upon.

The reading from James encourages us to pray in both happy and stressful times. We are especially reminded to pray for each other for healing from sickness and for the forgiveness of sins. Mark shares Jesus’ startling analogy stressing the seriousness of sin and our need to be rid of it. Let us continue faithful in prayer.

Bible Reading: Esther 6:14-7:10; Psalm 124; James 5:13-18; Mark 9:42-50.