"God gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves to God…
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you."
James writes about the faithfulness, reliability and justice of God, and about Christian consistency in response. His letter is full of promise and challenge.
As he moves towards a conclusion, James brings Proverbs 3:34 into play to frame a solid declaration: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." With that reality in place, he call us to submit ourselves to him, resist the devil, and act on a wonderful promise: "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you."
It’s a promise treasured by Christians down the centuries, and loved especially by Christians under pressure - as so many of our friends in the Middle East are at the moment.
With Ramadan approaching, James' words also reach out to the house of Islam. Islam means submission to God. Ramadan, the fasting month, is the month where our friends and neighbours try to push back the work of the devil, making extra efforts to draw near to God. In the Middle East, tables of mercy appear in the streets to feed people far from home at break of fast and while the nights are full of feasting, extra time is spent in earnest prayer on top of the regular routines.
As the moon is sighted on or around June 18th, let us pray with them. Let us ask God to draw near to them, to reveal himself to them, to surprise them by opening their eyes to the person and character and work of Jesus, who fully reveals the whole story and purpose of God in human form.
As David Garrison’s remarkable research is shared throughout the UK this month, pray with the assurance that the wind of the Spirit is moving throughout the world. As we approach Ramadan in prayer, let us play our part in a movement that's going on all over the Muslim world.
30 Days of Prayer resources give you background and prompts for prayer. You can order the prayer notes at pray30days.org.
Events with David Garrison, author of "A Wind in the House of Islam" are co-ordinated by his publisher WIGTake. Click here for details.
David’s book is available to order from Christian bookshops, or buy online from here.
This letter was taken from the June prayer letter of MECO