Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
James 5:13

How effective is your prayer life? Have you ever thought about that or been asked that question? Many times, we can think about the effectiveness of our prayer life in terms of the amount of time spent in formal type prayer. But I would like to suggest that the effectiveness of your prayer life is based more on your awareness of the presence of God. James will lay out several situations in 5:12-18 that require or illustrate powerful prayer. Each of them is dependent upon the presence of God and, in some way, an awareness of the presence of God. Prayer is communication with God—talking and listening. It is being in his presence in conversation with him. The more you can rest in the presence of God, the more you can have an effective and unceasing prayer life. It will be a long wandering prayer that permeates your heart and your life as you go through you day, whatever circumstances may come into your life. You will be talking with God about everything that you see and hear and read and think about. You, like Mary, will choose that which is better (Luke 10:41-42). As we look this week at the need for prayer in every situation, remember to focus on the presence of God in your life. As you do so, you will find yourself in constant, effective prayer. What steps can you take today to be aware of the presence of God?