James 5:16-19

Friday, February 8, 2019

Human Whisperer

Praying Effectively

Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16

The real-life story of Dan “Buck” Brannaman, a cowboy whose almost magical ability to calm unruly horses, was the inspiration to the 1998 fictional Robert Redford movie, “The Horse Whisperer.” By definition, a horse whisperer is: “a horse trainer who adopts a sympathetic view of the motives, needs, and desires of the horse, based on modern equine psychology.” Brannaman, who is also the star of the documentary “Buck” explains that a relationship between a man and a horse is similar to the bond between a parent and a child. Animal whispering or animal communication has been applied to various species of animals and is quite mysterious. As one expert suggested, “This psychic communication between humans and animals has never been scientifically proven, so claims of psychic communication is on very shaky ground. At least humans can share a common language; how a psychic could possibly translate the thoughts and intentions of a parakeet, fish, hamster, horse, dog, spider or any other animal into human language is yet a mystery.”

Spiritually speaking, the Holy Spirit serves as a human whisperer. Fueled by prayer, God's people can participate in the physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual healing process of others. James leaned into this mystery when he encouraged his readers to confess sins to one another and pray for each other so that they could experience healing. He affirmed that the prayers of righteous people are powerful and effective, not in and of themselves, but through the mysterious power and sensitivity of the Holy Spirit to our motives, needs, and desires. The combination of confession, praise, gratitude, and petition through prayer enhances the spiritual bond between The Father and His children.