Summary: I first titled this message “Pray right” but I changed my topic because it’s about “praying smart” – we need to be using the wisdom of God to pray the smart way which then touches the heart of God and eventually our hearts!
Series: James – Let’s do it!
Thesis of Book: The message of the book is “Let’s do it – live the faith – put it into action! The half-brother of Jesus is speaking to the scattered Jewish Christians across the nations – they were scattered right after Stephen was killed. James tells these Christians and us today “You have to do more than just talk about your faith - you have to put your faith to work for the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven.” In other words, what you do with your faith matters in the here and now and in eternity so put it into action! Faith with no deeds is dead!
Key verse of book: James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
Scripture Texts for today from James:
3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? 6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double–minded.
The Prayer of Faith --- 13Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore 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. 17Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 19My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
Sermon 5: Pray Smart!
Note: I first titled this message “Pray right” but I changed my topic because it’s about “praying smart” – we need to be using the wisdom of God to pray the smart way which then touches the heart of God and eventually our hearts!
Why do we call something smart – like “smart phones?” - It is called the smartphone generally because of it's capabilities. Previously a cell phone only had text and calling capabilities. The smartphone is capable of running applications, going online, playing MP3 files, word processing, and more. The phone though can really only be as smart as it's owner ( http://www.answers.com/Q/Why_a_smartphone_is_called_smartphone).
So, as I coin the term today “Smart Pivotal Prayer” - I want you to understand when what I mean when I say these three words today:
My definition of this term: “Smart” gives the intent that the item I am using is a tool that can go far beyond my knowledge, abilities and strengths. “Pivotal” means I use this tool in critical situations, crisis situations, to leverage my situation in my favor. I use this tool daily and carry this tool with me at all times. This tool is called “Smart Pivotal Prayer” Prayer is explained simply as talking to God and at times asking for His help!
CS Lewis stated, “Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.” So smart pivotal tools need to be used each and every day! Our smart pivotal tool is a God given tool called “Prayer” -The most basic definition of prayer is “talking to God.” Prayer is not meditation or passive reflection; it is direct address to God. It is the communication of the human soul with the Lord who created the soul. Prayer is the primary way for the believer in Jesus Christ to communicate his emotions and desires with God and to fellowship with God https://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-prayer.html).
Quote: C.S. – Lewis on why he prays: