Summary: The passage of James deals with the topic of prayer for the follower of Jesus Christ. Prayer is an essential lifeblood of the church. Great things are wrought through prayer and no great endeavor for the cause of Christ can be completed without prayer.
INTRODUCTION: The passage of James deals with the topic of prayer for the follower of Jesus Christ. Prayer is an essential lifeblood of the church. Great things are wrought through prayer and no great endeavor for the cause of Christ can be completed without prayer. Yet, we as believers are often tempted and distressed ourselves, needing a time of personal prayer, effective in order to bring about confession, healing, restoration, and righteousness.
MOTIVATED PRAYER – 5:13
James 5:13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.
The mark of Christian maturity is to have a constant prayer life.
Begs the question: How do we respond to trouble
Do we get angry?
Do we grumble?
Correct response is to pray!
Three main reason we do not pray in a time of trouble
Ignorance – we did not know God wants us to pray when we are in trouble
Arrogance – we are to full of pride to pray when we are in trouble
Shame – we are ashamed of what we have done, and our shame keeps us from praying when we are in trouble (like God does not already know what we have done).
Psalm 91:15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
Begs a second question: How do we respond in times of blessing?
We often think that troubles are from God and blessings are of our own devices and abilities.
God says to praise God for our good with as much emphasis as we are to pray for our troubles.
In fact the word used for happy is the same word Paul used while at sea during the storm where he informed the sailors of the ship to “keep up your courage”.
So even in the midst of severe trouble there is ALWAYS something to give praise to God for! AMEN?
JAMES IS ADDRESSING TWO GREAT WEAKNESSES OF THE CHURCH
THE CHURCH DOES NOT PRAY ENOUGH IN ITS SUFFERING AND TROUBLE
THE CHURCH DOES NOT PRAISE ENOUGH IN GOD’S SUFFICIENCY AND BLESSING
OUR CHURCH SERVICES SHOULD BE FILLED WE PEOPLE CRYING OUT TO GOD FOR THEIR TROUBLES. Yet, when the call for prayer comes, few come forward, and pour their hearts out before God for their suffering or His sufficiency.
OUR PRAYER MEETINGS WOULD BE FILLED WITH FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST COMING TOGETHER TO PRAY FOR THE COMMON GOOD OF THE BODY. In reality prayer meeting is a service of empty pews and wide open spaces.
WHEN SPECIAL PRAYER IS CALLED FOR – A VIGIL BECAUSE THE NEEDS ARE GREAT, PRECIOUS FEW WILL RESPOND
THE CHURCH TODAY HAS NOT PUT GOD FIRST IN ITS VERY LIFE BLOOD – PRAYER!
BELIEVER, YOU NEED TO GET YOUR PRAYER LIFE RIGHT
WE NEED TO BE MOTIVATED TO PRAY – AND WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL, GODS MOTIVATION TO PRAY IS NOT PRETTY
MEDICAL PRAYER – 5:14-15
James 5:14-15 Is 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. 15 And 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.
James is really asking if anyone of us is weak.
In reality we all are weak
We all should be asking the elders of the church to pray for us
We need to understand that weakness and sickness comes for more than one reason.
John 9:3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.
1 Corinthians 11:27-30 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.
30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
I need to warn you in this area – we all need to pray lest we go astray. To not pray is sinful and does not honor God who:
Commands us to pray
Taught us how to pray
Modeled prayer for us himself in the Garden before His crucifixion!
JUST AS PHYSICAL ILLNESS IS SICKNESS TO THE BODY, SIN IS SICKNESS TO THE SOUL. Think about the similarities, …