Summary: Let us Pray – James chapter 5 verse 13-20 – sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). Prayer When Life is Hard or Easy (vs 13).

(2). Prayer When We Have Sickness (vs 14-16)

(3). Prayer When You Have Sin in Your Life (vs 15-16).

(4). Prayer When We See Believers Straying (vs 19-20).



Celebrities with nicknames.

• (1). Frank Sinatra – anyone know his nickname?

• His bright blue eyes earned him the popular nickname "Ol' Blue Eyes”

• (2). England captain. Joe Root – his nickname: “Wireless”

• Because his adventurous actions spoke louder than his words.

• (3). Former American President Barack Obama – his nickname: “Barry O'Bomber”

• He loved to play basketball at high school and his teammates called him;

• Barry O'Bomber because of the difficult shots he often took … and missed.

• (4). Gordon Sumner – is better known for his nickname than his real name!

• His nickname: “Sting.”

• He once wore a jumper onstage that had black and yellow stripes,

• Gordon Solomon the Jazzmen's bandleader, called him "Sting." It stuck.

• (5). Scottish golfer Colin Montgomerie – his nickname: "Mrs. Doubtfire"

• He is supposed to look like her!

• (6). Actor Hugh Jackman: – his nickname: “Sticks”

• Hugh Jackman may have muscled up over the years for his appearance as Wolverine;

• In several "X-Men" films.

• But the father of two wasn't always so muscular.

• In fact, as a teen, his legs were so skinny that friends referred to him as Sticks.

• (7). George Best, Manchester United Footballer

• (Pele called him the greatest player he had seen)

• Man UTD fans say; “Pele…good, Maradona…better, George Best!”

• His nickname given him by the British press was "El Beatle", or "The Fifth Beatle"


• Did you know that Church history has given the apostle James a nickname?

• According to Dr Herbert Lockyer in his book, “All the men of the Bible”,

• James is affectionately called, “Old camel knees”

• Now Herbert did not make it up;

• This tradition is known to us by the writings of the very first Church historian;

• A man called Eusebius of Caesarea.

• He quotes in his writings from a man called Hegesippus,

• Who was a chronicler of the early Church.

• In his Ecclesiastical History, Book II, Ch. XXIII, he writes;

“…And he (James) frequently entered the temple alone and was frequently found situated upon his knees asking forgiveness for the people, so that his knees became hard after the manner of a camel, on account of always bending down upon a knee while worshipping God and asking forgiveness for the people…”

• Now being called, “Old camel knees”

• May not be the best nickname to have,

• After all, they're not exactly the prettiest things you've ever seen!

• They're knobby and rough and calloused.

• They look like they've taken a pretty good beating.

• But the reference to James as "Old Camel Knees" is not disrespecting him;

• In fact the opposite, it is a name given out of honour and respect.

• James was a man of prayer!


• Just think back to some of the references in this letter.

• James begins and ends his letter with prayer;

• i.e. chapter 1 verses 5-8.

• “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God…”

• i.e. chapter 5 verses 13-18.

• “…Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray…”

• i.e. And the fourth chapter, emphasises prayer as well (chapter 4 verses 1-3).

• “…You do not have because you do not ask God…”

• “…When you ask…”

Now this final section of the letter of James;

• Is very much a mini-summary of what he has taught throughout the letter,

• Certain themes reappear for one final application.

• And he concludes this letter by describing four situations that require prayer;

• And four situations in which God answers prayer.


• Imagine you are in a boat and you are approaching the river bank,

• You throw a rope and hook to the bank and pull.

• Question: Do you pull the river bank to you?

• Or do you pull yourself towards the bank?

• TRANSITION: Prayer is not pulling God to my will,

• But the aligning of my will towards the will of God.

• For prayer to be effective and bring victory,

• Surrender to God’s will and co-operation with God’s will is essential.

• Now, contrary to what many people believe,

• The Bible doesn’t encourage long prayers.

• Or perhaps it is best to say the New Testament seems to emphasise;

• In public – short prayers and in private - longer prayers.

• And nowhere in this passage is it emphasising long prayers;

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