Summary: Last message in our study through the book of James
A Life of Works Produced By Faith
“Now Let Us Pray”
Last Monday we celebrated what some have called a much forgotten holiday, Veterans Day. Are have been blessed with many great privileges in this great nation because of many who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, laying down their life, because they believed in the freedom that our nation offers.
As precious as these privileges that we hold so dear given to us in this land, we as Christians have many greater privileges. Prayer certainly regarded by many of us as a high and holy privilege.
To even think that we as His children can come freely & boldly before the throne of grace. To sit & adore, worship, praise and yes to even make supplication to Him is unthinkable.
James mentions 7 times in this book the matter of prayer. The mature and growing Christian makes prayer a matter of priority. The true believer considers every aspect of life before the Lord.
I do not need to tell you or say it again but it is a privilege to pray. But so many of us do not spend the time. Many of us it could be said do not have the desire. My friend God does answer prayers. Not just when you turn as a last resort but all the time.
James encourages Christians to pray and in this last message I want you to notice 4 very different situations in which we should pray.
I. Prayer For The Suffering (verse 13)
A. We have addressed this subject several times, but, being a Christian does not exclude us from the sufferings of this world.
1. Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:9 he suffered for the Gospels sake.
2. I will repeat myself by saying the sufferings and trails we must face are for the purpose to grow us and to bring us to a greater faith in the Lord Jesus.
3. Sometimes the sufferings are from sin and rebellion in our life. Other times because God is teaching us to trust Him. The ultimate outcome is for the child of God to be more like Christ and less like ourselves.
B. What should we do during these times of suffering?
2. Prayer can often remove affliction, if it is God’s will. But prayer is the salve which gives us grace to endure with patience the troubles that come.
3. Through prayer, God can transform troubles into triumphs.
C. James tells us here that God’s children do not always go through times of suffering.
1. God balances each and every one of our lives with the proper times of trials and then “cheerful” times.
2. Paul and Silas found themselves in a time of suffering in the Philippian jail, but also found time to rejoice and sing praises unto God.
3. Along with prayer, praise and worship should be an important part of the believer’s life.
II. Prayer For The Sick (verses 14-16)
A. James asks is any among you sick? The Greek word for sick actually means “without strength”.
B. Some say all sickness is caused or a result of sin. In one of my commentaries if read of 6 reasons why folks get sick.
1. Psychological Reasons- This is physical illnesses caused by mental states.
2. Violation of a natural or physical law.
3. Demonstration of God’s power- John 9 tells us of a blind man. Jesus answers the question of whose sin this was his father or mother? Jesus replied, “Neither one of them, the man is blind in order that the power of God might be demonstrated.
4. Demonstration of God’s grace. The Apostle Paul had a “throne in the flesh”. Some illnesses are given in order to reveal the grace of God.
5. Attack of Satan. The book of Job makes this clear.
6. Caused by sin. This is probably the least cause of illness. But Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 11, some believers had observed the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner, which unconfessed sins.
We need to remember we life in a world that will bring sickness, illness and disease.
C. So what does James tell the sick to do?
1. Let him call for the elders of the church.
a. This is referring to primarily the church leadership, the pastor and the deacon.
2. They are to come and pray directly over them.
a. I believe we are to pray for the sick. Wednesday evenings we spend time doing just that.
b. Folks hear me real good. If all we do is spend time praying for the sick, when will we find time to pray for the lost?
3. “And anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.”
a. There are two words used in scripture for anointing.