Sermons

Summary: "James with the Camel's Knees" gives us a crucial, practical lesson on prayer. He gives us technique and an example.

1. Salesman and Prayer

The story is told of a man who went and made a sales presentation to the leadership of a church.

When the presentation was over, one of the men in leadership when into the auditorium, knelt down and after a minute of silent prayer, returned and announced in a solemn tone, “The Lord says we should wait.”

Without flinching, the salesman went into the auditorium, knelt down, and after a moment of silent prayer, returned and said to the leader who had just prayed, “The Lord wants to talk with you again.”

I’m not really sure that either man was actually praying, but it is interesting that they both saw prayer as a way of getting what they wanted.

2. In some respects, there is nothing wrong with using prayer to get what you want.

a. “You do not have, because you do not ask God.” James 4.2

b. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1.5

3. James 5.13-18

a. In this passage, James says that if we are in trouble or sick, then we should pray to God about it.

b. If there is something that we need from God, we should ask for it in prayer and ask others to pray as well.

I. When to Pray

A. Pray in Times of Distress (Suffering) – v. 13

Roger Staubach who led the Dallas Cowboys to the World Championship in ‘71 admitted that his position as a quarterback who didn’t call his own signals was a source of trial for him. Coach Landry sent in every play. He told Roger when to pass, when to run and only in emergency situations could he change the play (and he had better be right!). Even though Roger considered coach Landry to have a “genius mind” when it came to football strategy, pride said that he should be able to run his own team. Roger later said, “I faced up to the issue of obedience. Once I learned to obey there was harmony, fulfillment, and victory.”

1. We May Have Distress by Following Yeshua (Jesus) – I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16.33

2. We May Have Distress in Performing Ministry – 3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. //8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 2 Timothy 2.3, 8-9; // 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4.5

3. We May Have Distress of a Cursed World – 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. Matthew 13.20-21

B. Pray in Times of Disease (Sickness) – vv. 14, 15a

1. The Most Common Topic (Look at our Prayer list)

2. The Most Common Test – Call Elders

a. Spiritually Mature Leaders

b. Walk with Sheep as Shepherds (Psalm 23 – anoint head with oil)

3. The Most Common Treatment – Anoint with Oil

a. Medicines[Aloes (Burial oil, John 19.39); Cassia and Cinnamon (in God’s holy anointing oil, Exodus 30.22-31); Frankincense Numbers 16.46-50 (used by Aaron to stop a plague); Hyssop (used for purification, Psalm 51.7); Myrrh (calming, Mark 15.23) from Healing Oils of the Bible

b. Faith Element (includes prayer) – But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 1.6;

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 1 John 5.14

c. Prayer of Faith added 15 years to Hezekiah’s life – 2 Kings 20

d. Give Cares to God by Prayer – 1 Peter 5.6

[Two men on a mountain were discussing their climb. The first asked the second why he had made such a tough climb. He replied, “All my troubles and heartaches are down in the valley, and when I am down there, they look pretty big. Up here, they seem pretty small.”

C. Pray in Times of Defiance (Sinfulness) – vv. 15b-16

1. There is importance in our repentance – If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,

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