Summary: People, prayer is power. Much prayer is much power...little prayer is little power...no prayer is no power. We're nothing more than a religious country club until we know something of the posture of prayer.
JAMES 5:13 20
Read 5:13 20 We've come to the last section in the book of James which deals with prayer and care. And once again we can see a pattern that James developed right from the beginning. In chapter 1, when he insisted that life's trials are the God appointed way to spiritual maturity, he at once called us to prayer.
And that was so that in answer to believing, undoubting prayer we might receive from God the wisdom that would guide us on our way to the crown of life. He established a sequence of patience...and prayer. We find the same thing here at the end of his letter.
There are 7 references to patience, waiting, and perseverance in verses 7 12...and they are matched with 7 references to prayer in the verses I just read. And it's clear that the way forward in our walk with the Lord is the way of prayer. And James introduces us first to the praying individual...which is what I want to look at this morning.
Now, to pray to God is to acknowledge that he has the power to meet our needs. Why would we waste our time and energy in prayer if we didn't think God had the ability to answer our requests?
But James isn't just satisfied with us realizing that God is sufficient to meet our needs. He wants to be sure that we're making use of this most precious resource. Are we praying and trusting God to meet our needs...trusting and praying until we see the answer?
I doubt if anyone here could give proof that we are really a praying people. Sure, many start out okay...but how many are able to pray for a situation or a need until the answer comes...even if it takes a lot longer than we would like. PRAYING UNTIL...
I'm convinced that there is one thing the church in America today, as a whole, is absolutely powerless in...and that is the area of prayer. The church knows nothing...or very little about the atmosphere of intercession.
We're going to have to realize one thing...we can afford to be without fancy buildings...we can afford to be without padded pews...or deep pile carpet...BUT WE CAN'T AFFORD TO BE WITHOUT THE POWER OF INTERCESSION.
You know, you can do a lot of things with sin in your life...you can go to church with sin in your heart...you can join a church...sing in a choir...teach a class...preach a sermon. But there's one thing you can't do...you can't pray in a way that will touch the gates of heaven. "If a man regards iniquity in his heart...the Lord will not hear him."
I honestly believe this church is right on the brink of a great revival...I can feel it in my spirit. But we're not there yet. We need to enter the arena of the Spirit...we need to lay hold of the horns of the altar...we need to do battle in the spirit world.
We need to come against the strongholds of the devil...beat back the darkness...plead the blood over our lives! There is one thing the devil is scared of...when we come against him in the name of Jesus.
The church doesn't need people with a head full of theology and a gospel of accommodation and compromise...which is what we have for the most part. It doesn't matter if a person can't give you a simple rule of grammar, or can't solve the simplest mathematical problem...