Sermons

Summary: A prayer of faith can change a lot of things

INTRODUCTION

• SLIDE #1

• When life gets difficult or when things are tough, what is the first thing we do? Where do we turn to?

• How do we react when things are not going well for us?

• What is one the most under-utilized gifts we have from God?

• What is one of the most easily exercised gifts we have from God?

• Today as we get to our final two messages in James, we will examine a passage that in one of the most difficult for the modern interpreter to work through.

• I am not going to get us bogged down in all the possible meanings of this passage, but instead I want us to focus on the theme of the passage and that theme is prayer.

• As we examine our passage this morning we see the word “pray” or “prayer” multiple times.

• These words are used in each of our verses today and used seven times in the section we are looking at this morning.

• The title of the message comes from verse 15 where is speaks of the PRAYER OF FAITH.

• What is a PRAYER OF FAITH?

• Let’s quickly turn back to James 1:6-8

• SLIDE #2

James 1:6–8 (ESV) 6 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. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

• A prayer of faith is simply a prayer offered up to God in which we have full confidence that God can deal with the issue at hand.

• We will see a few ways in which a prayer of faith can be a blessing to us.

• Let us begin in verse 13.

• SLIDE #3

James 5:13 (ESV) Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

• SLIDE #4

• The first issue we see concerning the prayer of faith is…

SERMON

I. The prayer of faith can help us during times of trouble. (13)

• As we examine the context of the whole book of James we see that James is dealing with a people who were being persecuted and they were also turning on one another at times.

• In this section James teaches his readers how to react to the changing circumstances and difficulties we are faced with in life.

• Verse 13 uses the word “suffering.” This word was used in conjunction with the troubles and calamities that the Old Testament prophets faced at the hands of others. It includes ill-treatment, oppressions, loss of property.

• This word specifically deals with oppression at the hands of others.

• This was something the readers were all too familiar with.

• When we are being oppressed by others, there are many ways in which we can react.

• James gives us the WAY to react; we are called to pray to the Lord.

• I know many times my initial reaction may be to get angry or look for some way to get back at the one who causes my suffering.

• Some folks like to make God the scapegoat for their problems.

• When we are faced with these issues, what stops us from going right to prayer?

• Could it be an issue of trust? Do we not trust that God will take care of things in His time? I know, we want I when we want it, we want to see the person who caused our issues to suffer now.

• Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh because he knew that God will gladly accept the repentance of the people of that dreaded city.

• The response to evil done to us is not a counterattack, nor is it simple resignation, it is PRAYER!

• When we decide to take matters into our own hands, we will never be satisfied and it can lead us to live out our days in bitterness.

• Throughout the Psalms the Psalmist appeals to God to take care of the enemies.

• Prayer is the outpouring of the righteous heart to the father whom it trusts.

• SLIDE #5

Psalm 46:1 (ESV) God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

• We also see the opposite side of the spectrum in verse 13.

• Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

• "Pray when you are in trouble; sing when you are happy." Both are natural attitudes for different circumstances of life.

• Together they are logical and proper responses to changing moods and circumstances.

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