Summary: One little boy prayed, Lord take care of my daddy and my mommy and my sister and my brother and my doggy and me. And Oh, please take care of yourself, God. Cause if anything happens to you we’re all gonna be in TROUBLE.
“The Prayer that Changes Everything”
This morning I want to talk to you about a word that none of us like to hear. Trouble. .For some of us we might say that TROUBLE seems to be around every corner. TROUBLE everywhere we go. There is a board game called Trouble and if in moving your game piece around the board and you land on another player then you are officially in trouble and you have to go back and start over. Travis Tritt wrote a country song called T-R-O-U-B-L-E. He is out one night and in walks a woman who looks like trouble. I have heard people say that trouble is their middle name. Most of us can remember when our parents said those words to us…you’re in trouble young man or young lady that the news wasn’t going to be good. . If my parents ever called me by my first and middle name I knew there was trouble on the horizon.
One little boy prayed, Lord take care of my daddy and my mommy and my sister and my brother and my doggy and me. And Oh, please take care of yourself, God. Cause if anything happens to you we’re all gonna be in TROUBLE.
James begins this passage by asking us a very simple question, are there any of you who are in trouble? And he then tells us, if you are then pray. And if you pray in faith, He then tells us what the result will be.
At least 3 different kinds of prayer in this passage.
1. We are to pray for ourselves. Read v. 13.
2. We are to call for the leaders/elders of the church to pray. Read vvs. 14-15
3. We are to pray for one other. Read v. 16
So that covers the WHO. Who is supposed to pray?
Now this passage tells us when to pray. Pray at 4 different times.
1. We must pray when we are suffering/in trouble. In v. 13. He asks a question. “Is any one of you in trouble? If so, he should pray.” Now what James is asking here is not just are you in trouble???…..but are you in great trouble and are you suffering as a result? It is the difference between saying there is a hurricane out in the gulf and there is a hurricane in my backyard. So pray when you are in trouble but don’t be surprised when you are in trouble. 1st Peter 4:12 says “dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering as though something strange is happening to you.” We know life is never easy so James is reminding us that instead of allowing life to make us resentful, or discouraged or bitter that we should allow them to make us better. When life is more than you can handle, pray.
2. We should pray/offer praise when we have success. Look at the 2nd part of v. 13. Now he asks, “Is anyone happy?” If he is, let him sing songs of praise. Every one of us have numerous things to be thankful for today. Many things to be happy about. James is reminding us that all of us, at one time or another have something to give praise for. I have this book titled 14,000 things to be happy about. Filled with all kinds of things that will make you smile.
Now listen, I know that when we are singing praise songs on Sunday mornings, I know something that you may not think I know. And I’m going to tell you…right now. I know that some of you don’t sing. For some reason you either:
• Don’t think you know how
• You think everyone else is a better singer
• You are daydreaming
• Or you just don’t know the song
• Or maybe you only like country music
But here’s the thing. If you don’t sing you are missing what worship is really about. Paul and Silas were arrested and thrown in jail and you know what they did? They sang. And the fact that they sang instead of getting depressed had an incredible impact on the other inmates. When we sing it’s hard to think about our troubles at the same time. (His eye is on the sparrow.) But I think it’s the other way around. I am happy because I sing. It doesn’t mean I don’t have any troubles. It just means I have chosen not to focus on them.
3. We should pray when we are sick. Vv. 14-15. Every one of us has no doubt experienced God’s healing in their lifetime in one way or another. You have been healed or a member of your family has been healed. The doctors couldn’t understand it but healing took place. No one could explain it. But God did it. We all know that God is able to anything. The scripture tells us that He can do more than we can ask and even more than we can imagine. (Eph. 3:20) And I don’t know about you but I have a BIG imagination.