Updated: Sep 12, 2019
JUST DO IT: PRAYER MATTERS
You can listen to this sermon by clicking here or you can read the notes below. Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. James 5:13-18
Most of us realize that prayer is important, but we often struggle to make it a priority. But genuine faith leads us to make prayer a priority in life.
WHY SHOULD WE PRAY?
1. Because God calls us to.
Prayer should never be an option in a Christian’s life. Being able to communicate with God is literally a lifeline for us. God created us to be in relationship with Him, so whether we are thanking, praising, confessing, or asking for help, prayer builds our relationship with Him.
2. Because prayer changes us and the circumstances around us.
"In prayer we begin to think God’s thoughts like Him: to desire the things He desires, to love the things He loves. Progressively we are taught to see things from His point of view. To pray is to change." Richard Foster
Prayer is not about changing God, but being willing to let God change us.
We pray as ordinary people who have an extraordinary God. Prayer is powerful and effective, not because of great people who pray, but because of a great God who hears His peoples’ prayer.
Prayer is not preparation for the battle, prayer is the battle.
WHEN SHOULD WE PRAY?
1. When we are in trouble or when we suffer
Reasons why we suffer: - Disobedience to God’s Word - Our faith is being tested - Compassion is developed in us so we can encourage others
2. When we are happy
We never have any difficulty remembering to pray when we go through trouble, but often times we forget to communicate with God to thank Him during the good times!
"The great difficulty spiritually is to concentrate on God, and it is His blessings that make it difficult. Troubles nearly always make us look to God; His blessings are apt to make us look elsewhere." Oswald Chambers
3. When we are sick
In vs 14 and 15, James asks: Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.
The oil represents the Holy Spirit and by anointing the sick person, the elders and the sick person acknowledge their total dependency on the Lord Jesus as the Healer.
We should pray always and without ceasing. If we devote ourselves to praying for each other, it will radically transform this church, the lives of the people who attend this church and every ministry, present or future, of this church!
THE LORD'S PRAYER
I cannot say “our” if I live only for myself.
I cannot say “Father” if I do not endeavor each day to act like his child.
I cannot say “who art in heaven” if I am laying up no treasure there.
I cannot say “hallowed be Thy name” if I am not striving for holiness.
I cannot say “Thy kingdom come” if I am not doing all in my power to hasten that wonderful event.
I cannot say “thy will be done” if I am disobedient to His word.
I cannot say “on earth as it is in heaven” if I’ll not serve Him here and now.
I cannot say “give us this day our daily bread” if I am dishonest.
I cannot say “forgive us our debts” if I harbor a grudge against anyone.
I cannot say “lead us not into temptation” if I deliberately place myself in its path.
I cannot say “deliver us from evil” if I do not put on the whole armor of God.
I cannot say “Thine is the kingdom” if I do not give the King the loyalty due Him.
I cannot attribute to Him “the power” if I fear what people may do.
I cannot ascribe to him “the glory” if I’m seeking honor only for myself,
and I cannot say “forever” if my life is bounded completely by earthly time.