THE BOOK OF JAMES

a stuDy in putTING our faith into action

Sermon Notes Wk7 THE power of prayer

JAMES 5:13-20

THE BOOK OF JAMES
Sermon Notes Wk 7 // The Power of Prayer // Jms 4:13-20 02 4472 9419 | 0433 161 422 | info@wearecrosscentral.com Date: Text: Title: Sunday Sept 23. 2012 James 5:13-20 We Got To Pray Just To Make It Today // Week 7 of 7 OUTLINE: A) Prayer for the Suffering B) Prayer for the Sick C) Prayer for the Nation D) Prayer for the Straying INTRODUCTION:
Dr. Helen Roseveare, missionary to Zaire, told the following story. "A mother at our mission station died after giving birth to a premature baby. We tried to improvise an incubator to keep the infant alive, but the only hot water bottle we had was beyond repair. So we asked the children to pray for the baby and for her sister. One of the girls responded. 'Dear God, please send a hot water bottle today. Tomorrow will be too late because by then the baby will be dead. And dear Lord, send a doll for the sister so she won't feel so lonely.' That afternoon a large package arrived from England. The children watched eagerly as we opened it. Much to their surprise, under some clothing was a hot water bottle! Immediately the girl who had prayed so earnestly started to dig deeper, exclaiming, 'If God sent that, I'm sure He also sent a doll!' And she was right! The heavenly Father knew in advance of that child's sincere requests, and 5 months earlier He had led a ladies' group to include both of those specific articles." Early African converts to Christianity were earnest and regular in private devotions. Each one reportedly had a separate spot in the thicket where he would pour out his heart to God. Over time the paths to these places became well worn. As a result, if one of these believers began to neglect prayer, it was soon apparent to the others. They would kindly remind the negligent one, "Brother, the grass grows on your path.” b e l i e v e

- - - -

James 5:13 James 5:14-16 James 5:17-18 James 5:19-20

http://wearecrosscentral.com

b e l o n g

b e c o m e

b e y o n d

THE BOOK OF JAMES
Sermon Notes Wk 7 // The Power of Prayer // Jms 4:13-20 02 4472 9419 | 0433 161 422 | info@wearecrosscentral.com
Prayer is a high and holy privilege and responsibility. As God’s children, we can come freely and boldly to His throne and share with Him our needs! Seven times in this section James mentioned prayer. As followers of Christ we are called to be prayerful in the troubles of life. James encourages us to pray in four specific situations in life:

WE’VE GOT TO PRAY JUST TO MAKE IT TODAY.
1. PRAYER FOR THE SUFFERING // ( James 5:13 )
The word “suffering” carries the connotation of “suffering in difficult circumstances.” Paul used this word to describe the circumstances he was in as he suffered for the Gospel’s sake ( 2 Tim 2:9 ). As God’s people go through life, they often must endure difficulties that are not the results of sin or the discipline of God. What should we do when we find ourselves in such trying circumstances? We must not grumble and criticize against those who are having an easier time of it ( James 5:9 ); nor are we to blame God. We are told to pray, asking God for the wisdom we need to understand the situation and use it to His glory ( James 1:5 ). PRAYER CAN REMOVE SUFFERING, IF THAT IS GOD’S WILL. BUT PRAYER CAN ALSO GIVE US THE GRACE WE NEED TO ENDURE TROUBLES AND USE THEM TO ACCOMPLISH GOD’S PERFECT WILL. GOD CAN TRANSFORM TROUBLES INTO TRIUMPHS. ( James 4:6 ) PAUL prayed that God might change his circumstances, but instead, God gave Paul the grace he needed to turn his weakness into strength ( 2 Cor 12:7-10 ). JESUS prayed in Gethsemane that the cup might be removed, and it wasn’t; yet The Father gave Him the strength He needed to go to the cross and die for our sins.

b e l i e v e

http://wearecrosscentral.com

b e l o n g

b e c o m e

b e y o n d

THE BOOK OF JAMES
Sermon Notes Wk 7 // The Power of Prayer // Jms 4:13-20 02 4472 9419 | 0433 161 422 | info@wearecrosscentral.com
James shows us that not everybody goes through troubles at the same time: “Is anyone cheerful, let him sing praises.” James 5:13. God balances our lives and gives us hours of suffering and days of singing. The mature Christian knows how to sing WHILE HE IS SUFFERING. God is able to give “songs in the night” ( Job 35:10 ). He did this for Paul and Silas when they were suffering in a Philippian jail ( Acts 16:25 ). Praying and singing are important elements of our worship. Our singing must be an outward manifestation of an inner spiritual life. Our praise and worship must engage our minds ( 1 Cor 14:15 ) and not just be the mouthing of words and ideas that mean nothing to us. It must be from the heart ( Eph 5:19 ) and motivated by the Holy Spirit ( Eph 5:18 ).

2. PRAYER FOR THE SICK // (James 5:14-16 )
James is not giving us a blanket formula for healing the sick. As elders, not everyone we pray for gets healed. The truth is I would rather trust God’s Word and continually do what He tells us to do and not get the results we expect, rather than shrink back from God’s command and live in a small world of safety and complacency. James outlines some specific characteristics of the case study he is describing in this part of the chapter. Let’s have a look at what they are: a) THE PERSON IS SICK BECAUSE OF SIN ( James 5:15 ). The Greek text says, “If he has been constantly sinning.” This parallels 1 Corinthians 11:30 . James is describing a church member who is sick because he is being disciplined by God. The church member cannot go to church to confess his sin, so he asks the spiritual leaders to come to him. The elders would be in charge of his discipline and restoration. b) THE PERSON CONFESSES HIS SINS ( James 5:16 ). The restorative power of being in community and having the deep relationships in place so that we can confess to each other the sins that hinder us is an important part of healing. The power of sin is its secrecy. When it is brought out into the light, true healing and restoration can begin. b e l i e v e b e l o n g b e c o m e b e y o n d

http://wearecrosscentral.com

THE BOOK OF JAMES
Sermon Notes Wk 7 // The Power of Prayer // Jms 4:13-20 02 4472 9419 | 0433 161 422 | info@wearecrosscentral.com
c) THE PERSON IS HEALED BY THE PRAYER OF FAITH ( James 5:15 ). We must always remember that the most important part of this process is the praying. The Greek word translated “anointing” is a medicinal term; it could be translated “massaging.” This may be an indication that James suggests using available means for healing along with asking the Lord for His divine touch. God can heal with or without medical means. In each case, it is God who does the healing. But what is “the prayer of faith” that heals the sick? The answer is found in 1 John 5:14-15 . The prayer of faith is a prayer that is offered WHEN WE KNOW THE WILL OF GOD. The elders would seek the mind of God in the matter, and then pray according to His will. Keep in mind that it is not one individual who is praying, it is a body of elders. the matter is in the hands of the leaders of the local church. Some practical lessons from this section are: i) Disobedience to God can lead to sickness ( Ps 32 ). ii) Sin affects the whole church. We can never sin alone, it has a way of growing and infecting others if left untreated. iii) There is healing (physical and spiritual) when sin is dealt with ( Prov 28:13 ). The literal translation of of James 5:16 is “Make it a habit to confess your sins to each other.”

3. PRAYER FOR THE NATIONS // (James 5:17-18 )
James citied Elijah as an example of a “righteous man” whose prayers released power - James 5:16 . The background of this incident is found in 1 Kings 17-18 , where Elijah confronts Ahab and Jezebel as well as defeating the the prophets of Baal. But Israel still needed rain. Elijah went up to Mt Carmel and fell down before the Lord in prayer. He prayed and sent his servant seven times to see if there was any evidence of rain. On the seventh time his servant saw a little rain cloud. Before long, there was a great rain, and the nation was saved.

b e l i e v e

http://wearecrosscentral.com

b e l o n g

b e c o m e

b e y o n d

THE BOOK OF JAMES
Sermon Notes Wk 7 // The Power of Prayer // Jms 4:13-20 02 4472 9419 | 0433 161 422 | info@wearecrosscentral.com
Some people might say, “But Elijah was a special prophet of God, so he is somehow more spiritual then the rest of us...” James states that he was a man just like us ( James 5:17 ). He was perfect, but he was “righteous,” that is, obedient to God and trusting in His Word. Elijah was determined and concerned in his praying ( James 5:17 ). The literal Greek reads “and he prayed in prayer.” Too many times we fail to get what God promises because we stop praying, and our prayers are just lazy religious words. When we are consistent and determined, we are able to carry the weight of prayer to it’s fullest conclusion. That God’s will would be done. Prayer is the greatest power on the planet. History shows how we have progressed from manpower to horsepower to atomic power to nuclear power. But greater than nuclear power is the power of prayer. Elijah prayed for his nation, and God answered his prayer. We need to be praying for our nation, that God would bring conviction and revival, and that “showers of blessing” will come to the land. One of our first responsibilities at Cross Central is to pray for our government leaders ( 1 Tim 2:1-3 ).

4. PRAYER FOR THE STRAYING // (James 5:19-20 )
Even though James does not specifically name prayer in these verse, the implication is there. If we pray for the afflicted and the sick, surely we must pray for the brother who wanders from the truth. These verse deal with our ministry to a fellow believer who strays from the truth and gets into sin. The verb “wandering” suggests a gradual moving away from the will of God. the Old Testament term for this is “backsliding.” Sad to say, we see this tragedy occurring in our churches regularly. Even when a brother is “caught in transgression” ( Gal 6:1 ), the sin is always because there has been a slow and gradual spiritual decline. THE ORIGIN of this problem is found in the statement “wanders from the truth ( James 5:19 ). The “truth” means The Word of God. “Your Word is truth” John 17:17 . Unless we stay close The Word of God, we are subject to drifting away from the anchor that keeps us grounded in an ever shifting world b e l i e v e b e l o n g b e c o m e b e y o n d

http://wearecrosscentral.com

THE BOOK OF JAMES
Sermon Notes Wk 7 // The Power of Prayer // Jms 4:13-20 02 4472 9419 | 0433 161 422 | info@wearecrosscentral.com
THE OUTCOME of this “sin” and possible death ( James 5:20 ). The sinner here is a believer, not an unbeliever. We expect unsaved people to sin, but God expects His children to obey His Word. What are we to do when we see a brother or sister wandering from the truth? Yes we are to pray for them, but we are also called to help and strengthen them to turn from their deception ( Luke 22:32 ). If we are going to help an erring brother, we must have an attitude of love, because love covers a multitude of sins ( 1 Peter 4:8 ). Both James and peter learned this principle from Proverbs 10:12 . This does not mean that love sweeps the dirt under the carpet. Where there is love, there must always be truth ( Paul says to speak the truth in love Eph 4:15 ), and where there is truth, there is honest confession of sin, repentance and cleansing from God. Love not only helps us to face our sins and deal with them, love also assures us that those sins, once forgiven, are remembered no more. While the basic interpretation of these verses is as written here, the application can be made to the lost sinner. If a straying brother or sister needs to be restored and strengthened, how much more does a lost sinner need to be brought back to the Saviour. “Seeking the lost” is a common Bible picture of soul-winning. In Luke 15, Jesus pictures the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son, all of whom needed to be found and brought back to where they belonged. Christ also compared winning souls to catching fish ( Mark 1:17 ). In John 4:34-38 , He teaches evangelism as sowing and reaping, and Paul picks up this same illustration in 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 . There are seasons of sowing and reaping, and we are all needed for the work. We are “labourers together with god ( 1 Corinthians 3:9 ).

b e l i e v e

http://wearecrosscentral.com

b e l o n g

b e c o m e

b e y o n d

THE BOOK OF JAMES
Sermon Notes Wk 7 // The Power of Prayer // Jms 4:13-20 02 4472 9419 | 0433 161 422 | info@wearecrosscentral.com

Conclusion:
This brings us to the end of our study in James. His emphasis has been on spiritual maturity. To not just be hearers of The Word, but to be Doers of The Word. This would be a good time for us to examine our own hearts to see how we really are. Here are some questions to assist us: 1. Am I becoming more and more patient in the testings of life? 2. Do I find joy in obeying the Word of God, or do I merely study it and learn it? 3. Are there any prejudices that shackle me? 4. Am I able to control my tongue? 5. Am I a peacemaker rather than a troublemaker? Do people come to me for spiritual wisdom? 6. Do I make plans without considering the will of God? 7. Do I naturally depend on prayer when I find myself in trouble? 8. What is my attitude toward the wandering brother and sister? Do I criticize and gossip, or do I seek to restore them in love? At Cross Central, God is continually calling us to develop daily consistent spiritual maturity. Growing old is an inevitability, Growing up is a daily decision.

Our Next Series Begins Sunday October 14 2012 “ How will God use me to gossip the Gospel?” A 3 week teaching on evangelism and how we do it here at Cross Central.
b e l i e v e b e l o n g b e c o m e b e y o n d

http://wearecrosscentral.com

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful