Today, to conclude our studies in James, we reviewed James 5:13-20. Our topic is prayer: faith prays.
- What are some of the church needs you’re aware of?
- Who in the church needs your intercession?
- What are you and your loved ones praying for at the moment?
- What wider situations can you pray into?
In our text, James is showing us how prayer should be a central part of our lives. Whether we are suffering, cheerful or sick, there is always abundant reason to pray.
Sin and Prayer
From Isaiah 59:1-2, we discussed how sin is a barrier to prayer. If you or I have sins we harbour, sins we cherish and from which we refuse to repent, then they are a barrier to effective prayer. Not that God cannot hear, He does not hear. He disregards it.
- Are you conscious of times when your prayers have been hindered by your own sin? How did you discern it? What did you do about it?
Prayer in Different Contexts
James talks about prayer in the context of suffering, cheerfulness and sickness. We looked at Christ in Mark 14:32-38 as an example of prayer in suffering.
- Have you had experience of prayer in suffering context? How quickly did you go to prayer? How did God respond?
In discussing prayer in plenty, we considered sections of Deuteronomy 8. Here, Moses warns Israel not to forget the God who gives them so many blessings.
- If we do not naturally go to prayer, how much less when things are going well! How can you encourage one another in this?
Then in discussing prayer in sickness, we saw how, while God instructs to call for prayer and the anointing of oil, it is the prayer of faith that is efficacious to save. Someone shared with me after the message a time when a close family member was seriously ill, and in obedience and faith called for brothers and sisters to pray and anoint with oil as instructed, and there was healing.
- Have you had any experience with healing?
The main purpose and plan of God in answering prayer, whether healing, suffering or anything else, is to work His own perfect will. Whether that is to bring deliverance today, or strength to endure, He is working out His purpose. This is what faith knows and believes.
James: Well Done is Better Than Well Said
Think back over the entire study in James.
- Is there anything particularly memorable and striking for you?
- What things have you felt conviction over?
- Any situations that you will now, by God’s grace, approach differently?
Keep Each Other Accountable
Your Connect Groups are intended to be a place where you can talk and share openly and honestly about the areas in which we struggle. Can you still remember this verse?
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
We all struggle in many ways, so be encouraged so share together and pray together.
Pray for One Another
Share your prayer needs and requests. Commit to pray for one another, not just now but throughout the week.