Thursday, June 25, 2015

When To Pray Part III

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 5:13-16
When to Pray – (Continued)
1.    Pray for Fellowship vs 16a - Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.
The context speaks of fellowship.  This is about praying for peace and relationship. There are some practical lessons from this section that we must not overlook.
1)    First, sin affects the whole church.  We can never sin alone, for sin has a way of growing and infecting others.  This man had to confess his sins to the church because he had sinned against the church.
2)    Second, there is healing (physical and spiritual) when sin is dealt with.  “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,  But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion (Proverbs 28:13).  James wrote, “Make it a habit to confess your sins to each other” (literal translation).  Do not hide sin or delay confession.
The “confessing” that James wrote about is done among the saints. He was not suggesting confessing our sins to a preacher or priest.  We confess our sins first of all to the Lord (1 John 1:9), but we must also confess them to those who have been affected by them.
It is not necessary to confess sin beyond the circle of that sin’s influence.  Private sin requires private confession; public sin requires public confession.  It is wrong for Christians to “hang dirty wash in public,” for such “confessing” might do more harm than the original sin.
2.    Pray Earnestly vs 16b-18
Many people do not pray in their prayers; they just lazily say religious words and their hearts are not in their prayers.  A church member was "praying around the world" in a prayer meeting, and one of the men present was growing tired of the speech. Finally the man cried out, "Ask Him something!" That is what prayer is all about: "Ask Him something!"
Prayer power is the greatest power in the world today. "Tremendous power is made available through a good man's earnest prayer" (James 5:16, PH).  History shows how mankind has progressed from manpower to horsepower, and then to dynamite and TNT, and now to atomic power.  But greater than atomic power is prayer power.  Elijah prayed for his nation, and God answered prayer.  We need to pray for our nation today, that God will bring conviction and revival, and that "showers of blessing" will come to the land.

Please pray for our Breaking Free Youth Choir today as they are helping with VBS, performing concerts and participating in community outreach in Albuquerque, NM. 

Scripture to Claim:

For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6

Devotional Archive