James 5:13-18, NIV 2011 “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.”
Prayer - An invitation into a conversation with someone who loves you more than you love yourself.
We should pray about everything in life.
Our prayers are responses, not reactions to life.
Our prayers can change things of life.
John 9:1-5, NIV 2011 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I amme the light of the world.
Matthew 9:2 NIV 2011 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
1 Corinthians 11:27-30, NLT So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. 29 For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died.
Read the Psalms often
Get on a prayer list
Find something to sing about
Colossians 4:6, NIV 2011 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
When life’s ups and downs hit, are you more likely to respond with prayer first or after you have reacted to life?
James says that some sickness can be connected to sin. It would appear that not all sickness can be connected to sin (see John 9:3, Luke 13:1-4), but some can (see 1 Corinthians 11:30). According to James, how might we better discern between the two? What does he say we are to do when we realize that sin is the culprit? What does that look like? (See also, 1 John 1:8-10)
How could sickness glorify God? How could not being healed of a sickness point to God’s plan? (See John 11 - Yes the entire chapter!)
Read James 5:17-18. What stands out to you most about James’ example of Elijah? In what ways does the story of Elijah’s prayer