A Powerful Prayer Life

 
 

A Powerful Prayer Life

 

In January of this year – in conjunction with the SoldOut Movement – we began a prayer campaign worldwide! It has been so exciting to see many of our prayers already answered! As of just a few weeks ago we now have an official Bible Talk at Onondaga Community College! This is exciting as so many college students throughout Central New York start their college careers off at OCC and later transfer to one of the 42 other schools in CNY! OCC will become a central hub for our campus ministry! It has been exciting to see so many new Christians added to God’s Kingdom over the last couple of months! And especially exciting for the church here was the announcement that this summer the Holy Spirit will be sending out three of our most effective disciples to our sister church in New York City – Sharon Groman, and Drew and Tina Henshaw! God is so good!

 

I am confident that it is our prayer lives that are making all the difference. James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” God does all the miracles but often times he works those miracles because of the prayers he hears of his righteous children!

 

The book of James is an amazing book in the Bible covering various Christian topics. In chapter five he especially focuses in on prayer and six principles to prayer that are often overlooked. Uniquely enough, James, the half-brother of Jesus Christ, is known as a very humble man. In James 1:1 he notes himself as the “servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ”. His humility was outstanding! As many of us would use being the sibling of Jesus as a reason for pride, he saw it as humbling. Humble Christians pray and rely on God. And unbeknownst to most, James’ nickname amongst the church was “Old Camel Knees” because of his beaten up knees from so much prayer! In six verses James teaches us six different things about prayer that I think will strengthen all of us and our prayer lives!

 

  1. “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray.” (James 5:13) Praying in times of trouble is not wrong. In fact, often times, God allows the trouble in your life so that you will pray! It is God’s will that you rely on Him and seek his will in times of need.
  2. “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:14) In Syracuse, because of all the weather changes, sickness is not a rarity. The Bible teaches that when there is sickness there should be prayer. The leadership of God’s church needs to be in prayer over the sick people, both spiritually and physically, in the church.
  3. “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:15) This verse is in response to the previous verse implying that the “sick” includes both the physically and spiritually “sick”. But the key is: “offered in faith”. Anything without faith is sin. (Romans 14:23) Do you really believe when you pray? Faithlessness detracts effectiveness from prayer. Don’t just pray, pray with faith.
  4. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16) In confession we are not to turn a deaf hear but remember the sin of one another and pray specifically for each other. Those prayers bring healing. Sin brings guilt and prayer takes that guilty pain away.
  5. “Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly”. (James 5:17) Prayer must be energetic. Not dull. It must be constant. Not sporadic. The effectiveness of one’s prayer life goes back to the likeness of a Biblical prayer life. Its not always convenient or easy. But it is always needed and available. Does your prayer life match the earnestness of the Bible?
  6. “Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:18) As disciples of Jesus we must pray for the harvest of souls! God has covered the earth’s surface with 70 percent water. Water is an essential element to life. God made it so! At all times all civilizations have access to water and therefore have access to baptism. Perhaps that is why God made water the essential element to spiritual life! (John 3:1-7) We must pray for the heavens to give rain and God’s church to produce its crops!

 

All in all, church, it has been an exciting 2014 so far! Let us not relent in our prayer lives! Let us focus all the more on prayer so that God can continue to do miracles and use us in powerful ways! There is much more work to do yet much of it relies on your prayer life. “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.” (Philippians 4:23)

 

Much Love,

 

 

Joel Parlour

Leave a reply