James – Dealing with Sin
“Let us close in prayer…” Prayer seems to be the beginning and end to every corporate worship service. Prayer is sometimes relegated to merely function. “Someone want to pray over this meal?” “Pastor, would you pray at the end of our meeting?” How extremely sad if that’s all we think prayer is. Prayer IS worship, our holy, believing cries to God, our confessions worthy of His response to us. Prayer is the formidable weapon we have against the evil one with whom we battle daily…sometimes hourly.
Do you know what Satan hates and fears most? Christian believers, on their knees, praying and crying out in the Name of Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior! Because evil is all around us working hard to bring us down, prayer is our choice of weapons along with our shield of faith believing God hears and will respond. Paul adamantly declares, “Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” (Ephesians 6)
It is no wonder James “closes with prayer”, not the perfunctory type prayer but “prayer to be reckoned with”, prayer that heals from the inside out.
James 5, The Message
Prayer to Be Reckoned With
Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out.
16-18 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again.
19-20 My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God.
Promises of Believing Prayer:
–We will be healed from the inside out.
–We will be forgiven completely.
–We will be whole again.
–Jesus will put us back on our feet…here or with him in heaven. We can’t lose.
–There is Power in prayer because of to Whom we are praying.
–Prayer makes us aware of evil, defeats the efforts of evil, causing us to be more than conquerors in and with Jesus!
–Pray always, unceasing and ongoing as if talking with a Friend…because He delights in this relationship!
–Pray on all occasions.
–Pray with grateful, believing hearts.
–Pray for and with each other. There is strength in the Name of Jesus. There is power, hope and a taste of glory when talking with Him. Then listen. Take time to listen.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the privilege to enter into Your Presence, In Jesus Name, and speak to you about life here while we prepare for life there. Thank you for cleansing us through confessed prayer. Thank you for listening to our cries for help. Thank you for overcoming evil that lies in wait as we pray for alertness to it. Thank you for guiding us and being with us as we draw near to you in prayer. We truly need you every hour.
In Jesus Name, Amen