TEXT: James 5:13-18
13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
Robert Rayburn said, “The first antidote to affliction in the Christian life is prayer. When the Lord was weighed down by his burdens, as in Gethsemane, we read that he prayed “more earnestly.” Prayer may not remove the suffering, but it can certainly transform it. On the other hand, if a Christian is enjoying happy circumstances let him or her remember where his gifts come from and acknowledge the goodness of the Lord. In this way neither the happy things nor the sad things of life will take us away from God.”
In 2011, there was an episode on the TV show ‘Our America’ about faith healers. In the show, Lisa Ling went to the meeting of a renowned faith healer where she interviewed a man named Steve. When he was 18, Steve was in a car crash that left him with brain injury and a speech impediment. Years after that, he fell off a roof and was paralyzed from the waist down.
Doctors said Steve would never walk again–but Steve said God had told him this was his time to be healed. He was completely convinced that he would leave that meeting walking and pushing his wheelchair. His faith was absolute; he didn’t express a single doubt that God was about to heal him.
On the last day of the meeting, Steve’s turn came. He went forward and sat in a row of people where the faith-healer touched his forehead and said “Bam!” Then a group of people prayed over him, reached under his arms, and lifted him up–but then after a couple of minutes, they set him back in his wheelchair. His condition was unchanged.
After this, Lisa Ling became very concerned for Steve. She knew he was completely convinced that he would be healed and she wondered what would happen to his faith. When she found Steve after the meeting, though, she was amazed. He was disappointed–but his faith was unshaken.
In his halting voice, Steve told her, “It wasn’t my time to be healed–but one day I will walk and run–when I get to Heaven, God will give me a new body.” Then Steve laid his hand on Lisa and prayed for her. That is the kind of faith in God that we need to have, a faith that does not waver even when our wishes may not be fulfilled.
By way of introduction, Warren Wiersbe said, “The gift of speech is a marvelous blessing, if it is used to the glory of God. As we have seen, James had a great deal to say about the tongue; and this chapter is no exception. He mentioned some of the lowest uses of the tongue: complaining and swearing. But he also named some of the highest uses of the tongue: proclaiming God’s Word and praying and praising God.
Prayer is certainly a high and holy privilege. To think that, as God’s children, we can come freely and boldly to His throne and share with Him our needs! Seven times in this section James mentioned prayer. The mature Christian is prayerful in the troubles of life. Instead of complaining about his situation, he talks to God about it; and God hears and answers his prayers. “Taking it to the Lord in prayer” is certainly a mark of spiritual maturity.
In this section, James encourages us to pray by describing four situations in which God answers prayer.
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.