The story goes that one time when Bill Moyers was a special assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson, he was asked to say grace before a meal in the family quarters of the White House. As Moyers began praying softly, the President interrupted him with “Speak up, Bill! Sp … More
James has already said a lot about prayer but now he puts a fitting climax to his letter with further instructions on the subject. Two of the greatest weaknesses in the life of the average Christian today is prayer and praise (v.13). There is much need for prayer and much cause for praise. People in the church are not alone. Christians should be able to count on others for support and prayer, especially when they are sick or suffering (vv. 14-15). God heals, faith doesn’t (v. 15). The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (v. 16).
In the case of Elijah he was a man who believed God and gave Him full control of his life. Just think of what it would have been like if you had been a child growing up in the home of Elijah. You would have known that your dad was a man of prayer, but then to see him pray for God to stop the rain because of the wickedness of Ahab and for there to be “no rain on the earth for three years and six months” (v.17) would have been something to witness. I am sure you would have heard the people all around you grumbling and complaining about the weather, just as we do today.
Then after all of that, can you imagine what it would have been like the day you went with your father up to Mount Carmel and heard him pray that “the heaven give rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit" (v.18). As a child there would have been no doubt in your mind that when your earthly father talked to his Heavenly Father he was heard and as a result things happened. No one would have been able to convince you that prayer was just a ritual and that God doesn’t answer prayer. The book of James emphasizes faith in action. Faith and trust must have hands and feet (vv. 19-20).
I need to discipline myself to spend more time each day in prayer and praise to God?
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View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »
James 2:1-9Beware of Personal Favorites
James 2:10-18Faith is Proved by Love
James 2:19-26Faith is Proved by Works
James 3:1-8The Tongue that Needs Tamed
James 3:9-12The Lips Need to Bear Spiritual Fruit
James 3:13-18Heavenly Verses Demonic Wisdom
James 4:1-5Pride Promotes Strife
James 4:6-10Humility Cures Worldliness
James 4:11-17Don’t Boast about Tomorrow
James 5:1-6Rich Oppressors Will Be Judged
James 5:7-12Be Patient and Persevering
James 5:13-20The Prayer of Faith