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Prayer in the Circumstances of Life (15 of 16)
Opening Illustration: My uncle was saved out of the bar rooms and honky tonks, we prayed for him for years. When he finally came to Christ he joined the small country Church where I grew up. One of the traditions of that Church was to invite anyone who wanted to, to come up and sing a song, so long as God lays it on their heart. There were some that I'm sure God didn't take credit for. Well one of those Sunday nights my uncle who was a new Christ went up to the piano and began playing that honky tonk rhythm that he had played for so many years. Then he began to sing
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
That song sums up perfectly what James is saying in our text this morning. And we will revisit each verse as we work through the text.
Over and over, 7 times total, James calls the readers to prayer -
"he must pray" (v. 13)
"they are to pray" (v. 14)
"the prayer" (v. 15)
"pray for one another" (v. 16)
"effective prayer" (v. 16)
"in prayer he prayed" (v. 17)
"he prayed" (v. 18)
You will be no better, no greater, no more useful to God than your prayer life! James knew that and he wanted these new Churches to know it.
CONTEXT: Remember that after the resurrection of Jesus the 120 followers of Jesus were told to stay in Jerusalem till they were given power from on high. When the day of Pentecost had arrived, the power came - in the coming of the 3rd person of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit. That day the Church grew suddenly and dramatically adding some 3000 souls to it's number. Among those 3000 thousand were God fearing Jews who had come to Jerusalem from all over the world in order to worship God. After meeting Christ as their Messiah, they returned to their home areas and began to gather in small assemblies. The Jerusalem Church sent out Apostles and Prophets to strengthen ...
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