Weekly Word from Bro. David
April 21, 2016
From The Pastor's Heart:
So, how is your prayer life? If you could measure it, put it on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best it's ever been, how would you score it? 2? 4? 8? What does your prayer life look like today?
And while you're taking a look at your prayer life, what about your prayer effectiveness? Would you consider your prayer life effective? Are your prayers accomplishing much? And if not, why not?
What would you say if I told you that it's possible for you to pray like the prophets? Well that's what we find Pastor James talking about as we come near the end of our study under the heading: CHRISITIANITY IN SHOELEATHER.
Take your Bible and join me in James 5. Beginning in verse 13 the topic, plain and simple, is PRAYER. We read in verse 13, “Let him pray.” Verse 14, “let them pray.” Verse 15, mentions “the prayer of faith.” Verse 16, “pray for one another” and, “fervent prayer of a righteous man.” Verse 17, “he prayed earnestly.” Verse 18, “And he prayed again.” Seven times in six verses we find the word “pray” or “prayer” or “prayed.”
So how's your prayer life? Somebody said that “the man who studies the Bible without praying will develop a good mind and a cold heart. The man who prays without knowing scripture will consistently pray outside the will of God, for that is where His will is revealed.”
What we need is a balance of scripture and prayer. And if anybody understood that balance it was the Old Testament prophet Elijah. In fact, James is about to use him as an example as we think together about praying like the prophets in James 5.16-18.
Vv. 16-18, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
Now, you talk about prayer power! Elijah had it and, may I add, we can have it too! And yet most of us struggle praying 60 seconds. We used to sing, “Sweet Hour of Prayer,” but perhaps we should have been singing, “Sweet Moment of Prayer.”
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE the importance of prayer. “Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies beyond the will of God.” When we depend upon money, we get what money can do. When we depend upon education, we get what education can do. But when we depend upon prayer, we get what God can do and God can do anything!
Oh, to pray like the prophets! We read in 2 Kings 2 the account of Elijah being carried up to heaven in a chariot of fire. In2 Kings 2.11, “Then it happened, as they (Elijah and Elisha) continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”
Elijah was transported to heaven and then Elisha went on to Jordan. And then we read in verse 14, “Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water and said, 'Where is the LORD God of Elijah? And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over.”
In that day they were asking, “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?” The question today is, “Where are the Elijah's of the LORD God?” And I'm asking you, will you be an Elijah of the Lord God for your family, for this community, for this fellowship? You say, “Pastor I want that kind of prayer power. What makes it happen?”
What is the prerequisite for praying like the prophets? Notice beginning in verse 16 what's involved. To begin with next time we will see that James mentions a confession we must make.