Fervent Prayer Works

James really is a book on Christian Maturity – Not just saying you are a believer, but how do you live this thing out.

James is a book filled with practical wisdom for the believer… for us. 

Week 1. Teaching us to persevere during our suffering (Pain)

Week 2. Having a faith that works 

Week 3. The power of our words 

Week 4. We live in a world that is in chaos… But there is a cure for that chaos – Submitting yourself to God and resisting the devil. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

There is a real battle taking place in and around you. – A spiritual battle. Your flesh man is crying out for all the selfish things the world offers and your Spirit man is fighting that urge… not to be selfish but selfless!!

Chap. 5

There are 3 main themes here

1. A warning to the wealthy

2. Patience in your suffering

3. Prayer

In James 5:1-6 James deals with warnings to the affluent / the rich… not to abuse the power that comes from wealth. 

Jamis issues a strong waring to not be self-dependent but to be God-dependent.

Self dependence says I want to be in Control.  

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Our ways are not God’s ways but His ways are always best!!

Then James looks again at Patience

James 5:Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.

In James 5:7, however, we see that James commands the church to wait and be patient in suffering. 

We must keep in mind that James was writing to churches scattered all over the place and all of which were under intense persecution. 

He knew the temptation to want to give up, forsake the name of Jesus, and leave the church to escape this cruel punishment would be very tempting.

(Sounds a lot like we are starting to see here around us…)

That being said, he commands them to be patient and endure under suffering. 

1. Strengthen your heart!

James 5:8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

2. Patience with one another 

James 5:Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.

James tells the church to be willing to look over an offense with one another. 

We should be encouraging each other, not looking for an opportunity to belittle or run each other down. Now, this is not to say that we should accept or tolerate sin! But we need to speak the truth IN LOVE!!!

Our goal, whether it is encouragement or rebuke in Love, is to help one another persevere in our faith.

3. Patience brings blessing!

James 5: 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Job 23:“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him;
on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him. 10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.

In James5:13 – He moves to the next theme – and that is Prayer.

What do we do when we have a problem?

Scripture is clear.  But, as a rule, it is not our natural first response. The Bible tells us that our first response should be to pray.

James 5: 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? 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 will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 

The prayer of faith is a prayer that recognizes both God’s power to heal and His infinite wisdom to perhaps not heal.  God is sovereign. 

James 5: 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (ESV)

(KJV) The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Types of Prayer 

– Adoration or Praise 

– Thanksgiving

– Petition 

– Intercession 

Righteous – a person of good moral character – but even more than that it speaks to our right standing in God. We are righteous not because of what we do, but because of who we are in Him… That is our Identity! 

If you are a person in right standing with God and your pray sincerely you can be assured that your prayer is effective…

James 5: 19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.