Faithlife Sermons

Prayer and Praise

Prayer  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 503 views

Prayer and praise are essential to the life of the church. Many today are sick and in need of a physical, spiritual, and/or emotional touch. The answer is not the world but rather prayer.

Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

Good morning and welcome!
It is good to be back with you all this morning.
I would like for you to start turning in your Bibles to .
In just a moment we are going to be reading from and discussing the subject of Prayer and Praise.
For several weeks I have had a very heavy heart for our church and the Lord has impressed on me that we need to change some things.
It seems that our church family has been overwhelmed with sickness and to be honest, I have struggled to know exactly what to do about it.
I’m not a doctor so I can’t treat the sicknesses.
The only thing I can do is pray, which is what I’ve been doing; but it’s not enough.
We, as a Church need to be praying and praising.
Praying for God’s will and praising God for all things.
Because this is an area in which I feel like our church, and most churches struggle.
And I’m not talking about our personal prayer time.
I personally think we could all do better in this area, but I only know my own prayer life.
I am talking about our times of corporate prayer as the body of Christ.
I am talking about the time we spend, here together, in prayer.
I am talking about every Sunday morning when we call the men to the back to pray.
Men, every single one of us should be back there praying.
If God has called us to be the leader of our family, then we should be setting the example.
And that is just one area.
I’ve been thinking about how much time we spend in prayer in a typical service.
We open in prayer, pray over the offering, pray before the sermon, and end in prayer.
Maybe two minutes each for a total of 8-10 minutes in prayer max.
We have to change this, and the first place we are going to do this is on Sunday nights.
Starting tonight, and every Sunday night our services are going to be focused on prayer.
We are going to start each service with a time of corporate prayer and that is going to be our focus.
If there is time to sing a song, we will sing.
If there is time to preach a sermon, we’ll preach.
But those things will be secondary, because our focus needs to be on prayer.
This is where we are going to start, and as the Lord leads we may make other changes.
This is where we are going to start, and as the Lord leads we may make other changes.
And this morning, as we work through James’ teaching on prayer, I want us all to pay very special attention to what James is pointing out to us.
So, if you have found in your Bible, I’d invite you stand with me if you are able.
Again, that is

Scripture Focus

James 5:13–16 NIV - Anglicised
13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 5:13–18 NIV - Anglicised
13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
James 5:13-

Trouble and Happiness

Trouble and Happiness

So, James starts out in this passage with the two basic things that every Christian, every Church should be doing.
Again in verse 13, he states . . .
James 5:13 NIV - Anglicised
13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.
James outlines two situations by asking two questions:
Is any one of you in trouble?
Is anyone happy?

Trouble

I want to ask you all the same questions:
Is anyone here today in trouble? And I’m not talking only about legal trouble, or trouble with your parents.
What I am talking about is real trouble.
Physical trouble
Emotional trouble
Spiritual trouble
Financial trouble
Legal trouble
Any kind of trouble you can think of. Does anyone here fit that category?
If so, James says that you should pray.
And not only you alone, but your Church Family should be praying for you and with you.
And to be honest, everyone here today would probably fit into some category of “trouble.”
If it is something that troubles you, it fits the category.
And instead of worrying about it (which I know is hard not to do-that is natural) we should pray about it.
And we should be praying about it as a church because corporate prayer removes that isolation that the devil tries to keep us in.
We get to the place we feel all alone and the devil tries to trap us there.
It’s hard to feel alone when everyone else is lifting you up as well.
So later when we have a time of prayer, I don’t want to be the only one standing down here.
If you are experiencing any type of trouble or distress, I want you down here with me.

Happiness

Now, the second part of that verse we often pay very little attention to, but it is just as important as the first.
Again, James asks us Is anyone happy?
Is anyone here today and you are happy?
You are glad?
You have joy in your heart?
I hope so.
Even though we may be experiencing trouble, serious trouble right now we can find happiness.
And when I am talking about happiness, I’m not talking about the fleeting happy feelings we get when things are going our way.
I am talking about lasting, eternal happiness that is found only in Jesus Christ.
I am talking about the joy that is found in the center of God’s will.
I am talking about the realization of the promise of Eternal Life through Jesus Christ.
I am talking about the promise of no more suffering, no more pain, no more tears.
I am talking about our entering into the joy of the Lord, that Jesus describes in the parables.
That’s what happiness is and that is why you see people who are going through the hardest trials in their life and they praise God anyway.
If you are here and this describes you then James says you should be singing songs of praise.
And that’s not just singing a hymn, that includes testifying to the Lord.
A song of praise is any spoken word of praise to God.
When I ask for people to sing and testify, it should be a race to see who gets to talk or sing first.
If Jesus Christ is your Savior, then you should be praising God for it, at every opportunity.
And these songs of praise do something else as well.
Singing and testifying praises to God can lift us AND OTHERS out of the weights and the bondage that their trouble has over them.
It lifts up the WHOLE CHURCH not just the one offering the praise or the song.
And the reason why the church in North America is in decline and the reason why the Stanford Church of the Nazarene is just sort of holding it’s own, not declining but not really growing much is because WE HAVE NEGLECTED TO PRAYER AND PRAISE.
We have reduced it to just another part of the service.
Just part of the program.
Just sort of work it into our routine so we can get in and get out to satisfy our conscious that we’ve been to church this week.
That’s not going to cut it anymore.
Prayer and Praise do not need to be just an after-thought.
Prayer and Praise need to be one of the focal points.
We need to be praying and we need to be praising!

The Third Question

Now, if you have been paying attention to the Scripture you will notice that James asks a third question as well.
In verse 14 James says . . .
James 5:14 NIV - Anglicised
14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.
Now, this question that James asks is directly related to the first one about trouble.
Trouble in itself is a very broad term and subject.
Like we said trouble is really anything that bothers you; that worries you.
When James asks is any one of you sick, here he is drilling it down to some very specific criteria.
Sickness here can mean several types of sickness, illness, or weakness. It could be :
Physical sickness
Spiritual sickness
Emotional sickness
Moral sickness
Ethical sickness
It is more than just things that bother you that you should pray about.
It involves things that afflict you.
Things that can only be cured through the power of God.
And in these situations we should call on the elders of the church to pray over us and anoint us with oil in the name of the Lord.
Does this mean that we are going to receive an instant healing, at that moment?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no.
And I do not have the mind of God so I can’t tell you who will and who will not be instantly healed.
All I can do is be obedient to God and anoint others and be anointed.
And even though I do not know the immediate outcome I do know the ultimate outcome.
And over the years I’ve realized that the ultimate outcome is far more important and precious than the immediate.
And I have also heard people say things like “they weren’t healed because they didn’t have enough faith.”
THAT IS GARBAGE.
That is a lie straight from the pits of hell.
The simple fact that you are willing to be prayed for is enough.
The simple fact that you are calling out to God is enough.
Don’t let anyone deceive you with that mess.
That is not how God works.
When instant healing does not come the only thing that means is that God’s plan is not the same as our plan and that God’s ways are not our ways.
God operates on the ETERNAL PLAN and not the TEMPORAL one that we operate on.
So I am telling you that if you are afflicted by any kind of sickness, YOU COME AND BE PRAYED FOR and has hard as it is sometimes, trust God for the ultimate outcome.
Because even though we may not immediately see the results, God answers prayers. James tells us that . . .
James 5:
James 5:15 NIV - Anglicised
15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.
Whatever the sickness is, you will be healed from it.
And by faith, the Lord will raise you up.
And sometimes we get confused about this being raised up.
This can mean being raised up from the sick bed, that is 100% possible.
But what James is really talking about here is that person being resurrected to eternal life.
He is talking about being raised from death to eternal life here.
That is the ultimate healing because any healing we receive in this life is only temporary.
Lazarus was only temporary healed. He died again.
And all of us are going to eventually die, so COMPLETE HEALING comes when we are raised to eternal life.
We won’t have to worry about all this other stuff then.
And I also love the last part of this verse as well. James says if he has sinned, he will be forgiven.
The reason this is so is because when a person comes to be prayed for, the first thing they are doing is humbling themselves before God and acknowledging that they cannot save themselves.
And this humility brings them to a place of repentance.
And repentance brings about forgiveness.
And forgiveness ushers in healing.

Confessing Your Sins

Which brings us to the last part of this passage, which makes us a little uncomfortable.
James writes . . .
James 5:16 NIV - Anglicised
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 5:16 NIV - Anglicised
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Two very specific things here:
James 5:
First, confess our sins to each other
Second, pray for each other
With the ultimate result being our healing.
To the first, confess your sins to each other, this does not mean that we stand up in the church service and confess every single sin we have ever committed.
To confess your sins to each other, means that #1 we acknowledge that we are sinners and that we have sinned and that is is only through the mercy and grace of God that we are saved.
That is the general sense.
On a personal level, if we have sinned against someone, then we are to go to that person, confess that sin and ask their forgiveness.
We make things right with God and with the other person as well whenever possible.
And we are also called to pray for each other.
That doesn’t mean when someone says “pray for me,” we say “okay” and go our way and forget about it.
It also doesn’t mean that when someone asks us to pray for them we say a quick little 30 second prayer and move on.
When the Bible tells us to pray for each other, we are to pray for them, intercede for them, call out to God on their behalf, just as fervently and strongly as if we were praying for ourselves.
When we are praying for others it should be no different than if we are praying for ourselves.
And if you want to have a powerful and effective prayer life, then the key ingredient is to be a righteous person.
And righteousness does not mean our own personal self-righteousness.
Righteousness is having a RIGHT RELATIONSHIP with God.
It is being found IN THE CENTER OF GOD’S WILL, and not on the fringes somewhere.
Can we say that this morning?

Altar Service

With that said, we are going do conduct our altar service a bit differently this morning.
This morning we are going to have a time of corporate prayer.
I’m going to ask you to come and gather at the altar this morning.
I’m not going to ask you to kneel, but come and stand or sit on these front pews.
If you fit any of the things we have talked about this morning, I’m going to ask you to come.
If you are facing any sort of trouble, anything that troubles you, I want you to come.
If you are afflicted with any kind of sickness, I want you to come.
If you need a healing of any sort, physical, emotional, spiritual, moral, ethical, financial, whatever it is, you need to come.
If you need to come into a relationship with Jesus Christ, you need to come.
If you need to renew your relationship with Jesus Christ, you need to come.
If you need direction in your life, you need to come.
And for those who feel as if there are no needs that they have that they need to come to this altar for, then you still need to come.
You need to come and lay hands on these others.
You need to come and offer praises to God.
The bottom line is, we all need to come.
The question is, will you obey and come?
Now is the time.
Related Media
Related Sermons