Sunday 4/1/12 Pastor Michael sermon:The Power of Prayer-Help In the Times of Trouble James 5:13-18
Our nation is in trouble. Although we are a rich nation, we have a higher level of poverty than before. Our nation has blurred the line of right and wrong.. Jesus said we should take care of our own family and when we do this, the government won’t need to take care of people. The name of Jesus has been taken out of school, out of work places, etc and this is why we are in trouble! There are many in-justices happening in our nation and we are in trouble. A 17 yr old teenager gets shot / killed and his killer is not arrested by police. People are wondering why the community is upset. An airplane pilot go bezerk on an airplane and he was not previously evaluated as intensely as he should have been because of his “status”. We are in trouble!
In the book of James, the church congregation is experiencing persecution and is stressed out. They begin to turn on each other. James tells them in chap 1 to have patience, wait on God. In chap 2, James says not to play favorites over one another. We are all sinners saved by grace. In chap 3, James says don’t want to be a leader and not take care of your responsibilities. In chap 4, James says their prayers are not being answered because they ask in lust. They act like God is Santa Claus. In chap 5, James talks about the Power of Prayer.. If people will humble themselves and pray, God will hear them and heal them. We are to go to God in prayer.
********** Power Prayers************
1) There are Effective prayers. vs. 13
These prayers are effective because they are specific. Pray specifically for things: affliction, sickness. God will either give us what we asked for right away or make it more tolerable for us as we go thru the trouble until it ends. When we are sick = pray specific about it. When we are afflicted, in the fire, in trouble=pray specific about it. This is how we know God answered our prayer because what we specifically asked for comes to us.
2) There are Efficient prayers vs. 15
An efficient prayer is when there is nothing to block your answer from God. If we have not confessed sins and offenses, then God won’t hear our prayers. We need to not let stress impact us and make us lose our cool with others. Any offense we have with people, we need to go get it straight with them. We need to forgive them, confess it to God and then release it. God wants to answer our prayers but some of us have too much bitterness in our heart for Him to do this. God sends crazy, difficult people into our life to get us on our knees in prayer. Half of us here would not be a Christian today if we didn’t have these crazy people in our life that forced us to pray to God for help!! Our prayers need to be efficient prayers, nothing blocking, so we can go straight to God in prayer and get our answer! We need to learn how to “Let it Go! “ Let go of hostility, resentment, bitterness and low self-esteem. Let it Go!
3) There are Extraordinary prayers vs. 17
These extraordinary prayers are supernatural prayers! Elias prayed and it didn’t rain for 3 ˝ years. Then Elias prayed again and it began to rain again. These extraordinary prayer are bigger than us! These are prayers that we know God will show up BIG TIME!
Its going to rain! We have been in a drought too long. Its going to rain! Open the flood gates of Heaven, let it rain, let it rain. Its raining, its raining!