October 24, 2021

Part 6—James 5:13-20 (NIV)

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James: Humility and Wisdom: Part 6—James 5:13-20

Message Outline

JAMES 5:13-20 (NIV)


Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them 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 them up. If they have sinned, they 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 person is powerful and effective. 


17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. 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. 


19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.


Faithful prayer is an act of humility and wisdom.


1. Prayer heals our bodies. (v. 14-15a)

Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up…


2. Prayer heals our land. (v. 18)

Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.


3. Prayer heals our souls. (v. 15b-16a)

If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.



"Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?"  —Corrie ten Boom


"Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden." —Corrie Ten Boom


"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day." —Abraham Lincoln


"Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure." —D. L. Moody


"The crisis of our prayer life is that our mind may be filled with ideas of God while our heart remains far from him. Real prayer comes from the heart." —Henri Nouwen


"Prayer and supplication, then, are not reaction to circumstances; they are the habits of the heart by which we meet the troublesome events of life." —M. Robert Moulholland Jr.


"To pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us." —Richard J. Foster

 

Small Group Questions

CONNECT WITH GOD (choose one of these practices that best suits your group or use a practice from a previous week)


  • Be Still: Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God…” Have your group get comfortable in their seats and allow a calming moment of silence. Slowly read this phrase from the Psalm removing a word each time you read it. Have your group either journal or share together what they heard during this time of active listening.
  • Be still and know that I am God.
  • Be still and know that I am
  • Be still and know that I
  • Be still and know that
  • Be still and know
  • Be still and
  • Be still
  • Be 


  • Breath Prayer: This ancient form of prayer is a reminder of the nearness of God in everyday life and his provision- even in each breath we take. As we breathe in, we pray in our mind and heart, “Lord Jesus Christ…” and as we exhale, pray, “have mercy on me.” Do this in silence, together at your own pace, until everyone has prayed/breathed this ten times.


  • Opening Prayer: Simply open your small group time in a focused prayer. Ask God to reveal his truth to you through scripture and the Holy Spirit. Give praise to God for what he has been doing in your life and the world, and recognize Jesus Christ as the great mediator between us and God.


CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER 


Journaling: Many spiritual practices this year will require a journal. If you are a small group leader be prepared with paper and pen for those who are without. Please remember that there is no right way to journal. Journals can be intermittent, upside down, written, drawn, or doodled. They are a way to capture what God is doing in you over time. Journaling with your small group will include a prompt; however, in your time alone with God, allow the Spirit to be your leader.


  • Written Letter to God: Explain: Prayer is something we do most often in our hearts and minds. We sometimes pray with our voices in small groups, at church, or around the dinner table. Today we are going to write out a prayer in letter form to God, focusing on honesty and authenticity. What do you want most from the Lord? What words do you desire to tell Jesus? What thoughts, questions, or laments are you storing internally that you would like to give to the Lord? Allow at least five minutes to write your letter to God and then discuss the exercise together.
  • Is this your first time writing a letter to God? If not, how often do you write out your prayers to him?
  • Did you write anything unexpected in your letter you are comfortable sharing with the group?
  • How is writing out a prayer different from praying out loud or in your heart?
  • Are there any common themes in your prayers based on what was shared?

CONNECT WITH SCRIPTURE (Read the passages and review the sermon outline. Then select the best questions or customize the questions for your group)


  • Read James 5:13-20.
  • Read the main points from the message outline.
  • What topic in the sermon and scripture stood out to you?
  • Verses 13 and 14 give three conditions that prayer is a response to (in trouble, happy, and in sickness) Which of these three do you most identify with right now?
  • James says that the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well (v. 15). What do you think it means to offer a prayer in faith?
  • How are prayer and confession connected in verses 15 and 16?
  • Verses 17 and 18 recall the story of Elijah from 1 Kings 17-18. What do you know about that story and the character of Elijah? 
  • What does it mean to wander from the truth(v. 19)?

CONNECT WITH GOD’S MISSION IN THE WORLD (select one question for discussion)


  • Are you satisfied with the frequency, fervency, and faithfulness of your prayer life? If not, how can you encourage each other?
  • Do you have a physical ailment that you would like the group to pray for right now? If yes, pray for the sick person right now.
  • Is there sin in your life that is stifling your prayer? If your group is a safe place to share, allow people to confess sin with each other and pray for each other knowing that God will forgive the confessed offenses.
  • How can you pray for healing for our land? When an idea is shared, stop and pray.
  • Who in your life is wandering away from the truth and how can you lovingly turn them from their error toward Jesus ? Pray for those in your life who need Christ.

PRAYER


End your time in prayer writing down any prayer requests in your journal. Take a moment to note any prayer requests that God has answered from previous weeks and offer praise to the Lord.