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28th November 2023


The Power of Prayer

Prayer is an essential element of the Christian life. It is a case of when we pray rather than if we pray.
Jesus commends prayer to us (Matthew 6:5-7) & He also teaches us a model to guide our prayers (Matthew 6:8-15).
Through prayer we commune with our Heavenly Father & also change ourselves & this world.
That is because prayer carries power & every prayer makes a difference.
The New Testament letter of James gives us some instructions around prayer & that will our topic in this TFD series.
Our focus for today will be highlighting the area’s outlined for prayer by James.


Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
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. And the prayer of faith will save the sick,
and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
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. James 5:13-16 NKJV


There are 4 direct things that James highlights for continuing prayer:
Suffering – we all know that prayer flows more freely in the times of trial, trouble & tribulation.
Success – praying, praising & giving thanks when things are going well.
Sickness – prayers of faith to bring healing to the sick & diseased.
Sinfulness – the place of confession to keep us walking in forgiveness & close to the Lord.
A fifth element is inferred through James’ use of Elijah as a model for prayer.
That is Scripture as Elijah aligned his prayer with the word of God.

We will look into each of the above S’s in more detail over the coming days.
Alongside this we will examine James’s use of Elijah as an example & model to us in prayer.
His passion, perseverance & fervency made such a powerful impact.
This made his prayer not just effective but truly miraculous!!!
One man’s prayer was transformative for the people of God & the nation. SELAH

The key thing with prayer is that we just do it. We are to pray ceaselessly (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
This means we carry a heart attitude of prayer & looking unto the Lord in all circumstances.
Rhythms & patterns can help us as we combine this with daily discipline.
Pray with passion & perseverance every moment of every day. IT MATTERS!!


For Reflection

  • What am I doing to strengthen & deepen my prayer life?
  • In what ways do I have a rhythm & pattern for prayer? Individually & with others (in community)?
  • Meditate upon the practice & power of prayer.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for that through Christ my Saviour I can approach You boldly & with confidence,
Assured that You will always hear & answer my prayers & petitions,
The anointing that perpetually equips & empowers me to serve You.
Jesus thank you that You taught & modelled prayer,
And that you continue in unceasing intercession for me now.
Holy Spirit draw me deeper into prayer, give me the strength & stamina I need,
Keep me persevering & overcoming in prayer & intercession.
This I ask in the mighty Name of Jesus.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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