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Jumpstarting Sluggish Prayers – Effective Prayer

Prayer 11Along with the Lord’s Prayer in the Gospels (Matt 6:9-13, Luke 11:2-4), James’ letter also offers practical instructions on how to pray effectively.

Covering hardship, healing, happiness, and confession of sins, James gives us a glimpse into what vibrant prayer within the church community looks like.

And while personal, private prayer is essential to a healthy walk with Christ, these instructions make it equally clear that a healthy church depends on believers praying together and for one another.

Interact with God’s Word:  James 5:13-18

  1. What “hardships” were these Christians experiencing? (See Acts 11:19; James 1:1-3, 5:10.)
  2. How does prayer help believers through hardships?
  3. James encourages us to “sing praises” when we’re happy (v. 13). Why is it important to offer praise as well as prayers expressing pain?
  4. Verse 15 says “prayer offered in faith will heal the sick.” But what are important “stipulations” for answers to any kind of prayer? (See James 4:2-3; Mark 14:36).
  5. According to verse 16, what two qualities produce “great power” and “wonderful results”? How can we make sure we have these qualities?

Spend Time in Prayer:  Thank God for being a God who listens to the prayers of his people and ask him to help you pray more consistently and effectively.

James 5:13-18

13 Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.

16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.

Prayer for the Week: Dear Heavenly Father, help me to pray more consistently, more fervently, and more selflessly.



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