Today’s devotion is an excerpt from a Bible Study Series taught at Fellowship Baptist Church, titled “Biblical Building Blocks for Strengthening Relationships.”
Biblical Building Block #23 ~ Pray One For Another (James 5:16) PART 1
James 5:16, Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Prayer allows us to get God involved and only then can we see the miraculous take place. Too often we trust what we can do and only look to God when there is no other hope. We must realize that all our efforts are vain from an eternal perspective unless we pray. We need God’s wisdom for what to do, we need God’s power for the strength to do it and we need God’s blessing for it to be fruit for his honor and glory.
One of the great tragedies of modern-day Christianity is that we simply do not pray as we should. The Lord has placed all of the power and resources of Heaven at our disposal to do His work, yet we “...have not, because ye ask not.” Prayer should be as natural to the child of God as breathing is to the human body, because prayer is the believer’s spiritual breath. The reason so many believers are always spiritually tired and weary is they have been holding their spiritual breath. The Christian who says, "I simply can't find time for prayer," is like the person who says, "I just can't find time to breathe." If we refuse to pray regularly…we will spiritually suffocate.
Oswald Chambers, “We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense.” Bill Watkins, founder of Watkins Motor Lines in Lakeland, Florida, was stewing one evening over a particularly tough problem in his trucking business. His sister asked him if he had prayed about the matter. “Yes, of course” he responded, “Whenever I can find time.” She gave him a long stare; he responded quickly, “The Lord can hear me just as well when I’m running.” Her reply, “Yes, but can you hear him?” We should pray for God’s wisdom on what we should do and wait for His response.
How Should We Pray?
(1) Through Jesus Christ (Romans 1:8; John 14:6; 15:16; 16:24; I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 10:19-22).
(2) Regularly (Romans 1:9; Danial 6:10).
(3) Persistently (Romans 1:9; Luke 18:1-7).
(4) Making mention of many petitions (Romans 1:9; Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 1:4; Colossians 1:9; I Thessalonians 1:2; II Timothy 1:3; Philemon 4).
(5) Submissive to God's will (Romans 1:10; II Corinthians 12:7-10).
What Should We Pray For?
(1) For civil government (I Timothy 2:2).
(2) For men to be saved (I Timothy 2:3-4).
(3) For Christians (Ephesians 6:18).
(4) For Christian workers (Ephesians 6:19).
(5) For daily needs (Matthew 6:11).
(6) For sicknesses and other problems (II Corinthians 12:7-8; James 5:14).
(7) For wisdom (James 1:5).
(8) For strength and mercy (Hebrews 4:16).
(9) For all things (Philippians 4:6-7).
1. Comfort: It’s comforting to know that we have others who are willing to intercede for us and with us when burdens arise in our lives. For me this is one of the greatest benefits of being part of the body of Christ. We have all faced situations when prayer was desperately needed. A young pastor recently graduated from seminary went to a small village to be their pastor. He arrived a week before he was to preach his first sermon and he was visibly nervous. One of the men from the church family visited him and said, “Pastor, you need to know that as the smoke rises from the chimney’s of the village each morning, so do the prayers of the people rise for their pastor!”
2. Cooperation (James 5:16): “...and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.”
God hears our prayers for others.
James confirms the need and benefit of intercessory prayer. We are instructed to pray for one another, taking the needs and requests of another before God with them and for them. Witness some of the great prayers in the Old Testament: Daniel 9:18-19; II Chronicles 20:12; I Samuel 1:10-11. In each case, there was a fervent, almost desperate tone. In each case, one praying poured out his or her heart to God begging Him to intercede. A little boy wanted a brother or sister to play with so, being in a Christian family, he decided to pray for it. He continued in his prayer for several weeks but seeing no sign that his request was being granted, he soon quit praying about it. Several months later his mother gave birth to twins. His comment was, “I’m glad I quit praying about it when I did.” If you are seeking to follow God with your whole heart, you can confidently claim His promise for answered prayer. Hudson Taylor said, “The prayer power has never been tried to its full capacity. If we want to see mighty wonders of divine power and grace wrought in the place of weakness, failure and disappointment, let us answer God’s standing challenge,
Thank you for reading PART 1 of Biblical Building Block #23 of this series. Please visit this website tomorrow for PART 2 of Biblical Building Block #23 of this series.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.