4th October 2017

James: Week 15 (Wednesday, October 4 2017)

(from www.insightforliving.org.uk)

 

James 5: 13-18

 

LET’S BEGIN HERE

Sometimes we think of prayer as something we do as a last resort after we’ve exhausted our resources, called in our last favor, and run out of options. “Well, all I can do now is pray,” we say, resigned — as if prayer is impotent and inconsequential. Not true. Prayer to the God of the universe is never useless. Prayer is the honest admittance of our utter dependence on the Lord, no matter how few or how many resources He’s given us. God is

always able and He is always willing to listen to us. Let’s remember that we have the ear of the God of the universe and can call on Him at all times.

 

Getting Started: Prayer Changes Everything

Paying particular attention to James 5:13–18, make some initial observations about what you see — for instance, are there any repeated words? Did James use any connecting words that offer clues into what he was emphasizing? Write down your observations and discoveries.

 

Your Turn in the Scriptures

Using James 5:13–18, apply the four primary techniques — observation, interpretation, correlation

, and application — in the searching the Scriptures process. Take some time first, however, to read any material you find in your commentaries, Bible dictionaries, and online tools that covers this section of James 5. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Jot notes in the margins of your Bible as you go or on a separate sheet of paper. Pause . . . take a few minutes to do two things prior to beginning your study. First, reflect on what you already know and even feel about the passage you are about to study. Recall some past lessons or sermons on this passage and how those impacted you. Second, bow in prayer and ask the Lord to guide you in your study. Ask specifically that He reveal insights that you have not discovered previously and how they may apply to your or someone else’s experience.

Observation: What do you see?

Use the space below to record your findings as you look closely at the text. Remember: Look for repeated words, commands, questions, emphatic statements, and images or figures of speech. Your notes can be specific and detailed as you examine the passage.

James 5:13–15

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James 5:16–18

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Interpretation: What does it mean?

James 5:13–18

According to James, what are some specific circumstances that call for prayer? List them.

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Praise is another form of prayer ( James 5:13). How is praise distinct as a form of prayer?

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Is prayer strictly an individual activity? When should prayer involve other people, according to James 5:13–18?

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How did James associate confession and forgiveness with healing? Is this healing just physical? Just spiritual? Both?

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Correlation: How does it compare?

Read the following passages, and write a note or two as to how they help confirm the meaning of James 5:13–18.

1 Kings 8:27–53

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Psalm 54

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Proverbs 15:8

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Matthew 21:21–22

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Mark 11:25

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Acts 2:42

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Ephesians 6:18

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Philippians 4:6

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1 Timothy 2:1–8

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Application: What difference does it make?

Here are four simple, practical, relevant lessons to invigorate and encourage your prayer life:

• Prayer is to be continuous.

• Prayer is designed for every part of life.

• Prayer is not a substitute for responsibility and intelligent thinking.

• Prayer is not for the perfect; it’s for the imperfect.

In the space below, write out a few specific personalized applications (responses) to what you have studied in James 5:13–18.

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A FINAL PRAYER

Lord, thank You for hearing my prayer. By Your Spirit, help me to patiently wait for Your timing in all things. Remind me that prayer is not a last resort but a continuing act of dependence and submission. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.


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