Greetings Beloved in the name of Christ.
Today is our final study in the book of James. This is study number twenty-two. We will look at James 5:13-20. If you remember from our last study, I said that this final section of James contains two main subjects. In James 5:7-12 God tells Believers to be patient in our pilgrimage here below. And how we need God-gifted Christ-grounded hopeful patience in this troublesome world of our pilgrimage.
The subject of prayer.
Now in today’s Scripture God tells us to be prayerful on our way to our celestial home. So, prayer is our subject today.
Please take out your Bible and open up to James chapter five. I will begin to read from verse thirteen, hear the perfect word of our perfect God – read.
James 5:13. Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17 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 earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. 19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Let’s ask the Lord’s blessing on our study today – pray.
The practice of prayer.
A few things here as regards to prayer. All people pray. Well, perhaps I should refine that, almost all people pray. Perhaps the staunch avowed atheist, he or she does not pray. They do not pray at least until they are confronted with their own mortality perhaps in a traumatic way; there are no atheists in foxholes, as the saying goes.
Well, the near universality of prayer proves that human beings are religious creatures. (Gen.1:26-28, Gen.9:6) Humans were created to love and to serve the Lord God, and even in their fallen estate their conscience still informs them that there is a God, and He must be worshiped. But fallen man exchanges the truth of God for a lie and therefore they worship and pray to false gods. (Rom.1:18-32)
But their prayers to their false gods are an offense to the true God.
All other prayers offered to all other gods and thus without the mediation of Jesus as one’s High Priest are not acceptable prayers; they are an offense to the true Triune God of the Bible. (I Tim.2:5)
The definition of prayer.
Now let me give us a definition of (acceptable) prayer. I will use the Westminster Larger Catechism. Remember we believe that this is an accurate summary of what our primary standard the Bible teaches.
WLC 178 What is prayer? A. Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God,(1) in the name of Christ,(2) by the help of his Spirit;(3) with confession of our sins,(4) and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies.(5) (1) Ps. 62:8 (2) John 16:23 (3) Rom. 8:26 (4) Ps. 32:5,6; Dan. 9:4 (5) Phil. 4:6
Prayer, to be pleasing and acceptable, must only be made to the God of the Bible, Who alone is the true and the living God. And for this to be possible, we must come to God the Father though faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. (Jn.1:10-13, Jn.3:36, Rom.5:1-10, Rom.10:1-17, WCF 21.2)
Prayer is one part of our worship of God. So, as we are studying the subject of praying to God today let’s remember this is one way that we worship and adore the true and living God who has created and saved us. We have been created to worship God. We have been recreated or born again in Christ to worship God. We will be worshiping God throughout all eternity. Prayer is vital to this. What a privilege. (WCF 21.3-4)
The call to prayer.
Next God inspires James to give his Christian readership a call to prayer.
James 5:13. Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;
The occasions for prayer.
What we have here are two general instances or occasions for prayer. The first one is suffering. The second one is happiness.
The idea is that on both ends of the spectrum of human existence Believers ought to be a praying people. To be alive in Christ is to be united to the Godhead and thus to commune with Him in and by prayer. Believers are called to pray to God constantly, in all situations and for all things. (I Thess.5:16-28, Rom.12:12, Phil.4:6, Mt.6:6, Eph.6:18, Col.4:2, Mt.7:7)
With suffering we are told to pray to God, meaning to petition God for relief. In the instance of happiness, we are told to praise God, which is also a form of prayer. Saying praises and or singing praises to God for who and what He is, is speaking with God.
Let’s say a few words about suffering being an occasion of prayer. James uses two Greek words in V.13 and V.14 for distress. V.13 is literally to suffer evil or something bad. (kakapathei). In V.14 the word for sick (astheneo) literally means “weak”; is any among you “weak”?
Generally, we can say that there are two kinds of weakness or suffering that human beings experience. We can have physical weakness and we can have mental, emotional, and spiritual weakness. I realize that we can say that mental suffering or weakness is also a species of physical bodily distress. My point is that we can have material distress and immaterial distress.
All suffering of all kinds came into the world because of Adam’s fall, because of his initial sin against God. God cursed all things with misery and death. Even the redeemed in Christ still live in a sin cursed world with all kinds of miseries for which we need God’s help for which we ask.
God is telling us that the first thing we ought to do when we are weak or suffering in any way is to come to His throne of grace for His help in our time of trouble. Anytime we are anxious about anything God wants us to cast our cares upon Him because He does care for us. (I Pt.5:7)
Perhaps one of the reasons that we find no relief in our troubles is that we have not taken them to the Lord in prayer. James has told us earlier that sometimes we do not have from God because we have not asked of God.
And perhaps we ask for a healing or some other relief, but our motives are either selfish or sinful and thus God refrains from granting our request. Do we pray to God when we are in distress? Do we pray so that we may glorify and serve Him? What are our motives? (James 4:1-10)
Now God tells us to pray-praise Him in times of cheerfulness. (Phil4:4, I Thess.5:16)
Now you might not think that God would have to tell us to pray-praise Him when we are happy, you might think that this would come most naturally and freely. But apparently God deems it necessary, which means that we are apt to be negligent in this duty.
I believe, we need to be exhorted to praise God especially when we are in periods of ease, prosperity, health, and happiness. It is precisely in these times that we are prone to forget God and to grow fleshly, worldly, and spiritually lazy. Think of the materially wealthy Christians in the church at Laodicea, they were spiritually lukewarm and in danger of Christ spitting them out of His mouth. (Rev.3:14-22)
Think of Israel. God told them to not forget Him when He brought them into the Promised Land, and they enjoyed a land flowing with milk and honey. And they did indeed become “Jeshurun” fat and spiritually lazy as the word of God says. (Dt.32:9-23, Dt.6:10-13, Dt.8:1-19)
Ask yourself this question, when do you pray to God most honestly and earnestly? In times of sorrow? Or in times of happiness? The answer is self-evident, when we are in the crucible.
While it is true in this life, we have suffering for Christ’s sake and all that desire to live godly for Christ will suffer, it is also true that God sends many occasions of peace, plenty, and happiness. It is a sin to not recognize these pleasant things and times from the Lord and to thank Him.
God desires that we acknowledge His goodness, might, majesty, mercy, love, goodness, and power in praise to Him. Oh Beloved, what would we be like if we improved in our praise of the Lord? Expressing our gratefulness to God pleases Him, blesses us, and edifies others.
The psalms are full of admonitions to praise the Lord.
Psalm 33:1. Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright. 2 Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings. 3 Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy. 4 For the word of the LORD is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness. (Psalms 81:1-2, 92:1-3, 98:4-6, 144:9, 149:1-5, Eph.5:19, Col.3:16)
A practical side note.
Praying when we are sad keeps us from being overly sad as regards to earthly temporal things. Praying when we are sad draws us into closer friendship with our eternal and unchangeable God. Praying when we are suffering allows us to draw nearer to Christ and to live above the suffering. (2 Cor.12:7-10)
Praying when we are happy allows us to not become overly or sinfully happy with earthly temporal things. Praying when we are happy focuses our mind and heart on the true source of all of our happiness. Praying when we are happy makes us value the eternal more than the temporal and the spiritual more than the material. Praying when we are happy fixes our minds on things above and not on things below, it keeps us looking to God. (Col.3:1-3)
We know that all good comes from God in Christ. (I Chron.16:11-12, James 1:17, Ps.16:2, Rom.8:11-39, Mt.7:11, Ps.84:11, Ps.85:12, Jn.3:16)
The call for elders.
Now let’s look a little bit at this exhortation to call the elders to pray for the sick.
First, we cannot help but notice that the sick Christian in view here is obviously a member of some local church; he or she knows the elders and the elders know them.
Beloved, this modern idea in our country of church-less Christians is not Biblical. The Bible teaches that true disciples of Christ will join themselves to a local body of Believers and gather weekly for worship and fellowship. (Heb.10:25-27, Heb.13:17, Eph.4:11)
Habitual Sabbath breaking reveals an unrenewed spirit, a person with no interest in the eternal Sabbath. (Exod.20:8-11, 31:13-15, Ezek.20:11-16, Isa.58:13-24, Mt.5:19, I Jn.2:6, Heb.3:3-12)
Sadly, there are many people that call themselves Christians, but they are bible-less, prayer-less, church-less and worship-less “Christians”. Beloved, God will not be mocked. You will know true Christians by the holy fruit of their life. (Mt.7:15-20, Jn.15:1-8) No affiliation with Christ’s church upon the earth, none with His church in Glory (ordinarily). (WCF 25.2)
Regarding the elders, I have been preaching through the book of First Timothy in our morning worship. In I Timothy chapter three Paul speaks about the church having two types of office bearers: the office of elder-overseer-bishop and then the office of deacon. In general, the elder looks out for the spiritual welfare of the membership of the particular church he serves, and the deacons help to relieve physical and financial distresses.
So, in this instance, someone at the church has become “weak”, and it looks as if in this context the person is physically sick. Either the sick person or their loved ones have notified the elders of the church to come and pray for the suffering one.
As an aside this passage teaches us the real Christians still suffer, and we suffer in multitudes of ways. Our being the recipients of the grace of God and the salvation of Christ does not prevent us hardship and sorrow in our estate of humiliation in our pilgrimage. But as Believers in Christ, we are called to suffer well for the glory of Christ. (Phil.1:29 Acts 14:22, Jn.16:33, I Cor.4:9-13, 2 Cor.4:7-18, Rev.1:9) We have One to go to for our relief.
It is interesting that the elder responsible for spiritual care is called and not the deacon or servant for physical care is called.
Herein, we are taught that the sickness or the relief of the sickness has a spiritual component, and it cannot be remedied purely by physical or material aid.
Now with that said, sending for the elders to pray for the sick does not negate sending for the doctor for the sick. Spiritual remedies do not exclude the prudent and wise use of ordinary secondary means to get well with doctors and their skills. (WCF 5.1-3)
Though there are Christians that use this passage as their “proof text” to shun doctors and medicines. They are misguided, sadly. Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine because of his frequent stomach ailments. I have no doubt Paul prayed for Timothy as well. (I Tim.5:23)
I will tell you what you likely already know, this section has been the cause of many debates among various kinds of Christians as regards to exactly what is being taught and its precise application.
The prayer of the elders.
The elders to told to pray for and to anoint the sick. Let’s look at the anointing first.
James 5:14. Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;
The anointing oil.
Often one of the sticking points is the use of anointing oil.
Some think that the oil is used as a form of medicine. And in the example of the Good Samaritan, he does pour oil on the beaten man’s bruises and cuts. (Lk.10:34) So, I have no doubt that there are certain healing properties in (olive) oil for certain kinds of ailments, externally used and perhaps even internally consumed.
My sense is that the anointing oil has more of a spiritual significance to it. (Exod.28:41) In the Old Testament prophets, priests, and kings were anointed with oil as a visible ceremony confirming that God had called and equipped them for their particular office and service. (Exod.29:7, Lev.4:3, Judges 9:8, I Sam.9:16, 10:1, 2 Sam.19:10, I Sam.24:6, I Kg.19:16, Ps.105:15, Isa.61:1, Ps.2:2, Ps.45:7)
Christ, the Messiah, is the Anointed One. The Spirit of God consecrated Him. (Isa.61:1, Zech. 4:1-6) The application of the oil (the anointing) represented the transfer of the Spirit to the consecrated person. (I Sam.10:1-10, 16:13, Lk.1:35, Mt.3:16, Jn.1:32, 3:34)
The basic idea with the anointing oil is that it is God that will heal the sick person. God gives life. God takes it away. God gives health. God takes it away. (Job 1:20-22, Exod.23:25) Even if God uses secondary means such as medicines to heal a sick person it is still God that has caused them to be effectual and successful.
Excursus – the sacramental view.
As an aside the Roman Catholic church, and I believe the Eastern Orthodox church, use this verse and Mark 6:13 as a textual “proof” for their sacrament of “Extreme Unction”. Though, I believe that may be an older outdated term. I believe Rome refers to this as “the Anointing of the Sick”.
When I was a child growing up in the Roman Catholic church, we would call this (sacrament) “the Last Rites” it was administered to a person with a persistent sickness and was near death. I believe also that Rome treats this (so-called) sacrament in connection with another (so-called) sacrament of “Penance”. The idea is that the priestly anointing is conjoined with the priestly forgiveness of sins; somehow the sacrament expiates remaining sins. (Council of Trent, session 14, on Penance and Extreme Unction)
I do not find these things to be (correctly) Biblical and thus I do not believe them to be true, but I have included this so that we can be familiar with how other people approach this passage. (Acts 17:11, 2 Tim.3:14-17, 2 Pt.3:14-18, Mk.7:1-12, WCF 20.2, WCF 7.6, WCF 27.1-4)
The efficacy of prayer.
Now let’s look at the prayer for the healing.
James 5:15. and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
For me, this section is the most perplexing. Notice the use of “will” here. The (Lord) will restore, the Lord will raise up, and the Lord will forgive him. Will.
The obvious question is, why are some people not healed when prayed for? A common answer given by some Christians is that the prayer was not offered with sufficient faith. Perhaps the person praying harbored some doubt and so God did not answer their prayer. (Jas.1:5-8, Mk.11:24, Jn.15:17, Mk.9:24, Mk.5:36)
To me this does not seem to be the complete or only answer. My objection to this exclusive line of thought is that it makes the healing in some way wholly dependent upon man, man is (really) in the driver’s seat so to speak. How depressing, my lack of healing is my fault; I have weak faith. What about my strong Lord can’t He overcome my weak faith? Of course. (Mk.9:16-24)
Matthew Henry seems to teach that this verse of miraculous healing was confined to the times of the apostles that had miraculous powers given to them by the Lord and when the apostles died so did the miracle healers cease and so too this anointing situation. (Matthew Henry Commentaries, vol.6, pp. 804-805) I love Matthew Henry and greatly respect his work, but I am not quite sure with his view here. Although another Puritan commentator I value, Thomas Manton, seems to hold the same view. (Manton, On James, pp.446, 449)
Another potential answer to the dilemma that some are not healed when prayed for is that the suffering and the sickness in few is not physical but rather spiritual sickness or spiritual weakness. The Bible does use the words that James uses here for spiritual maladies. (Rom.6:19, 8:26, I Cor.2:3, 2 Cor.11:30, 12:5-9, Heb.4:15, 5:2, 7:28, 11:34) This view does not fully satisfy me either.
I believe that the best and the ultimate answer why some are healed, and some are not healed ultimately must be found in the sovereignty of God. (2 Cor.12:7-9)
God willed the healing of the one and did not will the healing of the other. We pray, Lord heal my sick loved one – Thy will be done. (Lk.22:42, Jn.21:18-22) All must rest with God’s sovereignty. (I Jn.5:14-16)
The association of sin.
Next there does seem to be a sin component associated with the sickness in view, not that all sicknesses are directly associated with a particular sin. (Job 6:28-30) But some are as indicated by this context. (Mark 2:5-11)
The examination of sin.
Therefore our times of weakness and sickness are good times for us to examine our lives to see if there is any sin we need to confess and repent of. (Ps.139:24, Dt.28:22-27, Isa.38:17, Jn.5:14, I Cor.11:30)
The confession of sin.
A very practical question here. When we sin against another person do we (ever) go to them and confess our sins to them and ask them to forgive us? My sense is that this is very rare. I do wonder, if this is why we are so spiritually and physically weak, because we have left off what God has commanded. (I Cor.11:27-32)
Just as a side note, James does make a connection between confession of sin and pardon of sin. (Prov.28:13, I Jn.1:9)
The prayers of the congregation.
Next, God tells all Believers that He wants us to pray for others.
V.16. Pray for one another. (so that) (Col.2:1-2, Rom.9:3)
The Lord Jesus teaches us in His model prayer to us to pray for ourselves and others. (Mt.6:9-14)
The example of prayer.
In our previous section on patience, God told us to look to the patience of Job as our example. (James 5:7-11, Job 7:11-19)
And now here He says looks to the prayer of Elijah as an example of the effectual prayers of a righteous man. Only those with faith in Christ have the righteousness of God in Christ gifted to them. Elijah then is an example of a Believer’s prayers. (Heb.11:6)
James 5:17. 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 earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.
The context for this Elijah reference comes from I Kings 17 and 18. In I Kings 18:42 we are told that Elijah prayed and then God answered by sending rain.
But Elijah also called fire down from heaven on the enemies of God. (I Kg.18:38, 2 Kg.1:10) He also raised a boy from the dead. (I Kg.17:22) He also fasted forty days and night under the power of one meal. (I Kg.19:8)
Where did all this power and goodness come from? From God. From praying to God.
You see God encourages all of us to pray and to labor to pray in faith. God takes this mighty man of faith and tells us that he has the same nature as we have.
The key is that he has the same God as we have. God and our union and communion with God are the key to our prayers and their success.
Pray. Pray earnestly. And pray again. And keep praying. And wait for your Lord to respond. (Lk.18:1-8, Mt.7:7-12, Ps.40:1, Ps.88:1, I Chron.16:11, Lk.11:5-10, Acts 1:14, Acts 2:42, Eph.6:18, Rom.12:12, I Thess.5:17, Gen.32:24-32, Exod.32:31-32, I Sam.1:10-11, Micah 7:7)
The outcome of prayer – Service to Christ.
James then ends his letter moving from praying to God to admonishing men. You see the idea is the more we give ourselves to communing with God in prayer the more like God we will grow. I do not mean that we partake of His divinity. No. That is blasphemy to think so.
I mean that we will be more conformed into His moral image, we will die more to sin, we will grow more in practical holiness. In brief we will grow more like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who came to seek and to save lost sinners. (Rom.8:29) The more we pray to our Lord and Savior the more closely we will walk in the truth of God’s Law and God’s Gospel.
Earlier, I believe, we were called to pray for relief for physical or spiritual sickness. Now here we are like Elijah speaking to spiritually dead men, men dead in their sins and then praying that God would raise them to life. See the kinds of things that we will be prone to speak to our fellow man about.
James 5:19. My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (Prov.10:12, I Pt.4:8)
Converting a sinner or saving a sinner is fundamentally a work and a gift of God. But God uses His children as His servants and heralds of the truth of God’s word to sinners that stand in need of it. (Eph.2:1-10, Acts 16:18) One servant plants, another waters, but God causes the growth. (I Cor.3:5, 2 Cor.6:1, Gal.2:20)
What a fitting conclusion to such a practical book on practical godliness or holiness. One saved sinner in Christ, now living for the glory of Christ, telling other sinners about Christ, about the forgiveness of sins, and about eternal life out of death. Oh, what a ministry. Christ giving us the gospel talent and then blessing it with increase. What a life. What a Christ. To God be the glory.
- What does the near universality of prayer teach us about the nature of man? (Gen.1:26-28, Gen.9:6, Rom.1:18-32, Rom.2:14-15, WCF 21.1)
- What is prayer? Define acceptable prayer. How does Christ make our prayers acceptable? (Ps.62:8, Jn.16:23, Rom.8:26, Ps.32:5-6, Dan.9:4, Phil.4:6, I Tim.2:5, Rom.5:1-10, Jn.3:16)
- Prayer is a special part of our worship of God how ought this inform and affect our prayer life knowing that our prayer is worship? (Jn.1:10-13, Jn.3:36, Jn.4:23, Rev.5:6-14, Rom.5:1-10, Rom.10:1-17, WCF 21.2-4)
- Give some examples of suffering and sickness for which we ought to pray to God. In sickness and suffering what are we asking God to do? Anything beyond or in addition to healing? What does our praying to God in suffering teach us about man and about our God? (James 5:13-14, I Pt.5:7, Phil.1:29 Acts 14:22, Jn.16:33, I Cor.4:9-13, 2 Cor.4:7-18, Rev.1:9, I Thess.5:16-28, Rom.12:12, Phil.4:6, Mt.6:6, Eph.6:18, Col.4:2, Mt.7:7)
- Give some examples of cheerful or happy times and things for which we ought to pray-praise God. Why is it easier to pray when we are in distress rather than praise when we are happy? What are some dangers of physically peaceful and prosperous times for our souls? (Jn.3:16, Rom.5:1-10, Mt.5:45, Ps.33:1-4, Psalms 81:1-2, 92:1-3, 98:4-6, 144:9, 149:1-5, Eph.5:19, Col.3:16, Rev.3:14-22, Dt.32:9-23, Dt.6:10-13, Dt.8:1-19)
- Calling for the church elders in times of sickness presupposes church membership and Sabbath observance what do we learn by this? (Heb.10:25-27, Heb.13:17, Eph.4:11, Exod.20:8-11, 31:13-15, Ezek.20:11-16, Isa.58:13-24, Mt.5:19, I Jn.2:6, Heb.3:3-12, Mt.7:15-20, Jn.15:1-8, WCF 25.2)
- What is the spiritual significance of the anointing oil upon the sick, what does it denote? What is the person receiving the oil being taught? (James 5:14, Exod.28:41, Exod.29:7, Lev.4:3, Judges 9:8, I Sam.9:16, 10:1, 2 Sam.19:10, I Sam.24:6, I Kg.19:16, Ps.105:15, Isa.61:1, Ps.2:2, Ps.45:7, Isa.61:1, Zech. 4:1-6, I Sam.10:1-10, 16:13, Lk.1:35, Mt.3:16, Jn.1:32, 3:34, Job 1:20-22, Exod.23:25)
- What are various explanations given for why a man prayed to be healed and is not healed? When people are healed to what do we attribute their healing? (James 5:15-16, Jas.1:5-8, Mk.11:24, Jn.15:17, Mk.9:24, Mk.5:36, James 4:1-10, Mk.9:16-24, 2 Cor.12:7-9, Lk.22:42, Jn.21:18-22, I Jn.5:14-16)
- James does speak about a connection of sin to sickness or suffering. How might our sin be a cause of our sickness or suffering? What ought we to do about this? Do we confess our sins against other people to them seeking their forgiveness? If not, why not? If not, might this be a cause of our weakness? (James 5:13-16, Job 6:28-30, Mark 2:5-11, Ps.139:24, Dt.28:22-27, Isa.38:17, Jn.5:14, I Cor.11:30, I Cor.11:27-32, Prov.28:13, I Jn.1:9)
- We are to pray for others? What ought we to pray for them? Why ought we to pray for them? For whom do we personally or really pray? Why do we not pray for others the way we ought? What does our praying for others teaches us about the necessity and efficacy of prayer and of the nature of the Body of Christ? (James 5:16, Col.2:1-2, Rom.9:3, Mt.6:1-15)
- What does the example of Elijah and his prayers teach us regarding our own prayers? Where did Elijah’s efficacy of prayer come from? (James 5:17-18, Heb.11:6, I Kings 18:42, I Kg.18:38, 2 Kg.1:10, I Kg.17:22, I Kg.19:8, Lk.18:1-8, Mt.7:7-12, Ps.40:1, Ps.88:1, I Chron.16:11, Lk.11:5-10, Acts 1:14, Acts 2:42, Eph.6:18, Rom.12:12, I Thess.5:17, Gen.32:24-32, Exod.32:31-32, I Sam.1:10-11, Micah 7:7)
- How and why would an improved prayer life promote an increased desire and activity to point lost sinners and sinful and or needy saints to Christ? Do we speak to other people of Christ and of His gospel of salvation? How will this redound to Christ’s glory and our everlasting happiness? (James 5:19-20, (Rom.8:29, Prov.10:12, I Pt.4:8, I Cor.3:5, 2 Cor.6:1, Gal.2:20, Mt.25:14-46)