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Just For Fun: How old were you when first learned to pray?

Scipture: James 5:13-20

What do you do when you’re out of options? When you’ve played all your cards and you’ve got nothing left up your sleeve? Where do you turn when you’re desperate? Mark tells the story of a desperate woman in chapter 5 of his gospel - a woman with a bleeding disorder. She had suffered for 12 years. She had seen a lot of doctors. She had spent all her money. She had nothing left but her sickness and her faith that Jesus could and would help her. She thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”(Mark 5:28 ) And she was right.

You and I can’t physically touch Jesus’ robe today, but we can pray.

The gift of prayer amazes me. Because of what Jesus has done for us, you and I have the privilege to speak directly to God. We can share every little problem. We can ask for help with the smallest detail. We can even just talk to him about what we think and feel.  In fact, the writer of Hebrews tells us that we can, “come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Heb 4:16 )

I am amazed that I – with all my faults, and misunderstandings, and shortcomings – can speak personally to the all-powerful creator of the universe. And not just talk. I know that he listens, and I know that he cares. And I know that he is willing and able to help.

Our nation is going through a hard time right now. So are many of our neighbors. Maybe you are too. Bring those problems to God in prayer. There is great power in prayer, because there is great power in the one to whom we pray.

Questions:

  1. Why is prayer for each other and confession to each other such an important part of a Christian community?
  2. Pastor says that asking for prayer is an act of faith. How can we exercise our faith in the church body when it comes to the power of prayer?
  3. How can we help others who have strayed return to the fold?
  4. Even though we pray for healing, we may not always see it take place. How do we continue to pray when we don’t see the results we asked for?

Optional Questions:

  1. Can you think of a time in your life where the power of prayer was illustrated? 
  2. Pastor points out that James tells us to pray and sing praises when we are suffering. Do you struggle with being able to sing praises when times are tough?