Let Us Pray – The Fervent Prayer Life
This sermon focuses on our prayer life. Do you pray? What is your prayer life? This sermon focuses on what we must do to have to have a fervent prayer life.
My key verse:
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. – v.16
What is prayer? Have you ever wondered what prayer is and about it’s purpose? Prayer is our, the believer in Christ, line of communication with the Lord; it is our means of being able to personally speak one on one with God. Through prayer we are able to give thanks to God. Through prayer we are able to ask of Him. Through prayer we are able to seek and gain forgiveness from Him. Ultimately the purpose of prayer is for the believer to come before God, the highest authority, and seek Him out as we show our faith in Him. We are showing our faith in trusting that He will hear our prayer and answer our prayer. We are showing our trust in Him.
Is prayer important? Should we pray? Prayer is absolutely important to the believer as we should all have an active prayer life. Who would you turn to in times of trouble without a prayer life? Who would you turn to give recognition to for blessings without a prayer life? Even ancients who had no knowledge of the one true God felt the need to seek help from a higher authority in their times of troubles. These ancients even felt the need to build something in recognition (thanks) for what they felt they had received from their higher authorities (gods). Though they did these things ignorantly, it shows that man has always felt the need to seek the highest of authority; they understood that prayer was important. Thankfully, today, we know who to seek and who to ask of.
We do not take prayer as seriously nowadays as they did; we feel that it is “I” who is in control and that there is no need to pray to anything. Let’s just take a look around at our world; our world and everybody in it needs prayer: leaders, presidents, politicians, CEOs, workers, teachers, students, preachers, deacons, etc. Prayer is an absolute must in our lives, and this is why the next thing to add to our new year’s resolution list is prayer.
A world that doesn’t pray
We live in a world that doesn’t pray enough – we collectively just don’t pray to God enough; this is one of the main reasons why I feel that the world is in the shape it is in today. Then when we feel the need to pray, we send up ineffectual prayers. How is that so? For a prayer to reach the ears of the Lord there must be faith in said prayer. When there is no faith in the prayer you are already holding that prayer back from reaching the ears of the Lord. Why? Because you have already doubted Him. We are a world that doesn’t pray enough; we send up ineffectual prayers; or we simply don’t pray at all and that in itself is a tremendous problem.
Without prayer there is no guidance coming from God. There are many people living their lives thinking that they have it made, and they have never prayed a day in their life; little do they realize the hole they are digging. Everybody goes through low points and struggles at some point, right? There is a time when the soul gives us that feeling that we need to turn to somebody for help and guidance. Who do you turn to? Do you turn to Ms. Cleo the fortune teller? Do you turn to that friend that don’t really know what they’re talking about? The Lord knows the needs of everybody but He is only going to supply to the needs of those that have faith in Him.
Without prayer these folks are moving in the world, and moving spiritually, without the Helper and His guidance. I couldn’t imagine living life without seeking help from the One who knows this world better than anybody else. I couldn’t imagine going everyday without seeking His face and His blessings. Without prayer there would be a complete struggle with trying to satisfy my soul, and this is the battle that a lot of folks face daily without realizing it. We live in a physical world where we have to deal with other people daily, yet we fail to understand that we must deal with things of the spiritual as well. We live in a physical world but it is a physical world that is highly influenced by the spiritual realm. Remember that God, who is spirit, created all of what we know and do not know. When we lay ourselves down to go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning, we are waking up into a physical, mental, and spiritual battle.
Without a prayer life people are fighting a really difficult battle that they just can’t win alone. Without a prayer life we find that there are many people living with broken spirits (souls). Why? Because they do not turn to the one who can mend and heal the brokenhearted and broken in spirit. There are so many battered and oppressed people, in their souls, because they turn the wrong way and to the wrong people or things. I believe this is why we see so many people who are sick in their souls, and why we have so many people stuck dealing with very bad addictions and afflictions.
The next thing you know is that this world (sin) ends up crushing and defeating the souls of many. The battle of this world physically, mentally, and spiritually is simply too much for people, especially when they try to do it without God. They try to take on and bear their stresses, afflictions, worries, and guilt all by themselves but this is an impossible task for us – we’re nothing but human after all. There are many people who will send up a prayer to God, but have absolutely no faith that He will answer them. If this is you I would tell you that you were better off not even saying the prayer in the first place. Allow the One who wants to bear all things for you to actually bear your burdens; He doesn’t want this world to crush you!
Turn to prayer
We have to become a praying people again. We need to learn to turn to prayer in our community, in this society, and in the world. We have to learn how to pray again and make sure that our prayers are actually effectual prayers instead of ineffectual prayers. Jesus said in Matthew 6:9-14 that when we pray we should pray to the Father in Heaven and ask in His (Jesus) name. When we pray our prayer must be prayed to the Father, not to somebody else or to something else. When we pray our prayer we must ask in Christ name – not in another person’s name. We must also believe in that prayer without hesitating or doubting that prayer or God. Your prayer becomes an effectual prayer when you pray to the Father, in Christ’s name, and believe in Him.
Jesus taught us that we should also consider others in our prayer. We should pray not only for our forgiveness but we should pray for others forgiveness as well. Jesus taught us that we should also pray for those that hate us (Matthew 5:44). The Holy Spirit expounded more on prayers as we are taught about the different types of prayer. We learn that there is a prayer of thanksgiving in which we should give thanks to God in both the good and bad times. We learn that we should also pray for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2). We should also pray for those that are suffering and are sick, as James tells us in our text. We often take this to mean to pray for those who are physically suffering and sick, but this also goes for those who are suffering and are sick spiritually.
Do we pray in such manner? Do we pray to the Father in Heaven in Christ’s name? Do we pray in thanksgiving in both the good and bad times? Do we pray for each other? Do we pray for those in authority? Do we pray for those we hate? Do we pray for those that are suffering and sick both physically and spiritually? Sometimes, maybe. We get into a habit of praying only for ourselves, family, and friends – you know, the people that we like. We then will get into a habit of wishing bad and evil on the people we do not like – watch how you start grumbling against others. For example, I’ve watched many believers over the past decade wish the worst on a President who has professed his faith in Christ and that’s just not right. How have you prayed about that person that don’t like you or that you might hate?
For those of us that do pray, let’s let our prayers become fervent prayers – let’s grow even more in our prayer life. Does this mean you should pray more or pray longer prayers? No, not at all. The word fervent means to show great warmth or intensity – burning hot with great enthusiasm. If you have a lukewarm (tepid) prayer life, let’s see your prayer life grow into being a fervent prayer life. If you have no prayer life at all, let’s see your prayer life grow into being a fervent prayer life.
The fervent prayer life
All of our prayer lives should be fervent. James tells us, in verse 16, that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Notice James says effective – this man prays to the Father and asks in Christ’s name. This man, woman, boy, or girl’s prayer is of a great benefit – it avails much, it does much! My goodness, just imagine a world where our prayer lives were all on fire, can you do even do that? I will do it for you.
The Lord would grant all of us the desires of our heart and we would bear much fruit to His glory (John 15:7). We all have many desires in our heart and the Lord will grant those desires and supply our every need. With all of us having fervent prayer lives there would be lesser suffering in this world; there would be more cheerfulness, happiness, and joy. This type of prayer life, a fervent one, would mean lesser sick people, physically and spiritually, I truly believe this. Notice in verse 15 of our text that it says the prayer of faith will save the sick and that the Lord will raise the sick up! The Lord will raise those who are both sick physically and spiritually up, and He will raise them up high – I truly believe this! James says that the Lord will also forgive those that have committed sin, which is absolutely everybody, and all it requires is to have a prayer life.
With a fervent prayer life we can truly do all things; there would be nothing that is impossible to you because there is nothing that is impossible for God. If we change our habits and our ways, and move closer to God in prayer, just watch what He will do for us! If we move away from that ice cold prayer life to a fervent prayer life just watch as those troubles will go away! If we move away from that lukewarm prayer life to a fervent prayer life just watch as those afflictions go away! There’s no special ritual involved or special words to say, other than praying to the Father and asking in Christ name. Your prayer is literally your prayer and it is between both you and God – nobody else! Watch what your prayer to the Father, in Jesus name, can do for you.