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Waiting and Praying (James 5:7-18)

Sermon on 18 June 2023 by Ps Gaius

Introduction

James chapter 5 talks about waiting and praying. We are able towait and pray because of the living faith in us. This chapter is about problems that we will face. In James 5:1, it deals with the rich exploiting the poor. Then in James 5:7, it shifts the focus to those who suffer.

Message

In waiting, we trust in God’s providence and timing. Our trust has to be a patient trust.

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. – James 5:7

Early rain helps to soften the soil, so that farmers can grow crops. Late rain nourishes the crops so that they can grow well and be harvested. When the farmer is waiting for the crops to grow, he has to be patient.

We hope toward the coming of the Lord. For those who do not know Jesus, they will grumble while waiting. But as Christians, we have hope. We can face difficulties with joy.

You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. – James 5:8

We prepare for the coming of the Lord. We do not wait and do nothing. We prepare our hearts. When we are suffering, remember that others are suffering too. So let us not grumble. James 5:11 mentioned Job, who was an upright man, but faced setbacks. The people around Job cursed him, but he remained steadfast. He learnt that God is compassionate and merciful. If you are going through a difficult time now, when He brings you through, you will realise how compassionate God is. When God allows us to go through problems, He wants to build us up. He gives us what we need. Whatever He does not give, we do not need.

Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. – James 5:9-12

While waiting, let us draw closer to God. Individually we pray in all circumstances. This is your secret prayer which you do under all circumstances, that no one knows about.

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. – James 5:13

In a group, we draw faith from others. Apart from individual prayer, God also allows you to get help from others to pray for you. When you pray in a group, it is not because there are people in that group with special powers. Rather, it is a prayer of faith, and we draw faith from one another.

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. – James 5:14-15

Corporately, we love one another. Not all sickness is because we have sinned, but God allows some sickness to happen because of His grace, because He wants us to repent. When a brother or sister is down, let us be quick to pray for one another.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. – James 5:16

We pray in alignment with God’s will. Elijah was a prophet in the Old Testament. He prayed according to the will of God.Therefore, pray in the line with the bible. Praying is talking to God, and prayer is important to God. The words “pray” and “prayer” appears many times, in each of verses 13-18.

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. – James 5:17-18

Closing

God is next to you when you are going through problems. Let us continue to wait upon Him and pray.

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