Prayer Changes Everything

James 5:13-15

1. Personal Prayer – You pray (v. 13)

  • Sit with God each morning
  • Pray throughout the day (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • Make time for extended periods of prayer

2. Intercessory Prayer – You as others to pray (vs. 14-15)

  • Commit to prayer as your first recourse
  • Find 2 or 3 godly prayer warriors
  • Suffering in silence is not the christian way

3. Corporate Prayer – You pray with others (v. 16)

  • Pray with your community group
  • Come to Thursday prayer @ 6 a.m. or 8:30 a.m.
  • Come to our week of prayer March 25th – 29th

Good morning, Saylorville. My name is Andrew Bush. I’m the high school director here. It’s a privilege to be bringing the word of God to you this morning. We’ve just been in this incredibly practical book of James, and it’s great to be able to deliver the next installment for you this morning. If we’ve never met, I’d love to meet you! I’m really glad that you’re here, and hope that that this place begins to feel like home for you quickly.

I wanna begin with prayer, and would just ask that as I pray that you would begin to prepare your own heart. Ask God to teach you something this morning. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you this morning, and pray for me as well if you would. Pray with me.

Father, we come before You this morning full of expectancy. God, I’m reminded that whenever Your word is opened and it’s combined with the power of your spirit, that’s a very potent force that has the power to transform me and all of the people in this room this morning, so we’re here expecting You to work, asking You to do great things this morning, and we’ll give You all the honor and glory for it. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Well, it’s been great to have some warmer weather recently, right? It doesn’t even feel like February. Spring is like already here. It’s going to be like 70 on Monday. It’s amazing! I love the changing of the seasons. It’s great to get into some warmer weather especially. Anyone who says that they love wintertime freaks me out at least a little bit, okay? — And I know there’s some of you out there, and I met somebody after the first service, and they’re like, “Yeah, January and February…!”  I’m like… away from me, okay?! I’m really, really excited for the weather to be warming up even more and for us to get into the spring time. I will say it’s not all positive, though, because with the Spring comes pollen, okay? — and pollen is the bane of my existence! I have terrible allergies, and it’s affected me for as long as I can remember, the itchiness, the runny nose, all of these things, it’s just… I’m buckling up right now as we get into March, okay? — But, I went to my doctor a while back and I said, “You’ve got to help me out. My allergies are absolutely brutal! Is there something I can do?” — and he said, “Well, here’s this medication you should try. It might help you with your allergies,” — and I thought, “I’ve tried this before. It doesn’t work.” And he said, “Well, are you using the medicine correctly?” I said, “Well, I think so.” I mean, that sounds like it’d be an important thing to do, but he said, “Well, how do you normally take it?” “Well, I just sort of take the medicine whenever I feel like my allergies are getting bad.” He goes, ‘No…No… No! What are you doing, you nincompoop?!’ “Read the instructions on the label!” Right? — And apparently, with this medication at least, you’re supposed to be taking it regularly over a span of time, and it takes about two weeks for it to really reach its maximum potential, and it sort of creates this barrier that isn’t really present until you’ve been using it consistently and regularly as directed… and I wasn’t doing that! — And so when I actually started to use the medication in the right way, it was a game changer for me! I wasn’t just using it when I needed it, I was using it all the time, and it really helped my allergies a lot.

There’s a lot of things in our world that we wish we had the power to change. Things like allergies for one, but bigger things too, things like wars and natural disasters and poverty, and sickness. There’s a lot that we wish we had the power to change, — But even beyond the things outside of ourselves, there’s things inside ourselves that we don’t like very much either, right? There’s jealousy, and there’s selfishness, and there’s lust that’s bound up in my own heart that I want God’s help to transform and to change.

James, we’ve been seeing in this book as an incredibly practical teacher. We’ve been saying that the book of James is sort of like New Testament wisdom literature. It’s just super clear and practical and helpful, and he’s talking, the author, to a group of Christians that are really going through some serious challenges, and we’ve talked about some of those over the weeks, right? We talked about how James, when he opens up this letter, he’s greeting the church in the Dispersion, he says, and so he’s talking to a group of people that have been driven out of their homes, driven away from their land, their families even, and they’re sort of social outcasts, and from the beginning in chapter one, he says,

James 1:2, ”Count it all, joy my brothers, when you encounter trials of various kinds…”

and even more recently in chapter five, we heard from Colton a couple weeks ago where James says,

James 5:7, ‘Be patient as you wait for the Lord.’ ‘Be patient as you wait for his coming.’

And so there’s this urgency and this push from James to really endure well through all of the things outside you and inside you that you wish you could change, but now, as we round the corner into the last section of this very practical book, James is going to give his readers some ways that they can not just endure through the suffering, but really act as a change agent toward the suffering that they’re encountering. What do I do while I wait? Do I just sit with my hands in my pockets? — or is there a role that I have to play to make a difference on the sin that’s in me and outside of me?

— And so, we come into this last section where James gets into the topic of faith manifested through prayer, and I’m going to read the whole section to you. We’re not going to get into all of it today. We’ll be studying this out over the next couple of weeks. But I’ll read the whole thing so you can get his full line of thought. Look at James chapter 5, and we’re going to read verses 13 through 18. James 5, 13 through 18. (It’ll be on the screen behind me as well) as we look at James and what he has to say about what they should do in the midst of their suffering. He says,

James 5:13-18, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 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. 15 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. 16 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. 17 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. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.”

Throughout these six verses you see James admonishing the church, the people that are reading this, to be prayerful people. And it’s clear throughout these verses whether he’s talking about Elijah, or talking about elders that are praying, or even people praying personally. The idea is that prayer changes everything. Prayer is powerful! It’s effective. It’s going to do a work. It accomplishes something. It changes everything, and so he encourages the Church to be praying, and it starts with personal prayer. Did you see that in verse 13?

Romans 5:13, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.”

He says prayer should be the natural recourse whether we’re suffering or whether we’re cheerful, whether you’re having the worst day ever or the best day ever. Prayer is where we go. It should be something sort of like my allergy medicine, not just that you take as needed, but that you use consistently over a period of time, and that’s how it’s going to reach its maximum effectiveness. In the hard times and in the good times, prayer is not just an option, but it’s a biblical mandate for every situation, good or bad. J. Alec Motyer has said it this way.

“Our whole life, we might say, should be so angled towards God that whatever strikes upon us, whether sorrow or joy should be deflected upwards at once into His presence.”

J. Alec Motyer

Is your life angled in that direction, sorrow or joy, prayer is the way that I’m going? — I’m praying and bringing my burdens to God, — I’m singing praise to God as an expression of thanksgiving towards Him?

Can I be honest about my response when I first read this? — and maybe you have a similar response. Having known everything that we know about this church, the real suffering they were enduring. They weren’t going through tiny issues. These people are really, really hurting! — and James has the audacity to say, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” — And when I first read that, I thought to myself, “Could you give me something a little more practical? Could you give me something a little more helpful? Just pray? That’s it? That’s all you’re gonna give me?” I mean, if you were really hurting and you said, “I gotta talk to somebody about this. I need some help,” and so you call up the church office and you say, “I wanna meet with Pastor Paul and sit down and do some counseling with him,” and you pour your heart out to Paul, and he’s there listening to you. And then, after you tell him all about the struggles you’re enduring, he leans in and he says, “You should pray.” How would you feel in that moment? Maybe, of course, we would all say, “Well, yeah, prayer is good. Prayer is, you know, I’m all for prayer. Prayer is important, but how important is it really?” — because if Paul were to say, “You should pray,” my guess is that, if you’re like me, your response might be, “Okay, I didn’t even pay for this, but I’m feeling a little ripped off right now! Okay, could you give me something a little more helpful or practical?” But if we were to read our Bibles And look at everything that it says about prayer, you would not see any sort of that type of disdain for prayer. I think of Jesus who rose early in the morning and prayed the Bible tells us. I think of His practice of praying for extended periods of time, especially before making big decisions like when He selected His disciples or before He went to the cross. There were these moments where He was spending intense, labored time in prayer, and that rubbed off on his disciples too, by the way. When you look at the early church, it’s characterized by prayer! — And the Apostle said, ‘There’s two things that we’re really gonna give ourselves to, the word, the Bible, and the preaching of the word, and prayer,’ like those are the top two concerns: God’s word and prayer. That’s crazy! Jesus, when He cleared out the temple, do you remember that scene? It’s right before He goes to the cross, that week before He cleanses the temple and removes the money changers, —and he says,

Mark 11:17, “Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?

— And that’s significant for you and I, because even though the temple isn’t around anymore, Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians chapter 3, (you can see it on the screen)

[1 Corinthians 3:16-17, “Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person, for God’s temple is sacred, and (look) you together are that temple.”

You and I, the church collectively, we make up the new temple of God, Paul says, —And if Jesus says that the temple in Jerusalem was to be a house of prayer, doesn’t it make sense that you and I should then be people of prayer?

So, what’s the deal with prayer? Why is it so important? Why does James seem to use it as an antidote for suffering within this text? I’ve been really helped over the years. I read a book a while back by Tim Keller on prayer. I’d recommend it to you if you’re looking to dive deeper into this idea of prayer, — But he gives a definition of prayer in there that goes like this. He says,

“Prayer is continuing a conversation that God has started through His word and His grace, which eventually becomes a full encounter with Him.” Tim Keller

Sometimes we say prayer is just talking to God, and that’s true, but I think it’s more than that. I like this definition because it speaks of prayer as a full encounter with God, and that brings it a little more to its level of importance, I think, because when you think about people that had an encounter with God in the Bible, did that change them? Yeah, you bet it did! It changed everything about them! It sometimes changes their situation. It definitely changes them as a person, and so when you and I are praying, what we’re doing is we’re taking our situation, whatever that may be, joy or suffering… the worst things, the best things… and we’re factoring God into it, we’re bringing God into our situation, and we’re saying ‘I’m recognizing not just that You’re here, but that You know and that You have a plan,’ and we’re bringing Him into our situation, — an encounter with Him. Prayer changes everything because God changes everything, right? If God changes everything, then prayer must, because it’s an encounter with God.

Notice how James doubles down on prayer’s ability to change our circumstances, even in the things that seem most outside our control like our physical health. You can see it in verses 14 and 15. He says,

James 5:14-15, ”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.”

There’s a lot going on in these verses. If you were to read 12 different commentaries, you’d see 12 different ideas of what’s happening here. I mean, there’s oil that’s referenced. There’s a prayer of faith that raises people up. There’s a lot to dig into, and I’m gonna try and dig in a little deeper in the podcast this week, so if you’re really interested in this and wanna hear more, tune into the podcast Tuesday afternoon. But for now, I wanna focus on what’s really obvious and what’s really plain within this, and you can see it right there in the verses. James is telling us that when you are unable to pray for yourself, you call for the elders of the church, spiritually mature people, right? — who will bring your burden to God, and their prayer changes everything. It raises the person up, but it changes the situation, — And so, it’s the same idea that we’ve been talking about this whole time, prayer changes everything, except this time, it’s the prayers of the elders instead of your personal prayer. It’s intercessory prayer instead of personal prayer. The word that’s used translated “sick” here is a word that means “to be weak.” It’s usually… when it’s used throughout the Bible, usually refers to somebody who’s physically ill or sick, but it can refer to somebody who is spiritually weak as well. In 1 Corinthians 9 it speaks of spiritual weakness. In Romans 14:1,

[Romans 14:1, “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.”]

It  speaks of someone who’s weak in faith.  1 Corinthians 8 speaks of someone with a weak conscience ,— So to make this really practical for you, whether you are feeling 100% healthy or you’re sick, where do you turn when you’re weak? Physically or spiritually, James is telling us that the recourse for us in our weakness is still prayer.

There was a time just a couple months ago right at the beginning of the Christmas season, I went through a time that was really, really challenging for me. There was a number of things going on. The details of it aren’t what’s important right now. Suffice it to say that there was trials and pain that I was experiencing that was outside of myself, sort of hard circumstances I was in, and there was also things in my own heart, where the devil used a hard situation to bring out of my own heart things that I didn’t like, and so there was sin, but there was also these external factors, and basically, I was just in a really tough season, and I could sense myself sort of beginning to spiral! There was a sense in which I could feel my faith starting to get weak, starting to crumble, and I felt myself sort of sinking, and so what I did was really tough. I had to take the advice that I’ve given many high school students over the years and actually apply it to myself. I texted a good friend of mine, one of our deacons, and I said, “Hey, I need to sit down and talk with you,” and we got together and I said, “The reason I wanted to get with you is because outside of my family,” this individual was the one person that I knew for sure prayed for me on a regular basis, and so I sat down with this godly guy and I poured my heart out to him. I confessed sin to him, and I told him about the circumstances I was in, the challenging situations that I was in. And this guy, he gave me advice, he loved me, he listened to me, but more than anything, he prayed for me, and his prayer was like a buoy for my soul. It was like I was sinking, and there was just this buoy floating up from the surface of the ocean that I could catch onto and bring me to the surface, and it really brought so much relief and so much help during that time! I said, “Man, I’ve got to do more of this!” — And so I looped Pastor Abe in, and I talked to Pastor Jason and some other friends, my good friend Caleb, and was telling them what was going on, and these people prayed for me, and as they prayed, it was like they were just lifting my soul up in the midst of a really challenging season. It was their prayer that raised me up and changed everything in my life.

Guys, suffering in silence is not the Christian way. You’re not tough if you’re going through a hard season and you think, ‘I’m just gonna muscle through it on my own. I don’t need to talk to anybody. I don’t need to share anything. I’m just gonna muscle through it on my own.’ That’s not the Christian way to live. At Saylorville, we like to say,

We are better together.

Together is better. We’re about community here. It’s one of our core values, because we believe that the Christian life is not one that should be lived in isolation, —and so if you’re hurting, and many of you are, I know you are, reach out to spiritually mature people. Reach out to the elders or somebody else in your life, maybe a community group leader or somebody who’s spiritually strong, a prayer warrior, and let their prayers lift your soul up in the midst of a time when you are feeling weak.

There’s oil that’s referenced within this verse. Again, I’ll talk about it a little more in detail on the podcast, but what I think is happening with the oil, (if you wanna bring that verse back up that we can look at it) it says that the elders are supposed to anoint the person with oil in the name of the Lord. Now, just to give a quick flyover of this, I think what’s happening here is that oil is something that’s used throughout the Bible as a way of sort of symbolically setting a person, or a place, or an item apart for God’s special use. There were priests that were anointed with oil. Kings were anointed with oil. The tabernacle in the Old Testament, that tent that God’s presence dwelled in, was anointed with oil, and it was a way of saying, ‘This person or this place is set apart for God’s special use,’ and I think what’s happening here is the elders are anointing a person as a way of saying that this individual is set apart for God’s special attention in prayer. But regardless of what the oil’s about, it’s not the oil, obviously, within this verse that heals the person. It’s the prayer of faith that saves the one who’s sick and the Lord that raises him up, so that the power is still with God and it’s still administered through prayer.

So we see personal prayer as being James’ instruction for Christians, whether they’re suffering or happy in sort of this intercessory prayer with spiritually mature elders being important for sick or weak believers, — And so James basically continues with this line of thinking by saying, ‘Man, you guys really ought to be doing this all the time. I mean, prayer changes everything,’

So why aren’t we just praying corporately as a church all of the time? — And that’s where he goes in verse 16. And we’re not gonna spend long here because this is actually the text Pastor’s speaking on next week, — And so I can just dip my toe into it a tiny bit and show you just ’cause it continues right along with James’s line of thought.

James 5:16, “Therefore, (in light of everything he’s said) 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.”

What’s he saying? — Same thing he’s been saying. Prayer changes everything! He started with praying for yourself, the personal prayer, then he went to this intercessory prayer, and now he’s saying, “Pray for one another,” you and I, corporately pray together, — And so what I want to highlight here, we’ll talk about the confession element and dig deeper into this verse next week, but I just wanna highlight “Therefore… pray for one another.” James is saying. This is what we’re doing corporately, as a church, we should be a people of prayer. So, you see, this outline that begins to form throughout this text, he says in verse 13,

[James 5:13, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.”]

you should pray. Whether you’re suffering or whether you’re cheerful, you pray, and then in verse 14 and 15, he says, and ask others to pray for you, especially if you are weak,

[James 5:14-15, “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.”]

… And then in verse 16, you pray with others.

James 5:16, “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.

There’s personal prayer, there’s intercessory prayer, and there’s corporate prayer all listed together, and they’re all important! We need times of personal intimate fellowship with God. We need those times of personal prayer where it’s just you and God in your praying, — And then we need times when we’re spiritually weak and we all get weak at times, right? — even pastors, even church people, even deacons, even you, there are times when you experience weakness, and when that happens, you ask others to pray, — and then you pray with others. We should be a body of believers, a temple collectively that is a house of prayer.

Remember those verses I referenced at the beginning where Jesus says that His house is to be a house of prayer for the nations? Can I just ask very practically, is Saylorville Church a praying church? I mean, if this is how we’re supposed to be defined, if the church is supposed to be a people of prayer, would Saylorville Church be considered a people of prayer? We’ve got programs for it. We’ve got prayer every Thursday morning at 6 a.m. and 8.30 in the morning. We’ve got ladies groups that meet for prayer. We’ve got men’s groups that meet once a month for prayer. Hopefully there’s prayer happening in your community groups on a weekly basis, so we’ve got some of the structure built in, — But, is Saylorville Church a praying church? I think if we’re going to be able to answer that question, it begins by asking a prerequisite question, because praying churches are made up of praying people, right? — So maybe the better question to ask in order for us to answer the question, “Is Saylorville Church a praying church?’ — we need to start by asking, ‘Am I a praying person?’ Praying churches are made up of praying people. Are you a praying person?

What I wanna do for just the last couple minutes is walk through the outline that James gave us; personal prayer, intercessory prayer, corporate prayer, — And just maybe give you some practical ideas. If you’re here and some of you want to be praying people… maybe you already are, maybe you’ve taken some steps that direction, maybe you feel like you’re just starting on square one… how do I become a praying person? There’s a million ways you could start. I just want to help be practical as we bring this to a close. And I’m just going to share some of the things that have helped me, and maybe you can gain some insights from that as well. Let’s start with personal prayer because that’s where James starts. If you’re suffering, if you’re cheerful, you should pray. And so I would say if you’re going to be a praying person, you need to be praying daily, right? Many of you have times where you sit with God and you open His Word and you read it, and you listen to God in that way. Is prayer a part of your morning every morning? Do you have a time throughout the day that you’re regularly sitting with God? I think I have, many times in my life, fallen into this pattern where I sort of major on the Word of God and I minor on prayer, and God has convicted me [that] anytime you take a good thing and you remove prayer from it, then that means you’re doing it in sort of a self-sufficient way, like I’m doing this on my own. You’re not factoring God into it, — and that’s a really selfish way to read your Bible, a really arrogant way to do good things at church, if you’re serving but not praying, if you’re reading your Bible but not praying, if you’re doing all the Christian things, but you’re not praying, then you’re doing that in your own strength, and that’s a recipe for disaster! — So make sure you’re not majoring on even good things and minoring on prayer. Make prayer something that’s important for your day each morning, and pray throughout the day. First, Thessalonians 5:17 tells us we should pray without ceasing.

[1 Thessalonians 5:16-17, 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”]

Now, I forget to do this all the time. I’m just going throughout my day. I’m doing my thing. I’ve got people… conversations… tons on my mind, and so I forget to pray a lot. One thing that’s helped me a lot is to set alarms on my phone. My phone will buzz and it’ll say, “Hey, don’t forget to pray for ‘so and so’ that you told them you were gonna pray for them, so maybe we should actually do that,” — And so I’ve got alarms that go off multiple times per day. “Hey, pray right now, whatever’s on your heart” or “Pray for the nations that don’t know Jesus” or just “Pray for this person that you said you’d pray for.”

And then lastly, make time for extended periods of prayer. Just if you’re looking for a way to get started, I would say at least once a week, find a time where you can take like an hour and just sit with God. One thing I love to do is go on prayer walks. I’ll just, you know… I listen to audio books and podcasts and stuff, but every… pretty often, I try to set the air pods aside and just go for a walk maybe even without my phone, and just walk and talk to God. And I’ll walk three miles and just talk to God the whole time, and guys, it is an amazing refreshing intimate time of talking to God! — And some of you might say, “I don’t have time. I can’t afford to spend an hour of time just talking to God, just praying,” and if that’s your response, I would just encourage you to go listen to this message again, because we’ve been talking about how prayer changes everything. You can’t afford NOT to pray! You can’t afford NOT to factor God into all the things that are going on! — And if you’re so busy that you can’t bring God in, then you’re trying to do it in your own strength, and you’re just destined for failure. — So, pray personally.

Intercessory prayer is the next thing that James talks about. I would just ask you to commit to having prayer be your first recourse in times of need, especially when you’re feeling weak. Guys, there’s a lot of really dumb places we go when we’re weak, a lot of stupid things that we do as sort of a recourse when we’re suffering. Some of it’s sinful. We go to gambling, or alcohol, or pornography or something like that. Some of them are good things, even great and important things like going to talk to a godly friend and getting some biblical counsel. That’s a great thing, right? I agree, but don’t go there before you go to God. Make God the first place you go, the first Person you talk to. Commit to prayer as your first recourse when you’re suffering, and when you can’t pray for yourself, or when you’re feeling like your prayers are just… it’s hitting the ceiling, ask other people to pray for you, and to that end, I’d say, find two or three godly prayer warriors that can be regularly lifting you up in prayer, the people that you text or call whenever anything happens… you say, “I need your help.” Suffering and silence is not the Christian way. You’re not tough if you muscle through it on your own. You need others, so pray and ask others to pray for you.

With corporate prayer, we want to be a praying church. It starts with you being a praying person, and a way that you can interact with that corporately here at Saylorville is praying within your community group. Don’t spend 30 minutes sharing requests and then five minutes praying. I’m guilty of that… a lot! — But pray with your groups. Spend a real time of prayer with your community groups. If you’re not in a community group, get in a community group. Come to Thursday, prayer, 6 a.m. or 8.30 a.m., and then when… Easter’s coming up, we always spend the week leading up to our Good Friday and Easter services praying, especially for lost souls, and we meet right here in this room, and we pray every morning. Maybe commit at least once that week to being here for that.

So we’ve been saying throughout the morning that prayer changes everything. That’s another way of saying that prayer allows us to get more from God, and that’s true. Prayer is the vehicle through which God dispenses His power to us, — But God doesn’t just dispense His power through prayer. He gives us more of Himself through prayer, as well. We pray to get more from God, but we also pray to get more of God, and friends, that’s what you and I were made for. You were made for intimacy with God! You were made to know and be known by your Creator, — And when you pray, you get more of God. Prayer is the primary pathway to intimacy with God. And no matter who you are, I want you to know that there is an invitation on the table for you this morning to have intimacy with God.

Some of you don’t have a relationship with God, and it begins with that. You are an enemy of God’s, — But because Jesus lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death on the cross and rose again, He made a way so that enemies might become friends, to draw people in from being distanced from Him… to bring them close! Tell God that you wanna know Him. Ask Him to forgive your sins. God can, because of what Jesus did. Intimacy with God is possible for you today.

If you have questions about what that means, we would love to talk to you! We want you to know Jesus and to have intimacy with Him, — And if you’re a Christian and you’re feeling distant from God this morning, I would just ask you, are you a praying person? — Because prayer is the primary path to intimacy with God. It’s how you get more of God. — And so, maybe the best way for you to respond would just be to think through some of the things we talked about today; personal prayer, intercessory prayer and corporate prayer, and just say, ‘Man, is there one or two things I could do, something I could commit to do right here before I leave, or something I could start that would just be a step in the right direction to becoming a praying person?’ Start to factor God into your life in that way and watch how prayer changes everything!

Would you pray with me?

Father, we love You. We’re so thankful for Your word. We’re so thankful for the ways that it speaks to us and builds us up, — And God, we want more of You. We want to be known by You. We want intimacy with You. — So Father, I pray, help Saylorville Church. Help us to be a praying church made up of praying people who have deep intimate relationships with God. Lord, You can do that. You want that. Help us to take a step in the right direction this morning. We ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *