Message Series // Scattered – Part 2 — Prayer
Message Date // September 20, 2020
During this season of life in 2020, most of us can use the word “scattered” to describe how we feel. Schedules have been scattered, along with finances, jobs, emotions, living situations, and more. We can feel disorganized, alone, and messy. As we lean into this time of looking through the biblical letter of James, we will know that we aren’t alone in feeling scattered. James, the half-brother of Jesus and pastor of the Jerusalem church in this time, is writing to all the Christians that have been scattered out from Jerusalem because of persecution. He writes with a heart to remind them, in the midst of all the unknowns, to live out their faith in a real and practical way. These same words, written almost 2,000 years ago, can also help ground us today as we seek to live out the ways of Jesus in the midst of feeling scattered.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” – James 1:5
James continues in his letter to the Christians “scattered”, and he begins to speak about prayer. Because when we are scattered, we need to hold on to prayer. Read James 1:5-8. James is communicating that when we don’t know what to do, or don’t feel like we have it together, we need to ask God. We need to ask God for direction, for wisdom on what to do, or where to go. If we were to be honest, there are times when we need to seek God for direction, but we don’t. Why is that? What are some key areas you are needing to ask God for direction in?
A little bit later in the letter, James continues to talk about prayer. Read James 4:1-10. One thing we need to keep remembering is that prayer isn’t just a one-way conversation. It’s also a time where we can allow God to share things with us…things that God wants to shape and correct in us. James gets real…saying that God opposes those who think they have it all together (“proud”), but that God gives favor to those who are willing to be coached and corrected (“humble”). Why is it tough to ask God to reveal things in us that need correction? What would be one thing you would say God wants to correct in your life?
Read James 5:13-16. It’s important to pray to God, and it’s also important to pray with other people. James in these verses is focusing on prayer’s role in confession and healing. In other words, when we confess to God we are forgiven, but when we confess to others who love and care for us, we are healed. How can healing be found when confessing your sins to others and praying through those secrets together?
Read James 5:16-18. James ﬁnishes his teaching on prayer by communicating the need to pray powerfully…to pray with passion. In other words, pray like your life depends on it…because it does. Charles Stanley is quoted as saying, “Fight all your battles on your knees and you win every time.” What is one next step you can take to pray like your life depends on it?