03 Jan Words of Grace – Devoted to Prayer
Devoted to Prayer: Praying Through the Book of James
At Grace Community Church, we are beginning 2019 with prayer. The book of James will be our guide.
James opens with this call to prayer: “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God.” (James 1:5). My paraphrase of this verse is, “Everyone lacks wisdom, so everyone should pray.”
We can find in these words a command, an invitation, a point of conviction, and a word of encouragement. We hear the command of God to pray and we eagerly obey from a heart of love. We hear the love of God in this invitation to find wisdom for living from him. If we are convicted for our lack of prayer, we confess our sin and take hold of the grace that cleanses and renews us. Certainly, we are encouraged that God hears our prayers and gives generously when we ask.
The Bible is to be read and prayed. In the Bible we find the will of God, what he wants, and what he intends to do. When we pray based on God’s will, we are pursuing what he is doing.
Praying the Bible is a rich and simple way to pray. As you read the Bible thoughtfully and responsively, turn what you read into prayers of praise, thanksgiving, confession, and request. Let what you read become the content of what you pray. Include family, friends, and our congregation in your prayers.
During January, we are praying through the book of James together. This prayer emphasis will last five weeks, so we will focus on one of the five chapters of James each week. As we let the book of James guide our praying, we will find ourselves humbly seeking the Lord, thanking him for his goodness, confessing our sins, and asking with boldness for the things we need to obey him because he promises to give generously when we pray. We are praying for spiritual vision, renewal, and power to be a healthy congregation that makes disciples and reflects God’s grace in the world.
Our aim is simply to pray. Whether alone, with a friend, or in a small group, add praying through James to your daily schedule. Don’t be stopped by busyness, lack of experience in prayer, or discouragement over failures in prayer. Pick up a Bible, read from the book of James, and start praying.
You can get a copy of Devoted to Prayer: A Guide to Praying Through the Book of James in the Gathering Hall on Sunday. You can also find a digital copy online.
Save the date: January 27, at 6:00pm, in the Chapel. We will sing, hear testimonies of God’s work in our lives, and pray.