Sunday, October 8th, 2017
James 5: 7-20
James is an amazing letter that is more prescriptive in it’s application that most, if not all, New Testament writings. It was likely written to predominantly Jewish Christian house churches outside of Palestine, based on its mention of the “twelve tribes in the Dispersion” (1:1). It contains distinctly Jewish content with a heavy focus on persecution and poverty. Authorship has traditionally been attributed to James, the brother of Jesus and an early leader of the church in Jerusalem.
James’s readers were in social and spiritual conflict. Many believers were living in ways contrary to the teachings, or way, of Jesus. James corrects them and challenges them to seek God’s wisdom to work out these problems.
The bottom-line throughout the letter is this: Christians must live out their faith. They should be doers, not just hearers, of God’s Word.
As you discuss these texts together, work hard to facilitate each person’s contributions, pray for one another throughout the week, and invite the Holy Spirit to illuminate the truth for your group.
- When did you invite your church to pray with you in a time of suffering, rejoicing or sickness? How did you ask for prayer in that moment? What was the outcome?
- If you don’t seek out prayer often, what keeps you from doing so?
- James 5:15 “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well…”
James 5: 17-18 “Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.”
Do you believe that prayer works? Do you believe that prayer is effective? Can we have a prayer life like this?
For Further Discussion:
- James speaks of the corporate responsibility to pray for each other. What would the Church look like if we owned the responsibility of corporate prayer?