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Prayerful Till Christ Comes

James 5:12-18 • September 10, 2023 • s1361

Pastor John Miller teaches a topical message through James 5:12-18, “Prayerful Till Christ Comes.”

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Pastor John Miller

September 10, 2023

Sermon Scripture Reference

Let's read the entire passage, verse 12 to 18. James says, "But above all things," this is the idea of the most importantly, "my brethren," and he's speaking to believers, "swear neither by heaven nor by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yes be yes; and your no be no; lest you fall into condemnation. Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms? Is any sick among you? Let him call the elders of the church; let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”

Now, notice verse 16, "Confess your faults," which in context is talking about your sins, "one to another, pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, yet he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And then he prayed again," verse 18, "and the heavens gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit."
Now, if ever a man was qualified to speak on the subject of prayer, that man was James. You say, "Well, why is that? What makes James so qualified to speak on prayer?" Well, in church tradition, we are told that James had a nickname. And you know what his nickname was? Old camel knees.

And you say, "Well, I'm old and my knees look like camels," but the reason his knees looked like camels was because he was kneeling so frequently in prayer. So he was a man of prayer. So it was a proverbial concept that James had camel knees because he was a man of prayer.
Now, you may have a difficulty identifying with James. You may say, "Well, I identify better with Peter." Peter was a man. Remember when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane and He was praying and He said to Peter and James and John, actually all three, He said, "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation: the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." So watch and pray, stay awake and pray. And He went a little deeper into the garden and Jesus prayed. And when He came back, what were they doing?

Sleeping, right? You go, "That's what I identify with, praise God. I've got the gift of sleep." I know that when you fold your hands like this and you kneel next to your bed before you go to bed, and you put your forehead in that little holder right there, that little kind of perfect little place for your forehead, and it elevates you just high enough above the bed that you can breathe, then you can pray, "Lord Jesus, I just come, oh, before You right now and I... Oh. Good night, Lord, I'm tired," and you go to sleep, "See you next day," you know?

How easy it is to fall asleep like the disciples when we ought to be praying because the spirit is willing, right, I want to pray, but the flesh is weak. And I know that many times people say, "Well, Pastor John, how can we pray for you?" And I always say, "Pray for my prayer life. Pray for my prayer life. Pray that God will help me, strengthen me to be a man of prayer," because everything we are flows from our life of prayer.
Now, this is not the first time that James talked about prayer in his epistle. Chapter one, verse five, he said, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." Chapter four, verse two, "You have not, because you ask not." He's again referring to prayer and that we lack so often in our life because we simply do not pray. And then here at the end of the epistle, from verse 13 to verse 18, six verses, he actually seven times mentions prayer, in verse 13, 14, 15, twice in verse 16, in verse 17, and again in verse 18.

Now, I don't know if you noticed that I actually highlighted the word "prayer" or "praying" in kind of an orange highlighter, and the whole passage just kind of lit up orange because all through that, every verse, from verse 13 to verse 18, twice in verse 16, he mentions the subject of prayer. So he ends his epistle by encouraging us, number one, to be patient until Christ comes, when we're facing opposition and persecution, and to be prayerful till Christ comes, when we're going through difficult times and circumstances. Jesus said in Luke 18:1, "Men ought always to pray, and not to faint," right? So he wants us to be patient, verses seven to 11, and he wants us to be prayerful.

Now, someone said that prayer is like a car without fuel, that without prayer, our lives grind to a halt. So we need to be men and women of prayer. Now, when should we pray? That's what James deals with. We should pray when we're suffering. We should pray when we're glad as well as sad. We should pray when we're sick. We should pray when there's spiritual darkness in our nation around us. So suffering, joy, sickness, and spiritual darkness.

In First Thessalonians 5:17, Paul the Apostle said, "Pray without," what?
"Ceasing." You know that's the only thing in the Bible that God tells us to do without stopping? Now, that's not the act of prayer, it's the attitude of prayer. Obviously, we can't always get on our knees and close our eyes and fold our hands, but we can be in a constant communion and fellowship with God. Everything we do all day long, every day, we should be talking to God and communing with God. Pray without ceasing.

But we're going to look at those four areas in this text that we should pray, if you're taking notes. The first one is in times of suffering or sorrow. That's a no-brainer, right? When I'm suffering, when I'm going through sorrow or affliction or difficulty, which is pretty much most of the time, right, in this world? I need to pray. Go back with me to verse 12, he says, "But above all things, my brethren," or above, or most importantly, "do not swear." So the first thing he does is that he tells us what not to use our speech for: don't swear. "Don't swear by heaven, neither by earth, neither by any other oath: let your yes be yes; and your no be no; lest you fall into condemnation." Verse 13, "If any among you are afflicted," there's our point, if you're afflicted, "then let him or her pray.”

Now, as I said in verse 12, he first tells us what not to use our speech for. Sometimes when we're suffering, we start swearing. You ever noticed that? Sometimes things come out of our mouth when we're going through sorrow or suffering or adversity. You've heard me use the expression that if it's in the well, it will come up in the bucket. Jesus said it like this: From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So what's ever in your heart will be manifest by what comes out of your mouth. Words describe or explain what is in our heart. So if words are coming out of your mouth that are unpleasing to God or dishonoring to God, then we need a transplant of a new heart. We need a heart transformation.

So what does he mean when he says, "Swear not," verse 12? Well, it covers, first of all, but not primarily, profanity. You know the Bible says that we should not use the name of the Lord in vain. That's one of the 10 Commandments, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." It is a very, very bad thing to do, let me put it as simple as I can, sinful thing to do, to use profanity with the name of God, and yet it is so common place. Isn't it sad? We curse, we swear, we call on God, we use the name Jesus. When somebody's nailing a nail in with a hammer and they hit their thumb, they don't go, "Oh, Buddha. Oh, Buddha. Oh, Buddha. Oh, Buddha. Oh, Buddha. Oh, Confucius, ouch." Why do we use the name of God in such a frivolous, flippant way?

So what this verse is calling us to is purity in our speech; someone said reverence in our speech and truthfulness in our speech. But the primary concept behind these verses is not just profanity, but the idea of taking an oath or oath swearing, so the idea of swearing by taking an oath. And sometimes people say, "I swear to God." You should not ever do that. As a matter of fact, Jesus said the same thing in Matthew 5:33-37. Remember, I've been pointing out all the way through the Book of James that it parallels the Sermon on the Mount? James was the Lord's half-brother. And it's interesting, he uses his big brother Jesus and uses the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus said, "Don't swear by heaven; it's God's throne: don't swear by earth; it's God's footstool. Let your yes be yes; and your no be no.”

Portions of what we read here in James are a direct quote from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. In other words, you should be always just saying yes or no. Don't be such a liar that you have to swear to God or your mother's grave, cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye, whatever you say. You should just say yes and no. We have politicians, political leaders, I'll stop right there, but they swear to God. It just makes me shiver when I hear that. No kidding, this is really true. That's insane. Just be a man or a woman of your word.

You ever have a conversation with somebody and you go, "Now, I'm going to be honest with you." And you go, "Well, what have you been to this point? You've been lying to me this whole time?”

"Okay, okay, I'm going to be really honest with you.”

They say it three different times. Why don't you just be honest, period, right? Yes, no. If you have a problem with lying, you need to get on your knees and pray and ask God to change your heart. If there's anything that should be true about a Christian, it should be honesty, integrity, no duplicity or hypocrisy. Satan is a liar and the father of lies. We should never violate anyone's trust by being dishonest or embellishing the truth. The Bible also says, "Thou shalt not lie." So don't use the name of God in vain and thou shalt not lie.

So, but notice verse 13. He says, "Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray." So that's the thrust of these first two verses, if you are afflicted. Now, the word "afflicted" in verse 13 refers to any kind of trouble, misfortune, or hard experience. Notice that it's a general term for affliction, hardships, and difficulty. The Bible says, "Man is born for adversity, as surely as sparks fly upward." You know all you have to do to have trouble is live long enough? And then you start singing, "Nobody knows the trouble I see." It's your favorite song. The longer you live, the more trouble you've seen, amen?

And the hardships. But when you are in affliction, what should you do? You should pray. Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray.

Write down First Peter 5:7. It says that we should cast all our caress, our anxiety, our troubles, our problems on him. Why? Because he cares for us. I love that verse. God surely cares about you. All of your sorrow, all of your trouble, He cares about it. Not one sparrow falls to the ground, but what your Father in heaven knows about it. He attends the funeral of every sparrow. You are more value to him than many sparrows. He has all the hairs of your head numbered. He cares for you. So cast, that word "cast" in the Greek means once and for all. It was used of fishermen throwing their nets on the lake, just throwing out their nets and letting them go. So we roll your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you. Our problem is we carry our burdens and we don't cast our burdens.

And then write down Philippians 4:6, and I'll quote from The Living Bible, it's a paraphrase, "Don't worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything." I love that. Don't worry about anything, pray about everything. Tell God your needs, and don't forget to thank him for what? His answers. Before the answer is come, you should be thankful to God that He'll answer according to His perfect plan. And He loves you and His ways are perfect, so whatever you ask God to do, and however God answers your petition, we should be thankful. Don't worry, but prayer. So when you suffer, no profanity; rather, prayer and praise to the Lord in times of affliction.

Now, the second circumstances that we should be praying is at the very end of verse 13, a little sliver or section at the end of that verse, it's in times of joy. Look at it, verse 13, "Is any merry? Let him," do what, "sing psalms." You say, "Well, it doesn't say pray," but that's what singing is, it's praying to the Lord in song from the heart. So he says, "If you're afflicted, you should be praying. If you're happy, you have joy, you should be praising the Lord, singing psalms or petitioning the Lord.”

Now, the Christian life is not all sorrow. The believer in Jesus has great joy. And let me explain that joy is not dependent on circumstances. Joy is the fruit of the Spirit. Happiness is based on happenings or circumstances. Joy is the fruit of the Spirit. It's the evidence of being filled with the Spirit. It's the work of the Spirit. So you can be in a dark dungeon or a prison cell, like Paul and Silas in Acts Chapter 16, whipped, beaten, thrown in the stocks. And at midnight, they did what? Sang praises to God, amen? And the prisoners heard them. And God sent an earthquake, saved the jailer. Instead of sulking and complaining. Now, if it was John Miller whipped, beat, and thrown in jail and at midnight he sulked, complained, and griped. Not Paul and Silas, they begin to sing praises and worship the Lord even in the time of darkness. He gives us, the Bible says, "songs in the night.”

Now, there is a danger that we forget God in times of joy or times of prosperity. That's a very dangerous time. "It takes a steady hand," someone said, "to hold a full cup." So when God has blessed you, He's blessing your marriage, He's blessing your job, He's blessing your health, He's blessed your children, He's blessed your family, it's a very dangerous time that we forget God. Trials drive us to God in prayer. Naturally, they should, but we should also, when things are going really good and things are going so great, we better get on our knees and pray, amen?

And live in a place of self-dependence upon God. One of my prayers constantly is, "God don't bless me more than I can handle." And I know that many times God, I believe, in my own life, allows affliction and sorrow to keep me humble, broken, and dependent on him. Just like Paul the Apostle in Second Corinthians 12," I have a thorn in my flesh," Paul said, "it was a messenger of Satan. He buffeted me, lest I should be exalted above measure." And I didn't want to be filled with pride, so God gave me this thorn and it kept me humble. And I prayed three times and I asked God to take it away. And God said, "No," but He said, "My grace will be sufficient. My strength will be made perfect in your weakness.”

So even affliction comes from a gift from God to serve a good purpose, drive me to prayer, drive me to dependence and reliance upon God, but I love the idea of "let him sing songs". Ephesians 5:18-20 describes the Spirit-filled life, "Be not drunk on wine, wherein is debauchery. "You ever notice when people get drunk on alcohol they start to sing, and they ought not to sing?They start singing their songs. That's a phony joy. "Don't be drunk on wine, where is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit." That's a genuine, authentic joy. And then also it says, "Speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing, making melody in your hearts to the Lord." One of the greatest evidence of the Spirit-filled life is a song in your heart. When the song to the Lord goes out of your heart, it's an evidence that you're not filled with the Holy Spirit. In Psalms 34:1 it says, "I will bless the Lord at," what, "all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

So when I am going through affliction, I pray. When I'm going through times of joy, I pray by singing and worshiping the Lord. But here is the third circumstances for prayer, it's in times of sickness. So times of suffering, times of joy, times of sickness. Verse 14 to the first part of verse 16, read it with me, "Is any sick?" So, is any afflicted, is any merry, is any sick among you? Three quick question marks there. He says, verse 14, "Let him," do what, "call for the elders of the church." the elders are a reference to the pastors or spiritual leaders, "let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins..." So that seems as though this sick person, who's calling for prayer and needs to be anointed with oil, has committed sin and needs to confess that sin and to repent of their sin so that they can be forgiven and be healed. That's the specific reference here.

And by the way, this procedure of anointing with oil is only mentioned in the Book of James. It's not found anywhere else in the New Testament, and it's just a unique situation. And I solemnly confess, with all my years of studying the Bible and preaching from the Scriptures, I'm not sure how to interpret what James is saying here. I'll give you some ideas in just a minute. I do believe it's okay to anoint with oil to pray, but God can heal without that. God can heal without anointing with oil, because God is sovereign and there's no special thing about the oil that we use; it's a prayer of faith, trusting God and God's will. But in this specific case, it seems to be that there's someone who is sick because they've sinned. They need to confess to the elders, to other believers. They need to repent of their sin. God will forgive their sin and heal their sickness.

But go back to the text with me, "Let him pray the prayer of faith," verse 15, "and it will save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins," verse 15, "they shall be forgiven him." And then the idea of confessing your faults, which I believe is your sins, one to another and praying one for another, that you may be healed of both your sin and of your sickness.

Now, let me make a couple of observations. Number one, Christians do get sick. I don't believe or agree with what's called the Word of Faith positive confession teaching of many today in the church, which basically believes that healing is guaranteed carte blanche for all believers right now in the atonement. We hear the Scripture of Isaiah 53 quoted, "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; and by his stripes we're healed." Everything in Isaiah 53, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, but everything in Isaiah 53 is talking about forgiveness of sins. It's talking about being forgiven. And Peter uses it in the New Testament to talk about forgiveness of sins.

Now, if healing was guaranteed now, in this life and this body before our glorification and our new body in heaven, then we should none of us be sick. We should all be perfectly healthy. The aging process doesn't stop when you get born again. If you've been a Christian 50 years, you look like it. Right? The Bible says these bodies are tents. You ever lived in a tent for 50 years? They're swaying, stakes are coming up, they're flapping in the wind, they're leaking. I actually lived in a tent for three months one time. Never again. I'm done with tents. I don't do tent camping at all. This body's like a tent and it's flapping in the wind, and I'm waiting for my new body. So until we are glorified, we're waiting, the Bible says it like this, "for the redemption of our bodies". We groan, Romans chapter eight, waiting to be clothed upon with our bodies which are from heaven. So until that day, we can be sick.

But I do believe in divine healing. How can you not believe in healing when all things are possible with God? He's all powerful, amen?

And God can heal cancer as easily as he can heal a headache. And we should pray and we should do what the Bible says, and we do anoint with oil and we do pray, but sometimes people say, "Pastor, you prayed for me and I got sicker." They don't come back for prayer after that. And then I hear the testimonies, I've had so many people, "You prayed for me and God healed me. "And I think, "Praise the Lord. That's awesome.”

But notice, you call for the elders, it's plural, so there isn't just one individual who has the gift of healing. This is not talking about that. This is talking about a group of spiritual leaders that pray. If you've sinned, you confess your sin, you repent of your sin, and God's promised to heal you. But you also need to parallel that with the Scriptures that say, "If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." So God may not choose to heal you, He may choose to heal you, we should pray.

Now, the oil could also in the context of this verse be a reference to using it for medicinal purposes and was a common practice in biblical times. When the Good Samaritan rescued the man beat up by thieves, he poured oil in his wounds, so maybe it's medicinal purposes. The Bible tells us that Paul had a thorn in his flesh. Job was a righteous man and he suffered. Timothy, Paul actually said, "Use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your often infirmities." Every wino I've ever talked to can quote that verse. That's the favorite verse. That's, "Oh, I love that verse." It's for medicinal purposes.

Epaphroditus, Philippians chapter two, got sick. Now, sin in its original fall with Adam and Eve is what brought sickness into the world. But there are times when sickness can be the direct result of some sin, but not always a direct correlation. So the sick person calls the elders, verse 14. The elders are the leaders, the pastors of the church. What do they do? They pray over him, verse 14, they anoint him with oil. Now, there's nothing special about the oil. It doesn't give us ingredients for the oil. Oh, it's got to be olive oil from Jerusalem, from the Garden of Gethsemane. It's got to be holy oil. It could be Valvoline 10/30. If you have to, just take the dipstick out of the motor and fling it on them, I don't know. I'm sorry.

Now, oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, but we don't know if that's what's being implied in this passage. So it's a challenging verse to apply. Let's just believe God can heal. If you're sick, pray to God, go to the doctor. If you go to the doctor but you don't pray, that's not good. If you pray but don't go to the doctor, that's not good. God has provided medicine and doctors, but God is the one who heals our bodies. Matter of fact, the more doctors you go to, the more you should pray. Amen?

Because they're just practicing on you. They don't know what's going on. And I've learned to do that myself. Okay, Lord, I'm going to go to the doctor, but I'm trusting you. You and only You can heal my body, amen?

You need to look to the Lord. So what should they do? They should pray the prayer of faith. They should do it in the name of the Lord, verse 14. That's in His authority. And then the promise, verse 15? It says, "The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." So we pray in faith. By the way, according to his will, this is First John 5:14, if we pray according to God's will, "He hears us. We have the petitions that we have desired of him." So pray when you are sick.

Now, here's the fourth and last circumstances for prayer, and that is pray in times of spiritual darkness or national apostasy, spiritual darkness in our nation and national apostasy. Look at the end of verse 16, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much," has great power. And then the illustration of Elijah the prophet in verse 17, he was "a man subject to like passions as we are, he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months," and I'll explain that, "He prayed again," at the end of a year and a half, "and the heavens gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.”

Now, this passage is based on the Old Testament episode or story taken from First Kings 17 and 18. During the reign of wicked King Ahab and the wicked queen Jezebel, the nation of Israel had turned from Jehovah as God and they were worshiping Baal, a false Canaanite god. And because of that, God sent Elijah the prophet into the courtroom of King Ahab and says, "God said, there will not be dew nor rain in our land, according to my word," and he turned and walked out.

Now, archeologists have unearthed little statues of Baal, and in his hand they found sometimes lightning bolts. So it's believed that Baal or Ba'al was also a god of the weather, and they would pray to Baal for the weather. So God is hitting them right where their false god is. There'll be no rain, there'll be no new. God, Jehovah, the Lord God of Israel, He controls the weather, amen?

So there was a drought for three and a half years. Now, let me say this. This verse is not to show us that we can pray and control the weather. You can pray and you can ask for a sunny day, but you might have a picnic and pray, "God gives us a beautiful sunny day," and the farmer down the road has a field and he's praying for rain. Which one is God going to answer? Well, I was first. I have a bigger Bible than he does. I'm more spiritual than they are. It's like the Super Bowl, all these Christians praying for their team to win. It's like give it up. How's God going to answer both prayers?

So this verse isn't about, "Hey, we can pray for rain." And I've had people call, "Pastor, we got to pray. Elijah prayed to stop rain." Yeah, but that's a historical story that isn't in our situation. The lesson for us is that if we pray earnestly, consistently with God's promise, that God will answer prayer. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much, that's the message. He's not telling us we can control the weather or the weather patterns. So it speaks of the power of prayer.

Notice the person of prayer of verse 17, it was Elijah, who was a man just like us. Now, I love that statement, "Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are," my King James translation. What that literally means is that he was just like us. One free paraphrase actually said, "Elijah puts his pants on one leg at a time just like we do." Because you might read this and go, "I'm not Elijah, a man of power, call fire down from heaven. What a great prophet of God. He's on a different level than I am." No, he's just like us, all the frailties, all the weaknesses, all the fears, but he was praying according to the will of God and the plan of God, and God answered prayer in such a mightily way.

And then it says he prayed earnestly. You know what that phrase means in verse 17, he prayed earnestly? Literally, and this is amazing, it would read, "H prayed when he prayed," or, "He prayed in his prayer." You know what it means? It means that he actually prayed when he prayed. He didn't just say a prayer, he meant a prayer. He was earnestly, sincerely praying. It's easy to rattle off with your lips some form prayer, but your heart is not engaged. So prayer is not just saying words. Prayer is the heart connected to your words. So it literally is, "He prayed when he prayed." He earnestly or sincerely, authentically, genuinely prayed, even though he's a man just like us.

Now, let me break down Elijah's prayer based on First Kings 18 real quickly. It's based on a promise from God. Now, what happened is, was God stopped the rain in Israel. So God brought together at the end a contest with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. And they built two altars, one to Baal, one to Jehovah. Elijah said, "You pray to Baal. If he answers by fire, then he's God. I'll pray to Jehovah. If he answers, he's God." It was a contest on Mount Carmel, which actually sits right along the coast up in the mountains overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. I've been there several times and it's just a beautiful pine tree-filled mountain overlooking the Mediterranean.

So the contest took place, and you know the story, right? The prophets of Baal marched away for hours, "Oh, Baal, hear us. Oh, Baal, hear us." There was no "Oh, Baal" to hear them. Nothing happened. So Elijah says, "Okay, it's my turn." Doused the altar with water, says, "God, to show that you are God, the true living God, send the fire." The fire came down. It consumed the altar, the sacrifice, the water. And all the prophets of Baal and the people of Israel fell on their face, "The Lord, He is God," amen?

And actually, they had to destroy the prophets of Baal. And Elijah thought that this would bring a national revival, but it didn't happen. So he actually ran out to the cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, and God says, "Now, pray; I'm going to send rain." So he prays according to the promise of God. Write these points down. He prayed on the promise of God. The best way to get answers to prayer is plead the promises of God. If you're taking notes, just write down "plead the promises of God." Find a promise and plead the promise. Make sure you keep the conditions, make sure you know who it's for, but if it's applicable, plead the promises.

And then he prayed definite, number two. He prayed the promises, he prayed specifically for rain. Number three, he prayed with humility. He cast himself down upon his knees and put his head between his knees. And then he also prayed with expectancy. He said to a servant, "Go look over the sea and see if you see any clouds coming." And then he prayed also with persistence. Seven times he sent the servant and he said, "Did you see any clouds?”

"No, I saw nothing.”

"Go back and look again," and he prayed. And then he came back [inaudible 00:37:19], huff and puffing and puffing. Elijah says to the servant, "Did you see any clouds?”

"No, I saw no clouds.”

Now, if I were Elijah, I'd have said, "Okay, forget it, ain't going to happen, let's go have lunch." But he said, "Go again, go again, go again. Look again," seven times. Finally, the servant comes back and goes, "Okay, okay, I saw a little tiny cloud about the size of a man's hand." And Elijah said, "There's coming the rain. Get ready. Let's go." Abundance of rain. So he was praying persistently. And then also he prayed not only persistently, but he prayed a prayer, it was answered, there was a great rain. Notice verse 18 says, "The heavens gave rain." So he was praying by pleading the promises, by praying specifically according to the will of God. He was praying humbly, persistently, and in faith, "And the heavens," verse 18, "gave the rain.”

Now, there's a lot more that could be said, but let me wrap it up. We pray when we're sad, we pray when we're glad, we pray when we're sick, and we pray when we are in a time of apostasy, when our nation... Has America ever needed more prayer than it does right now? Guess what? We are the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world. We are God's people. We must get on our knees and pray for America. We have turned from God, our nation is very dark, and we need God to send His mercy, His Spirit, and a revival to our land, amen?

John Newton said when we pray, we are "coming to a King, so large petitions with thee bring; for His grace and power are such that none can ever ask too much," amen?

Let's pray.

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About Pastor John Miller

Pastor John Miller is the Senior Pastor of Revival Christian Fellowship in Menifee, California. He began his pastoral ministry in 1973 by leading a Bible study of six people. God eventually grew that study into Calvary Chapel of San Bernardino, and after pastoring there for 39 years, Pastor John became the Senior Pastor of Revival in June of 2012. Learn more about Pastor John

Sermon Summary

Pastor John Miller teaches a topical message through James 5:12-18, “Prayerful Till Christ Comes.”

Pastor Photo

Pastor John Miller

September 10, 2023