Week after week, our church is becoming more of a family.
Today, the focus upon James 5:13-17 helped even more so.
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.
As I prepared for the service, I focused on the themes of church community and prayer. Jeff asked me before the service today what we would play during the invitation. When I told him, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” he said, “Are you kidding me? Some of my sermon is highlighting that song.”
Love it when God has a plan. Here’s how it came together:
- Song – Just a Little Talk with Jesus (This old gospel song was a perfect opener and woke us all up to the power of prayer)
- Welcome – Pastor Dick introduced a new relationship he developed at last week’s Roundtable, led us in a time of prayer that God would draw us closer as a family
- Song – “I Need You to Survive” (Great song on praying and caring for those in the church)
- Song – “Lord I Need You” (Not only do we need each other, but all of us need God’s help through prayer)
- Prayer Time
- Song – “Because He Lives [Amen]” (This song is one of my favorite worship songs as of late but I haven’t used it until it fit, and what a great fit today)
- Message – The Power of Prayer (James 5:13-17)
- Prayer Time – We had an invitation for people to have prayer with our elders
- Song – “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” (This song is incredible, we used Chelsea Moon’s arrangement of it which breathes a fresh breath of air into the lyrics)
Jeff’s message on this passage was so helpful. I loved his confession to open up the message. If we didn’t preach through books of the Bible, he would have never preached on this passage. Yet it was such a great reminder and practical teaching on those who are weak seeking help from the Lord and from others.
Here are some thoughts I am processing:
- Different words for “sick” in this passage. This passage’s wording and context really leads to praying over those who are weak than solely those who are physically sick.
- Why do we get elders to pray for us? Are their prayers heard more? No, but when you are weak, find someone who is strong.
- I am more likely to sin when I am weak.
Can’t wait for Roundtable tonight at 6!
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.