Scripture Text: James 5:13-18
Memory Verse: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Lesson Aim: To understand the authority and power of prayer.
Prayer is important to the believer. Because of its importance in the Christian life, we cannot overemphasize the need for and the benefits of prayer. It is important to the Church, its ministry and the ministering brethren. The disciples gave a lot of weight to prayer and the ministry of the Word.
Prayer may be defined as addressing God with adoration, confession, supplication, petition or thanksgiving, but in its most simple form, prayer is just talking with God. It is the means by which we converse with God. A conversation is two-way; it requires speaking and listening. However, prayer has even a greater meaning. It is the key to developing an intimate relationship with God, where communion with Him becomes natural.
What is the purpose of prayer? In the words of Dr. Myles Munroe, “Prayer is to commune with God, to become one with God. It means union with Him—unity and singleness of purpose, thought, desire, will, reason, motive, objective and feelings.”1 Another purpose for praying is to understand God’s will and purpose for our lives. Prayer connects man to God so that man can function in His purpose.
Third, through prayer we can call forth what God has already purposed and predestined.2 Fourth, “prayer is earthly license for heavenly interference“3 In Genesis 1:26, God gave man dominion over the earth and in verse 28, He commanded man to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it. Man was given dominion over the fish, the birds, and every living thing that moved on the earth. Prayer is the way by which we exercise our God-given dominion on the earth by giving God the freedom to impact affairs on earth.
Prayer is a powerful tool, but a tool has no value unless we use it. We cannot expect anything if we do not pray. Then, when we pray, we must pray correctly. There are laws or principles that govern the success and effectiveness of prayer. We may be praying, but we may be praying incorrectly. What we believe and say when we pray, and after we pray, impact the results.
Since we are the Body of Christ, the same power in prayer that Jesus had should be manifested in us. Once we fully understand the position and authority that Jesus won by triumphing over sin, death and hell, and that this authority has been transferred to us, we will walk in the dominion that God originally purposed for us.
God has restored us to our original purpose and it is through Jesus that we have the right to pray with authority. God does not want sin, demonic powers, negative circumstances or unrighteous forces to govern your world. We need and want results, not just reaction. Therefore, our ability to agree with God by faith greatly impacts the power of our prayers.
Jesus was a master of prayer because He fully understood the legal authority governing prayer and He understood the purpose of prayer. Our prayers will determine what happens here on earth. Prayer is mandatory, not optional. Let us discover our power, authority and rights on earth so that we can bring heaven’s influence to the earth.
Interact with God’s Word:
- What does prayer have the power to do? James 5:13-18
- What is effectual fervent prayer?
- What part does humility play in empowering our prayers? James 4:6; 2 Chronicles 7:14
- Consider James 4:1-3. What are some ways that we pray wrong? How do we correct that? James 4:7-10
- What do you think made Jesus effective in prayer? John 11:41-43
- How does prayer strengthen you? Luke 22:41-44; Psalm 138:3; Jude 1:20
- What can you do to make prayer more practical and effective in your life?