A study on James 5:13-20
Here is the sermon if you missed it: Closing In Prayer
Here are some headings with a few start off questions for discussion. You won’t usefully get through them all in time, but do try to cover each heading and leave enough time for prayer together at the end:
1. Struggling and suffering
What is the typical response to struggling and suffering? If we are suffering, what should we pray for? Will God always take away the trial from us? What is the use of praying if God isn’t going to take away the trial? What does a prayerful attitude show about our heart?
2. On top of the world
What is the typical response of someone who isn’t a Christian to good news? Why should a Christian respond differently? What does this show about our heart?
3. Not well
What is the typical response of someone who isn’t a Christian when they seriously unwell? Who do they rely on? What does turning to mature believers for prayer show about our hearts? Why specifically call the elders? What is the anointing all about? Does verse 15 guarantee that the sick person will be healed? What is a condition? Does this mean if you pray for the sick and they aren’t healed it is because you don’t have enough faith?
Why confess our sins to one another? Isn’t God the one forgives? Isn’t it enough to confess directly to God? In the sermon a set of principles were laid out – what were they? Does this passage support the idea of a Catholic priest hearing ‘confessions’?
5. Prayer – why bother
We often have the idea that God has His plan and prayer doesn’t do anything. Then how do we understand verse 16? Does God do anything? Do our prayers change things? What is the danger to our prayer life if we believe our prayers don’t actually accomplish anything. What does it mean that Elijah had a “nature like ours”? What can we learn from the example of Elijah?
6. Putting someone right
Who is verse 19 talking about? A believer or unbeliever? What is our responsibility towards people in church? How can we “bring a sinner back from wandering”? Explain the phrase ” bring about the forgiveness of many sins.”