When Praying James is Hard

We are entering into the last chapter of James.  I’ll warn you, the first part is a scolding. It’s easy to read this passage and want to apply it to someone else. But let’s be careful not to do that. Let’s focus on our own hearts, because those are the only hearts we can change. We can encourage others hearts but it’s better if we take care of our own first. This goes back to taking a splinter out of someone else’s eye before we take the plank out of ours.

I know, you probably feel like this warning isn’t for you, but be careful. None of us are perfect. If we have been blessed at all by God, we are wealthy! One day every single material possession we have will be gone. Will what is in our possession to glorify God or will it eventually rot away without being a blessing?

Lord, instead of waging our finger at someone else, we pray that we will look into our own hearts. Let us take this warning to heart personally. Show us where in our lives we are holding on to the things of this world instead of sharing your blessings with others. In Jesus name – Amen!

A Warning

James 5:1-2

Dear Lord, when you warn of condemnation that is coming we want to believe it’s for someone else and not us. But your warnings are to help all of us re-examine our hearts to make sure that we are not putting anything including wealth in your place.

Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit and how He helps us examine our hearts. May we be honest with ourselves to see if we are putting our hope in money and the things we have or in you.

You are the only truly secure thing in our lives. Help us not be deceived into thinking that the blessings you have given us are more important than you. Those things can all disappear in an instant. They will not save us. Only you will.

May we put our trust fully in you so that in the end we will not be weeping and wailing but will be rejoicing in you.

In the One who is coming soon – Amen!

James 5:3

Praise you, Lord, for your patience! You do not want to lose anyone. You are constantly warning us to look outside of ourselves. To look to you, a God who gives and meets all our needs, and share the blessings you have given us with others. It helps no one to hoard blessings and keep them from being used.

Oh, Lord, may we not allow your blessings to be wasted! Instead, let us hold onto your word in Luke 6:38,

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Let us have a grace and a giving spirit that not only exceeds the expectations of others but shows your benevolence and goodness. Not only in how we love others but in how we give as well. Let this continue to echo in our hearts so that when Satan tries to get us to place security in things instead of security in you, we can hold onto you tighter and let those things go.

In the One who will provide in ways we can’t imagine – Amen!

James 5:4

How thankful we are, Lord, that you are just and hear the cries of those suffering at the hands of others. When they have been deceived and not received what was promised to them upon completing their work, they along with their entire families suffer. They cry out to you for help and justice and you hear them.

Selfish greed overtakes honesty and steals right out of the mouths of others.

Lord, let us search our hearts and see where selfishness is hidden. We cannot fathom ourselves doing this to others but selfishness starts out small and snowballs into injustice. Bring to our attention where we allow selfishness to reign in our lives, so that with your help we can deal with it swiftly and be able to help care and stand up for those who are mistreated.

In the One who knows us better than we know ourselves – Amen!

James 5:5

When we fix our eyes on anything but you, Lord, we miss a glorious opportunity to live the life of self-sacrifice that you call us to live.

Your life showed us that denying self for a little while will bring you honor and us eternal joy that starts now. Help us, Lord, to not become entangled by the luxuries of this life. Help us to choose your comfort over the quickly disappearing comforts of the world.

We never want to hear that we chose anything over you. May we search our hearts daily to make sure these things are not taking top priority.

In the One who sacrificed himself for us – Amen!

James 5:6

Lord, we want to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you.

Living without mercy or considering the needs around us, but instead hoarding all of the blessings we have been given just for ourselves is evil in your eyes. It is careless and unloving. Does this equal murder in your eyes? When we could have helped someone by sharing what we have, but keep it for ourselves is this condemning them to death, when we could have otherwise saved them by sharing?

You say that “anyone who knows the good they out to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

Lord, help us not to overlook those you have put in our path to serve. We don’t want to miss the opportunity to serve you because we are fixated on holding on to things that will eventually fade away.

May we truly act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you.

In the One who always takes our actions to the heart of the matter – Amen!



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