“Real Authentic Faith"

[Week 10]

James 5:13-20

Verse of the Week

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” 

[James 5:16 NIV]

The Big Idea

  Faith, prayer and community are powerful resources in the life of a believer.

The Power of Prayer (VS 13-14)

Prayer is one of our most powerful resources that we have as a believer.   Some people see prayer as their last resort when all else fails.  This approach is backwards.  Prayer should come first because God has infinitely greater power than we have. Because of His great power, relying on prayer from the start only makes sense.   Some people use prayer like a fire extinguisher.  It is only used in emergency situations.  James is telling us that not only should we pray when we are in trouble but we should pray (give praises) when things are going good. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is prayer?
     

  2. Discuss this statement “the least I can do is pray for you?” 
     

  3. When you pray, do you spend more time praising God for who He is and what He has done or is your prayers more of requesting Him to do things?

 

 The Power of Faith (vs. 15-18)

The book of James is about a living faith.  James is telling us that a prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well. In James 1:5 he tells us that if we lack wisdom, you should ask (pray).  Not only should you ask, but when you ask you must believe and not doubt (James 1:6).  Jesus tells us in Matthew 17:20 that  if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”   Examples of ordinary people having faith are given all throughout the Bible.  James gives us the example of Elijah and tells us that Elijah was a human being, even as we are.  The story of Elijah can be found starting in 1 Kings 17.

Discussion Questions:

  1. According to Hebrews 11:1-6, what is the definition of faith?
     

  2. What areas in your life do you lack faith? 
     

  3. What are some things you can do to strengthen your faith?

The Power of Community (vs. 15-20)

Real life changes happen in community. We are not made to do this Christian life alone.  Whether we realize it or not, we need other believers in our lives. Community provides fellowship, encouragement, accountability, growth and discipleship.  James tells us to confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that we will be healed.  He also tells us to go after our brothers and sisters that are wandering off from the truth. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How has Connect group (community) helped you grow spiritually?
     

  2. How can we pray for you? This will be a great time to exercise your faith and pray over each person in your group.

Question Bank
 

  1. How has your week been spiritually?
     

  2. What is God teaching you through this passage?
     

  3. What’s your next step in your relationship with God? How will you turn this next step into action this week?

Call to Action

  • Share your next step with 1 person inside or outside of group and invite them to hold you accountable.
     

  • Talk about Group with at least 1 person.