RECAP: POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE based on James 5:13-20
In the same survey that was used a few weeks ago, one of the most common reasons why people do not pray, according to the participants, is that they are just not really sure if prayer makes a difference. Have we ever felt and wondered if God does answer prayer? Do we believe that our prayers matter or can change things? Yet, Jesus said in John 14 that we can ask what we want in his name, and it will be done. He also said in Matthew 19 that we can move mountains, for nothing is impossible with God. Can we pray like Jesus or those in the Bible? Does prayer really work?
The book of James closes with the importance of prayer. What makes prayer powerful and effective?
First, we must believe in its power. When we pray, we must believe and not doubt. Many heroes of the faith faced their circumstances and took it to the Lord in prayer. If we do not believe, we will not see, just like Nazareth did not see many miracles from Jesus because of their lack of faith. Do we believe that God still has the power to answer prayer? We should come to Him in every circumstance: when we are in trouble, when we are happy, when we are sick, etc.
Second, we must rally around each other. When we are sick, we can pray to the Lord. But James counseled us to bring to the elders of the church, lay hands on the individual, and anoint with oil for healing. This is why the body of Christ is so important! As we lay down our burdens and concerns to one another, we take off a heavy load and give it to God. When we are weak, our brothers and sisters in Christ can be strong for us. When two or three are gathered, Jesus is in the midst. God works and gives strength to the one who is praying, and we can help lift each other up in our times of greatest need!
Third, we must be willing to take a step of faith. Elijah was just a human being who believed in God. He took a step of faith, prayed for a lack of rain, and there was a drought for three and a half years. Later, he prayed for rain, even when there was not a cloud in the sky, and rain came. Elijah was no superhero, yet he believed in God. When we take a step of faith, we declare to God how much we believe in him and declare what we know he is capable of. Even when we are afraid he will not answer, we will never be put to shame. Does God always answer our prayers in the way we desire? Sometimes, we do not receive the answer we are looking for. But God still meets our prayers and will guide our steps, even in the greatest of struggles!
Last, we must watch out for each other’s welfare. We all have seasons of spiritual struggle. But when we stand by each other both in prayer and in living, we can help each other through these seasons. Satan wants us isolated, so he can destroy us and shut us down. But when we have each other’s back, lifting up one another even in times of failure, we can bring each other to the God who can both forgive and restore. The most powerful prayers are the ones we pray together!
Do we believe in the power of prayer?
Questions for Reflection
1) Do you recall a time you heard a prayer that was powerful? What was unique about that prayer?
2) Are you willing, in seasons of struggle, to share your burdens with your church family? If not, why are you hesitant?
3) On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, how would you rate your faith in God? Why did you give this rating?
4) Who do you know that could use a shoulder to lean on? Can you commit that person to regular prayer?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the study in the disciplines of prayer and fasting with the sermon titled, “True Fasting”, based on Isaiah 58. What is the point of fasting? And what should we focus on while we fast? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for February 21-27
February 21: 2 Kings 20:1-11 What was Hezekiah’s prayer?
February 22: Ezra 9:1-15 What was Ezra’s prayer?
February 23: Nehemiah 1:1-11 What was Nehemiah’s prayer?
February 24: Job 42:1-6 What was Job’s prayer of confession?
February 25: Psalm 51 What was David’s prayer?
February 26: Isaiah 58:1-14 What is true fasting?
February 27: Daniel 1:1-21 How was Daniel and his friends faithful in fasting?
This Week’s Events:
Sunday, February 26–Birthday dinner after church
Monday, February 27–Timothy Bible Study @ 7 pm
Sunday, March 5–First Sunday Breakfast & First Sunday Offering
Friday, March 17–Community movie night @ 7 pm
Prayer / Spiritual Discipline Challenge
Part of the reason we struggle with prayer is that we don’t know exactly how to pray. When I was younger, I was blessed to participate in an hour of prayer. Each hour was divided up into twelve five-minute sessions of prayer with a specific focus. Over this month, I will give three sections a week until you have all twelve that you can practice on your own.
- Binding. This also comes from Matthew 16, but also from 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. When we have thoughts that are not from God and from the enemy, we can take those thoughts captive and demolish the stronghold. Whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven. So in this type of prayer, you declare what darkness you see in the world and ask God to take it down. Likewise, you declare those thoughts that are not of God that are plaguing you and ask God to tie them up and remove them. This type of prayer is bold but important in spiritual warfare!
- Loosing. This also comes from Matthew 16, but also from the Lord’s prayer. You are asking for God’s kingdom to come and will to be done. If you do not see something you desire to see in the spiritual, you can pray for God to open a door for it to be loosed on the earth. You are also praying that any door or obstacle is demolished to let it be done. So it might require praying against the specific obstacle! Where this is different than declaration is that while declaration is praying for a specific item within us, loosing is asking in general for God’s kingdom to come and will to be done, addressing the spiritual fabric of our world.
- For Church Leadership. This type of prayer is to pray for the leaders of the church, that they would be listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, making decisions for the welfare of the congregation and reaching out into the community, to help them be wise with the resources given, and to take a step of faith in making Jesus known. It is also praying to protect their hearts and their families from the attack of the enemy. Church leaders are on the front lines of a spiritual battle; they need all the prayer support they can get!
If you are a newer attendee at Beaver Creek, please call the office or leave in the offering plate your birth date so we do not miss anyone!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
We are in need of both worship leaders and children’s storytellers. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Phyllis Simmons (children’s story).
On Sunday, February 26, we will have our annual birthday dinner carry-in after church.
On Friday, February 17, there will be a movie night for free for the community. We will be showing Despicable Me. Please share the word, especially to those households you know have children, to your neighbors, and to anyone you know that has kids that also does not have a church home.
Call to Prayer
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
7) Guidance for our congregation in the days ahead
What do you want to see at Beaver Creek? What are some ideas you have for the long-term growth of our congregation? Any outrageous outreach ideas? Please either email Pastor Ryan or write them down and place them in the brown suggestion box in the narthex. Dream big!
The Christian Education Team is looking for six to eight volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour and church hour. There will be a signup sheet in the back. If you would be willing to volunteer to allow our families to be able to participate in worship, please let one of the members of Christian Education know (Theresa Eckard, Scott McAvoy, Becky Whitmore), or sign up on the signup sheet!
The Christian Education team would like to relaunch children’s church for our kids, as well as for the kids in our community without a church home. To be successful, we need six to eight volunteers who would be willing to give up one Sunday either a month or every other month to minister to our children. If you are interested, please let one of Christian Education know, email the church office, or sign up on the sign-up sheet on Sunday.
The hope is that as we build our children’s ministry, more young families will want to participate in the church.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
Eddie Baker (health)
Sandy Bennington (peace)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Bob Hess (health)
Tori Jackson (peace)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Lynne Lent (health)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Norlen Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Savannah Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Roger Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Whitmore family (house)
Becky Whitmore (surgery)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Jeff? Wilbur (health)
Cindy Wittig (surgery)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church