Today let’s talk about the topic of “prayer” from God’s Word and then spend time praying together.   Think about the way the general society thinks about prayer—whether Shinto, Buddhist, or even non-religious opinions. What is different about the motivation for Christian prayer and non-Christian prayer?

Describe your current prayer habits (where, when, how, what). How has your praying developed since you first became a Christian?

Read James 5:13-18  [13] Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. [14] Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. [15] And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. [16] Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. [17] Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. [18] Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

Through prayer we show our faith in God as we entrust our concerns to him and anticipate God to work. Too often we pray for rain without opening an umbrella. We pray without actually believing that God will do something. God doesn’t answer every prayer because often he has a better plan than our prayers. But, we should pray like he’s going to answer every prayer.

God answers prayer. Everyone say that out loud: God answers prayer! Believing that God answers prayer, what BIG request do you want to ask of him? Before everyone answers that question read 

Luke 11:2-4
[2] And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. [3] Give us each day our daily bread, [4] and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”

Now, believing that God answers prayer, what is one BIG request concerning God’s name and kingdom (Luke 11:2) and one BIG request concerning your daily life (Luke 11:3-4)?

We will pray for these requests together in few minutes. But let’s read James 5:16 again.

[16] Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.  

Also read 2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  

Throughout the Bible and throughout history since the time of the Bible, humble repentance of sin, followed by faith filled prayer has often preceded great movements of the gospel. Japan has over 120,000,000 people and yet less than 1% are saved. Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

Let’s pray together, in faith, right now. If you have something to repent of, do so before God and one another in prayer. With great faith and anticipation of God working, bring your BIG requests before him and petition God to bring his kingdom here in Japan. “Pull out your umbrellas” and let’s pray!