James – Revealing Our Prayer of Faith

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Book of James is specifically addressed “to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad” (James 1:1), yet today all believers can enjoy the instructions that indeed encourage us walk into the fullness of our prayer of faith, and “faith” means believing faith.

Jesus taught us that we should offer all prayer in his name, so that when we pray we invoke his own power and believing faith “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (John 15:16).

James 1:3-8:
-3: Knowing this, that the trying of your faith {your believing faith} worketh patience.
-4: But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting {or lacking} nothing.
-5: If any of you lack wisdom {about what to pray for}, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not {will not criticize or reprimand for asking}; and it shall be given him.
-6: But let him ask {God} in faith {believing faith, with} nothing wavering {without doubts}. For he that wavereth {doubts that his prayer will be answered} is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
-7: For let not that man {who doubts his prayer} think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
-8 A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

In verse 3 the word “trying” does not infer that someone is being tempted to believe (that is ridiculous when you think about it), rather it means that a person is trying out and practicing their believing (taking it out for a spin, so-to-speak, for practice makes perfect).

I Peter 1:7 relates “That the trial of your faith {believing faith} being much more precious than of gold.”

The word “trial” is the same word in the Greek Text as “trying” in James 1:3. God absolutely loves it when we “believers” actually “believe!”

James teaches us to ask first for “wisdom” because with wisdom we will assuredly know that believing really works, with God’s wisdom we can know Him intimately, and wisdom means God’s knowledge applied.

James 4:2 –Ye lust, and have not: ye kill {a poor translation, for “kill” means to “lust,” as it is written in the center margin of the King James version}, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war {within the mind of the lustful}, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

Whenever we simply believe in prayer offered to God for Him to take care of us, and we began believing that our prayers are heard, they will absolutely be answered. However, James says that, “ye have not, because ye ask not,” because simply wishing that God were our sufficiency is not the same thing as asking Him in our prayers to be our sufficiency.

God wants us to pray, and thus connect with Him on the spiritual level as He wants to answer our prayers even more than we want to pray them. James continues with man’s greatest downfall in prayer.

James 4:3 – Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

So the question becomes, then how do we know what to ask for? The answer goes back to first asking God for wisdom, and then secondly, knowing what God promises in His Word because if we claim any of God’s promises (and there are greater than nine-hundred promises that we can ask for) in Christ’s name, then God will supply them to us. One of the greatest joys in this life for the believer is discovering God’s promises and in addition, then trying out our faith, our believing faith that God will answer our prayers; the more we do so, the greater and more priceless our believing becomes.

James 5:16-18:
-16: Confess your faults one to another, {This does not imply confessing all our sins to each another, but rather in context: when we try over and again to believe and still fail, we may go to a fellow believer who has received answers to their own prayers, and they can help guide us to improve our own believing and pray with us.} and pray one for one another, that ye may be healed {in our prayer life}. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
-17: Elias {Elijah} was a man subject to like passions as we are {who failed and succeeded, yet his believing continued to grow}, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
-18: And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

This record of Elijah is recorded in I Kings 17:1 and 18:1, 41-45. God told him that it would not rain, this was the wisdom of God, which then Elijah could pray for with believing faith. This is not a license for us to pray for rain or drought on a whim, or to pray for disasters like some people do who miss the mark completely on God’s true intent. The point here is that Elijah received God’s Word, and then he believed in his prayer as God brought it to pass. However, today we have God’s whole Word and we can find promises that will meet our daily needs; a great one is John 15:16 above, which is really quite vast for the word “whatsoever” is used, as long as what-so-ever we ask of Him in Christ’s name does not contradict or run at cross purposes to God’s whole will.

We have God’s permission to pray with believing and to keep practicing, for this is more precious than gold, especially when we begin receiving our every need (Philippians 4:19), because gold cannot buy us happiness, peace of mind, love, joy, or any of the gifts that accompany eternal life.

Our Prayer of Faith brings God’s healing Word to life in our hearts and to pass in and around our lives.