Our Prayer of Faith in the Book of James (A Longer Version of the Bible Byte: 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 encourage us to walk into the fullness of our prayer of faith. The word “faith” is the Greek word pistis and always means “believing faith,” as is recorded in the verses below.

Jesus taught us that we should offer up all our prayers 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).

In order for people to genuinely have believing faith in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, it takes knowing him, as he taught and encouraged us to “learn of me” in Matthew 11:29. Learning of Jesus builds up our trust to enjoy a partnership with both him and his powerful name which combined will mature our believing faith to receive the precise answers to our prayers of whatsoever we shall ask.

Jesus is our golden thread to God’s abundance, yet for so many people, Jesus is so often bypassed on their way toward God’s promises that are recorded in His healing Word. I cannot think of a faster way to learn of Jesus and of his readily powerful name than through our new eBooklet series, The Golden Thread, that presents Jesus in crystal clear revelations through the whole Bible.

James 1:1-2:
-1: JAMES, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
-2: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers {many} temptations.

Temptations are so often signs that a believer is doing something good, noteworthy, and godly, as the pressures of life often arise to cause the Christian believer to fall off the path he or she is walking on. Though the “temptation” itself is not a literal joy, but the proof that a believer is heading along in a godly direction that leads to everlasting joy, like my friend, Dell used to say, “I must be doing something right or the Devil wouldn’t be bothering me so much.”

The Apostle Paul taught, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (II Timothy 3:12), yet Christians who pass through temptation can count it all joy, because they will know, as Paul knew, “the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me” (II Timothy 4:17).

Temptations are peripheral and temporal, while Joy is continuously inside the believer’s heart as a “fruit of the spirit” (Galatians 5:22), and as Jesus said, “your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you” (John 16:22).

The Bible does not suggest that being a Christian will always be easy, but a Christian can always be joyful and overcome the pressures of life and be rewarded for all eternity for standing faithful upon the convictions of their believing faith today.

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 in} nothing.
-5: If any of you lack wisdom {about what to actually pray for}, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not {will not criticize or reprimanded for asking}; and it shall be given him.
-6: But let him ask {God} in faith {believing faith, with} nothing wavering {not allowing surging doubts that can crash into our hopes and dreams of receiving a positive answer to our prayers}. 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 will be answered} think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
-8: A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

The words, trying of your faith in verse 3 has been used (by some) to suggest that God Almighty tempts His children’s faith just to see if they can pass His tests. This concept presents a false understanding about our God Who is a God “of love and peace” (II Corinthians 13:11).

The Prophet proclaimed for God Almighty, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

God never tempts His beloved children: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:13-14). Lust takes people into temptation and it can hold them there, but our heavenly Father never has, never does, and never will!

Only by bypassing Jesus, who is “the way” and “the truth” to God’s promises, can people imagine that our God had tempted or is tempting them. You see, without the truths of Jesus in one’s life, false doctrines can and do hatch and take flight on the winds of error and produce the blinding falsehoods that cause one to conceive, confess, and then believe that God is tempting His beloved children in the guise of making them better Christians.

It is a temptation to envision and confess that the God of all love is the actual source of your temptation, but it is not true, as we just read neither tempteth he any man! This world is already filled with temptations without adding our loving heavenly Father into the equation; in fact, it is His will to deliver His children through Christ (Galatians 1:4, Colossians 1:13).

God is not the cause of one’s problems, but He can become the cure when we learn to see Him through the eyes of our Savior. Remember in the Gospels, Jesus was tempted by (not God, but by) the Devil in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). Well, the Devil was so named THE TEMPTER in verse 3, and yet today there are some Christians who imagine just the opposite and blame God for being THE TEMPTER, and this is slanderous to the God of all love!

The belief that God tempts His children distorts biblical truths and compounds giving rise and power to the wrong concepts of a vengeful God rather than coming to recognize the truth that He is a loving Father to His children.

Recall, God not only “so loved the world,” but to prove His love He also “gave His only begotten Son,” as stated in John 3:16, and through His Son one can come to know the truth, the truth that makes one free, with the explicit freedom that allows one to know the wonderful love God has for His children individually. Jesus said in John 16:33 that “in {or through} me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world {for you}.”

Even in the midst of tribulation, which the world is full of (Philippians 2:15), we can experience the comforting peace of Jesus Christ who reassures and consoles us in our inner hearts. In the world, one is enclosed in tribulation but in Jesus, one is lifted up to daily victories over temptation.

I Corinthians 15:57:
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through Jesus, thankfully, we can experience victory over the real Tempter who is the source of all temptation, as we continue walking with Jesus who not only overcame the world, but also showed us how to follow in his own footsteps. In addition, God helps us to escape temptation when we look to Him and His strength through Christ because God then can “with the temptation {that we may be struggling through} also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear {up and out of} it” (I Corinthians 10:13). For those who claim James 1:13-14 (that we read above) is the truth, and that God, one way or another, still tempts them, then please reread James 1:8 – above – again – please.

Now back to James 1:3 and the phrase, the trying of your faith which simply means that a person is trying out and practicing their believing faith (taking it out for a spin, so-to-speak, for “practice makes perfect”), and this helps develop godly patience. James 1:3-8 is set in the context of prayer rather than on the subject of temptation, and receiving the answers to our prayers is paramount. We are encouraged to have patience with our believing faith in order that we may fully receive all our answers.

The word try is translated “approve” in Philippians 1:10 because we are to test with patience our believing faith until we begin receiving, which will in turn develop in our lives greater and greater results as we stand faithful in Christ. A test pilot takes an airplane, in a leap of courage, up into the sky and flies it to its limits to test its design, but his job is not a temptation, rather it is a joy for him to maneuver his plane through the air and test out all the new designs built into the airship.

Well it is the same basic concept with our believing faith; it is not a temptation to try out our believing faith, rather it is a privileged joy to experience what our believing faith will bring into our lives, it is a leap of faith and in this, we should count it all joy.

Believing faith is actually very, very, very simple to utilize, but takes a lifetime to master. “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith {our believing faith}. And the Lord said, If ye had faith {believing faith} as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine {mulberry} tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you” (Luke 17:5-6).

Many prayers are not answered immediately; if they were, that would be a miracle which does happen from time to time, but most of our prayers are fulfilled at a perfect (future) moment in time to bless us individually as we maintain our believing faith, and this takes patience and steadfastness with believing faith that we SHALL receive.

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 above. God absolutely loves it when we “believers” actually “believe” when we pray and then maintain that belief until we receive!

After a prayer is offered up to God, then believing in that prayer commences as we maintain a positive attitude until we receive – this affords the believer with what God prizes as being much more precious than of gold.

The prayer of (believing) faith works better than a gold credit card, for God does not charge His children any interest nor are we expected to pay Him back with anything but with a thankful acknowledgement that He is our sufficiency.

Proverbs 4:5-7:
-5: Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
-6: Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
-7: Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding {as well}.

The Book of James (1:6, above) teaches believers to ask first for wisdom because with (God’s) wisdom we will assuredly know what to ask for in prayer and come to know Him intimately as our sufficiency. This word wisdom in this verse means God’s knowledge received and then applied by our believing faith.

James 4:2:
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill {the word kill is a very poor translation, for kill means 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.

To lust and desire after things beyond what is a need in our life is not something God provides for His children. God will supply your needs, but greed is something people attempt to acquire by their own labors. 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 or hoping” that God is our sufficiency is not the same thing as asking and thanking Him in our prayers to be our sufficiency as we manifest our believing faith with confidence.

God wants us to pray and thus connect with Him on a spiritual level, as He wants to answer our prayers on a physical level; and believe me when I say this: He wants to return our prayers answered even more than we want to pray them. God is our heavenly Father, He loves us, and nothing is too hard or difficult for Him, rather it is our believing faith in our prayers that determines the actual outcome.

Jeremiah 32:17:
Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

I have heard it said, “Give your prayer to God, and then forget about it, for it is now in His hands.” But this negates what the Book of James has stated. Would a farmer plant a seed and then sit on his tractor and never start it up or take it out of the barn and forget about all his labor, thinking, it is now in God’s hands? Well if he did, the seed would eventually be choked off with weeds.

When believers pray and continue believing, they also are cultivating a particular prayer with positive believing faith and with patience; this opens the doors of receiving. Hebrews 6:7 states, “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs {vegetables} meet {meet means worthy} for them by whom it is dressed {cultivated}, receiveth blessing from God.”

It is the one who cultivates with continued believing faith in a prayer to be answered; this is who will reap the blessing from God with a bountiful harvest. It would be a better practice to say, “Give your prayer to God, and then do not take it back by doubting Him, but believe until you receive, for until you do it is in His Hands and it is on its way.” What did the Prophet write, “Now faith {believing faith} is the substance of things hoped {or prayed} for, the evidence of things not {yet} seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

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, how do we know what to ask for so that we may receive? 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 hundreds of them 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, 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, much more precious than of gold. Have you ever considered why our believing faith is so much more valuable than of gold? A man may sell his soul, but he cannot buy eternal life, peace, joy, true inner happiness, or love, even if he possessed all the gold in the world. These are all gifts of God and freely given to men and women who enjoy believing faith!

We can stand in total awe of these gifts and thoroughly appreciate them for they far surpass any monetary value.

Proverbs 8:11, and 16:16:
-11: For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

-16: How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

Believing faith gives us the joy to believe God will care for us, as we do the best we can with what we already have and what we already know about our God.

Who is richer, a person with a large checking account or someone who has all his needs met by having believing faith in his heavenly Father to be his sufficiency? No contest, the believer is by far the crowned winner in God’s eyes because “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

James 5:16:
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, as well, they can pray with us:} and pray one for one another, that ye may be healed {in regards to our prayer life}. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

My wife, prayer partner, and best friend says I sometimes have greater believing when I pray for others than I do for myself – thank God she not only prays with me but for me! The point is, it is great to have a prayer partner, for when one falls a little short in their believing faith, the other can give comfort and a shoulder to lean on.

Matthew 18:19-20:
-19: Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
-20: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Matthew 18:19-20 is such a wonderful, thrilling, and powerful section of Scripture that Jesus spoke; I want to re-quote this for you, from the Amplified Bible. Enjoy!

Matthew 18:19-20 (The Amplified Bible):*
-19: Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.
-20: For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them.

When you have a prayer partner, your emphases literally change from the focus of you only receiving – to giving, and that is a very important key for unlocking your believing abilities and your receiving potentials.

Receivers, whose focus is on gaining always take and use more and more, while givers, whose focus is on giving and blessing others always receive more and more (Luke 6:38, Acts 20:35, and Ephesians 4:28)!

Proverbs 27:9, 17:
-9: Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.
-17: Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10:
-9: Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
-10: For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

It is a good idea and very rewarding to have a prayer partner, someone we can pray with and for you and someone you can pray with and for in Jesus Christ’s powerful name. Having a Christian friend who can inspire us, encourage us, and even confront us, if needed, is priceless and so very satisfying to the soul of man, and if you do not have this right now, then, I would suggest trying out your believing faith and pray for one.

The Book of Hebrews further encourages us to not to forget the leadership in the church who have so much to offer the newer believers that can help them to develop their own prayer of believing faith in order to receive from God.

Hebrews 13:7-8:
-7: Remember them which have the rule over you {in Christian leadership positions}, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith {believing faith} follow, considering the end of their conversation. {Their conversation about the teachings of Jesus Christ that never change with time but, if anything, they become more concise over time, as the next verse continues to explain:}
-8: Jesus Christ {is} the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

You see, the lessons Jesus taught about having believing faith to receive are still as powerfully real as they ever were. As Jesus taught us, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you” (John 16:23) and this is still as true today because Jesus Christ {is} the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

The Book of James gives us a great example of an Old Testament believer who had learned to operate his believing faith, and received.

James 5:17-18:
-17: Elias {Elijah} was a man subject to like passions as we are {who failed and succeeded, yet his believing continued to grow}, and {then, finally one day} 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 the Old Testament in the Book of I Kings 17:1 and 18:1, 41-45; God had 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 wrongly believe, and 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 available to us, and we can find promises that will meet our daily needs. One great promise is recorded in John 15:16 (see the beginning of this Bible Study), which is really quite vast, where 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 faith and to keep on 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 His Son (our golden thread) into focus in our minds, as we continue believing God in Christ’s name for blessings to be in and around our lives.

Philippians 4:19:
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

“If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent.” ~Isaac Newton~

* Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

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.

Ask and It Shall Be Given

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

 Matthew 7:7:
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

This is a wonderful section of Scripture. Yet how often do we simply ask? In the Book of James 4:2 it says “. . . ye have not, because ye ask not.” Sometimes asking may be a difficult thing for us to do because we normally earn the things that we have, and for some unknown reason asking almost seems wrong. Yet, in Matthew, Jesus was teaching that it is perfectly all right to ask when we have a need in our lives.

James 1:5-6a:
-5: If any of you lack wisdom, let him {beg, cry, and whine: no, it does not say that, it says} ask of God, that {Who} giveth to all men liberally {in simplicity, with a readiness of heart}, and upbraideth not {without faultfinding}; and it shall be given him.
-6a: But let him ask in faith {believing faith}. . .

When we pray what do we do? We ask! But is an answer to prayer honesty that simple to receive from God? Yes, it most definitely is! God’s Word says repeatedly to ask, and when we do, “it shall be given.”

Matthew 7:8:
For every one {including you and me} that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Often receiving things that are greater than our means appears to be either too difficult or downright impossible to acquire (Matthew 19:26). Inadvertently people can project this same kind of difficulty into their believing when hoping or desiring to receive blessings from God, so when they do ask, they will ask in a cloud of doubt. Nevertheless, it is always God’s will and good pleasure to take care of us. God always wants us to be happy and to have what we need to live abundantly.

There are times that we may ask and not receive, and without understanding God’s Word, we can suspect that God really does not answer prayer. However, James 4:3 says “Ye ask, and receive not {and this is the reason they “receive not”}, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lust.” God not only supplies our needs when we ask, He usually goes beyond what we ask just to bless us; however, God will never supply greed (greed is something that men thirst after and acquire on their own), and in the Book of James it says this is asking “amiss.”

The Bible encourages the children of God to ask, seek, and knock, and to believe that He is not only willing, but He is also able to give (Romans 4:21). Then the Word of God says you will receive, find, and the door will be opened into the abundance that God truly awards to His children.