SERMON TITLE: “Christian Devotion to Prayers”
SERMON TEXTS: Acts 2:41-42; James 5:13-18
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: October 2, 2022, at First UMC
A few days ago, a woman came here to the church. She came to pay for a booth in our upcoming Craft Fair, but we also got to talking about church and faith. The woman told me that she didn’t grow up as a Christian, but a couple years ago, something changed in her life. She decided she wanted to know about Jesus and the Bible. So, with the help of audio recordings, she’s been listening to and reading the Bible ever since. She told me that she had just recently finished the Old Testament and is now part-way into the Gospel of Matthew. She told me what church she’s been attending, and that she was going to be baptized there this morning. The woman and I talked on and on for at least an hour because she had so many thoughts and questions. Since everything about Christian faith is pretty new to her, she’s excited to see what each new chapter of the Bible offers, and what she can learn at each new worship service and educational opportunity.
My guess is that the earliest Christians had a similar eagerness to learn about Jesus and how to put their new faith into practice. Acts 2 tells us that, after they were baptized, they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Those practices of faith are essential not only for new Christians, but also for us long-time believers. So, over the past three weeks, we’ve already talked about breaking bread, the apostles’ teaching, and fellowship. Today, let’s focus our attention on the last one. Using James chapter five, let’s see if we can figure out what it means for us to have a Christian devotion to prayers.