The James 5 Key to Reaching Out to Straying Believers

Like sheep, it's easy for believers to stray from the Good Shepherd. Here's what you can do about it. (Pixabay)

The first step of the hunters strategy is to strengthen yourself in the Lord. What do we mean by strengthen ourselves in the Lord? Unless we are strengthened for our engagement with the dropout, we will end up spiritually exhausted and cease our pursuit of restoration for them.

This step consists of three distinct facets of your spiritual walk:

1. Be filled with the Spirit

2. Consistent Prayer

3. Praise

Last week we looked at No. 1. This week we will examine No. 2: Develop a consistent prayer life. The key Scripture is James 5:16: "The effective  fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much." You cannot be strong in the Lord without effectual, fervent prayer. Let's look at what this means.

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Effectual: Philemon 6 says: "[I pray] that the sharing of your faith may be most effective (same Greek word used in James 5:16) by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus." Prayer is simply the "communication of my faith" to God. This Scripture can be rephrased as " I pray that your [prayers] become effective by acknowledging every good thing in you in Christ."

To "acknowledge every good thing in you in Christ" means to affirm and believe what God says about us in the Word—who we are in Christ and who Christ is in us.

Fervent: Our prayers must also be "fervent" to be like Elijah of old. This term means with zeal, with energy (to be hot). You cannot drum up fervency. Simply praying loud isn't necessarily fervent. You must have an encounter with God personally to become fervent. Not just once, but continually. The more encounters with the living God we have, the more fervent we become.

Action Tip

Start getting alone with God long enough and often enough that His glory starts to have a major impact on your daily life. Pray what He says about you. For more depth on this read Hunters of the Harvest, chapter 8.

Louis Posthauer is the executive director of Hunters of the Harvest Ministry. He has been actively involved in the local church for 37-plus years and currently serves as a lay leader and teacher at Living Word Church of the Nazarene in Houston. For more information: huntersoftheharvest.org.

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