S (Scripture) – James 5:13 “Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
O (Observation) – Lord, prayer is one of the least understood disciplines of the spiritual life. As people come to know You, and have a desire to pray, they usually do not know how to even begin, other than by casually asking for things that they want. Prayer is not something we sit down and do, it is an overflow of the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts.
Here is an excerpt from the John Gills exposition of the Bible regarding this topic:
“…not any prayer of a righteous man is of avail, but that which is ‘effectual, fervent’; that has power, and energy, and life in it; which is with the Spirit, and with the understanding, with the heart, even with a true heart, and in faith; and which is put up with fervency, and not in a cold, lukewarm, lifeless, formal, and customary way: it is but one word in the original text; and the Vulgate Latin version renders it, ‘daily’; that prayer which is constant and continual, and without ceasing, and is importunate (persistent); this prevails and succeeds…Some translate the word ‘inspired’: the Spirit of God breathes into men the breath of spiritual life, and they live, and being quickened by him, they breathe; and prayer is the breath of the spiritual man, and is no other than the reverberation of the Spirit of God in him; and such prayer cannot fail of success: it may be rendered “inwrought”; true prayer is not what is written in a book, but what is wrought in the heart, by the Spirit of God; who is the enditer of prayer, who impresses the minds of his people with a sense of their wants, and fills their mouths with arguments, and puts strength into them to plead with God, and makes intercession for them according to the will of God; and such prayer is always heard, and regarded by him: this has great power with God; whatever is asked, believing, is received; God can deny nothing prayed for in this manner.”
A (Application) – For newer Christians, this should not be intimidating, but encouraging! We don’t have to try and come up with what to say in our prayer life, because the words are actually originating from the Spirit within us. It is our responsibility to draw closer to You through spending time with You in Your word, worship, serving others, and leading a disciplined life with You being first in all that we do. If we are truly living this kind of kingdom-focused life, the prayer emanating from our hearts will not be something we have to try and think of on our own. It will flow out of us effortlessly because it is, in fact, an overflow of the Spirit within us.
P (Prayer) – Lord Jesus, thank You for Your presence in our lives. Thank You that we are not expected to walk through this life alone. Psalm 37:23 says, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly; He delights in every detail of their lives.” You are with us always, and prayer is the way of communing with You each and every moment of the day. We are so thankful that Your Holy Spirit draws us into that fellowship with You, and intercedes for us when we are at a point where there are no words. Help us to draw closer to You and to continuously keep You first in everything.