Wednesday, December 30, 2015

PRAYERS OF THE BIBLE SERIES - THE BOOK OF JAMES, #8

METHODOLOGY CONCERNING: HAPPINESS
Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms (James 5:13b)
Most people I know only pray or ask for prayer in times of sickness, sadness and horrible tragedy. This is when all the calls for “thoughts and prayers” cometh forth. But do you know that God, our loving Heavenly Father, wishes to hear from us too when something good happens? There is nothing that happens to the believer which the Father hath not ordained. James says “every good gift  and every perfect gift is from above, and comes from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). This means “EVERY”.

The life we have, He gave it. The home we live in, He gave it. The spouse, children, parents and family we have, He gave it. The job, finances and automobiles we have, He gave. Our health, our joy, our peace of mind, our Salvation – all from Him. Why would we, therefore, not thank Him for any and all of this every single day?!

It is not the first time Scripture uses the word “cheerful”. When the Bible says “God loves a cheerful giver”, it means He loves someone who gives ungrudgingly, and  with a gracious attitude, or (attitude of gratitude).  The word also implies hilarity – jocularity and sheer joy which one is so filled with that it should burst forth to those around you, being grateful.

James not only brings up joy but directs us to the only true prayer book directly written by God – the Book of Psalms! Most of these psalms – all 150 of them – were written down by the great Biblical poet, King David but they emanated from the Spirit of God. This is so, for a reason – we are to pray them, learn them, sing them, read them, study them and simply  grow our faith through them.  A lot of modern contemporary worship singers like Third Day or Jeremy Camp have turned parts of psalms into amazing worship music. Third Day’s King of Glory is based on Psalm 24. But when James wrote this, all he had were the cantors in the Jerusalem Temple where Christians were not allowed (called “Followers of the Way” at that time). 


The closest you will ever come these days to what the psalms may have sounded like in Bible days can be listened to in these Messianic worship videos by Marty Goetz. Marty, like the Apostle Paul, was high up in Judaism as a Cantor, butwhen the Lord Jesus – Yeshua – saved him, Marty Goetz brought his brilliant talent, authentic synagogue background from the last 3500 years and his brilliant gift to singing Scripture.

Not all prayers are petitions asking something of our Great God in Heaven, through Jesus Christ. Some of them are designed to be just prayers of heartfelt praise and worship to our Creator and the King of the Universe!  Listen to part of Psalm 118 here, sung in original Hebrew, as recommended by James in Chapter 5, verse 13b. Some of what is being sung is from Psalm 118:25-26 "Save now, I pray, O Lord; O
 Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord....."

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