But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

1. What questions or doubts do you have about prayer?

2. Do you think God still works powerfully through prayer? Does he work through your prayers?

3. Which are you more likely to do: work your way out of hard situations by talking or by silence? Why might prayer be a better option than either? Where in your life should you speak less? Where do you need speak more and ask for prayer?

4. Do you ever approach prayer as a transaction, hoping you’ve built up your spiritual bank account to pay for what you want?

5. What does it mean to pray in Jesus’ name?

6. How do you respond when God apparently says ‘no’ to your prayers? Is the example of Jesus and hope of resurrection comforting at all?

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