The 5 W's of Prayer




A newspaper


Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16 (NIV)

Every morning I read the newspaper to keep up with what is going on in the world. Do you ever read the newspaper? Did you know that the people who write the stories for the newspaper have a special way of deciding how to write their story? Well, here is what the reporter does. To make sure that the facts of the story are complete, a reporter makes sure that the article answers five important questions. Those five questions are: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. When we read a story, it is good for us to ask ourselves those same questions to help us fully understand the story.

Today, we are going to read some verses from the Bible. These verses were written by James, the brother of Jesus. In these verses, James is teaching about prayer. After we finish, let's see if we can answer the who, what, when, where, and why questions about prayer. (Read James 5:13-20)

Well, let's see if we can answer the five questions about prayer.

  • Who should pray? Anyone! These verses tell us that anyone who needs God's help or anyone who has received God's blessing should pray -- and that is all of us.
  • What should we pray about? Anything! We should pray for healing when we are sick and for forgiveness from sin. We should offer prayers of thanks when we are happy, and ask for help in times of trouble.
  • When should we pray? Anytime! If we should pray when we are in trouble, when we are sick, when we are happy, or when we have sinned, that is just about any time time, isn't it?
  • Where should we pray? Anywhere! These verses don't come right out and tell us where we should pray, but I figured it out. If we should pray any time we need God's help, then I guess it just makes sense that we should pray anywhere we are, because wherever we are, God is there!
  • Why should we pray? Because God answers prayer! These verses tell us that prayer is powerful and effective and that if we will pray, God will hear our prayers, heal the sick, and forgive our sins.

The five W's of prayer. Who? Anyone. What? Anything. When? Anytime. Where? Anywhere. Why? Because God answers prayer.

Dear Father, thank you for hearing and answering our prayers. Help us to remember that you want to heal us when we are sick, help us when we are in trouble, forgive us when we sin, and rejoice with us when we are happy. Amen.