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Effective Prayer

Another week has passed since we were together and somethings have changed. We are being advised that the peak may have been reached with the Coronavirus. That things may start to open up in the economy and people can get back to work. I am certain that is true but probably more so people want to get back to living life. Enjoying God’s creation, being with their friends and family. Certainly worshiping together will be very high on our list of things to do.

During these weeks of sheltering in place and social distancing, everyone has done some things differently. Many of you have probably started to work from home. If you have kids you have also taken on the job of a teacher. Now for some who considered homeschooling before they now know for sure it is something for you in the future or an admission that God does bless us with teachers. You are ready for your kid to go back to school, please.

We have all had more time on our hands. Maybe you have a book or two. Caught up on some TV shows and I really hope it was not “The Tiger King”. I digress because maybe you got involved in some devotionals, a Bible Study, reading God’s Word each day as a way to have a good start to the day. Things you maybe have done with regularity over these weeks and we will see how that goes in the future, won’t we?

Now if you are like most people your prayer life has certainly become more frequent. It may also have even become more intense. There is so much to pray about. Money, security, health, safety not only for yourself but for your loved ones.

James 5:16b

…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

That is to say that the heartfelt and persistent prayers of a believer. All believers can and should pray but we need to understand the Scriptural prerequisite in our praying. Over in 1 John 1:9, a verse we all know it says this in the Amplified version- If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose].

Jesus taught us to pray God’s will be done. So in order for His will be done in our life we have to do our part. Fervent prayer is not an intense, emotional prayer. Rather it is intense and focused prayer offered by a righteous believer. Thus when we pray as a righteous believer our prayer is made effective by God and is dynamic and can have tremendous power. God promises all believers that if we live righteously and pray fervently, our prayers will be effective and produce significant results.

Question: How do you treat a promise such as this?

Your response might be “I don’t know, but I do pray, and nothing happens”

So a follow-up question is: Do you hold yourself accountable to the Word of God?

The Scriptures tell us that prayer ought to accomplish much. So if we are praying but seeing no results, should we then conclude that this promise is untrue? Or, should we examine ourselves and see whether we meet the conditions?

James says that fervent prayer avails much. Are you as fervent as you should be in prayer? Because fervent prayer means several things. It means that-

1) we do not quit easily in praying to God

2) we purpose to spend sufficient time in intercession before God

3) we cry out to God, sometimes in tears, and always with all our heart and all our soul

4) we are intense and focused in our prayer and we are found as a righteous believer by God

So then, when does fervent prayer come? When we do all that we are required of God to do. When we feel weak though God says that the Holy Spirit assists us in prayer. Romans 8:26 says Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

So then we see that the Spirit [comes to us and] helps in our weakness…the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Life is hard but God is there for us when we follow Him and allow Him to work His plan in our lives. Remember that the word of God is absolutely reliable. Adhere to the requirements of God. He will then lead in your prayers for things that align with His purposes and God will answer our prayers in a mighty way.

A thought to ponder,

Elbert Nasworthy

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