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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

Answered Prayer

Today's Verse:

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. ~James 5:16b

 

This morning, our devotion centers on an area of our Christian life that all of us believe, practice, and long to see consistent and powerful results in: we are looking at prayer. Prayer is when we bring our requests to God. Matthew 7:7 tells us that prayer is asking, seeking, and knocking. Jeremiah 33:3 tells us that prayer is calling out to God. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that prayer is the expected exercise of our faith. Hebrews 4:16 tells us that prayer is coming boldly to the throne of grace and finding grace to help in time of need. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us that prayer is casting all of our care upon Him because He cares for us. Prayer is asking God to do what we cannot do for His glory.


We see the principle concerning prayer.

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” God has strict conditions for the prayers He will answer. In fact, when these conditions are met, our prayers avail much. This means our praying sees consistent and powerful results. The first thing we see is the requirement of a righteous man. This simply means our life must be holy and filled with integrity. We must have no sin between us and God. When we read all of the previous verses in James' epistle, he deals with some issues that we must be sure our life and conscience is cleansed of. The second thing we see is that our praying must be hot and intense. The phrase "effectual fervent" means we put all of our heart into our praying. It is praying that wrestles with God. It is to pray in the Holy Ghost. It is praying that calls upon God in His holiness and mercy to intervene. It is to pray as a beggar begging for help.


We see the pattern concerning prayer.

James points us to Elijah. First, we see Elijah was a regular man. He was subject to like passions as we are. He was an ordinary man who had faith in an extraordinary God. He felt inadequate and overwhelmed by his circumstances. He got discouraged. It is not a superman who gets consistent answers to prayer. It is when a regular man places his entire dependence upon an awesome God for his needs that we see much results. Second, Elijah prayed with rigor, and he prayed earnestly. He was moved to pray for God to shut the heavens and stop the rain. This implies the same idea as "effectual fervent." He prayed until he had the peace of knowing that the answer was on the way. He prayed for something that would prove the supernatural power of God and give God glory. The rain stopped for three and a half years. It was praying that got Elijah in trouble! It was praying that shook things up in the economy. It was praying that proved God is real. Third, Elijah prayed repeatedly. He prayed again. The time came for him to pray another spectacular request. He prayed for God to send the rain. Again, God answered his prayer by sending rain and replenishing the earth.


We see the product concerning prayer.

God answered Elijah’s prayers! We see two things about the specifics of what he prayed for. In his first prayer, he prayed for God to stop the rain. In his second prayer, he prayed for God to send the rain. In both cases, he earnestly asked the God of creation to change the weather pattern for His glory. Our praying must be powerful requests that call on God to change things that we cannot. He prayed for divine intervention in accordance to God’s will. This kind of praying makes a difference. This kind of praying is the norm for answers. This kind of praying gets the focus on God.


God is in the business of answering prayers. We must adapt our praying to His requirements and His capability. Much of our praying is weak and without faith. Consider the model that we find in Elijah, and let us see a change in the kind of praying we will do.


Have a prayer-filled God Morning!

 

Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Chronicles 18-21

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