POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE PRAYER
Thursday, 13 June 2019
James 5 : 13-20
“…The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly…” -James 5:16-17 [NLT]
James wrote his letter to Jewish Christians who had been scattered throughout the Mediterranean world because of persecution. Also, it focuses to strengthen the faith and offers practical advice on living, for the Christian.
The word Prayer (do pray, will pray, praying) – is mostly used (in vain) by people, including the children of God; and most don’t have a proper practice of prayer according to the word of God—yet the word is still used. Here in our reading portion, the author encourages/tells us to pray in different situations while taking an example of the Prophet Elijah and equating it with each of us with the statement- Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly (James 5:17) miracles happened. At first instance, it may bring a question in our mind, i.e how can James compare Elijah with each of us? Elijah, the one who God used mightily, the one who countered the kings, stood against idolatry, etc! How can we?— The answer is PRAYER, which is the connecting point. Elijah is introduced as- Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead (1Kings 17:1)- Nothing more is said of him, but the latter part of his life very clearly proves that he must have had a Secret Prayer Life before his introduction to the public too!
Some of the terms used by James in this portion will truly help us in the steadfast growth in our prayer life
Prayer of faith (James 5:15)- Will save the one who is sick, those who suffering (James 5:13)
Pray for one another (James 5:16)- Confession of sins (if he committed)
Prayer of the righteous (James 5:16)- Justified by the righteousness of Christ, every truly righteous person has the Spirit of Christ. (Rom.8:5)
Prayer has great power (James 5: 16)- Well explained throughout the Scriptures.
Prayer produce an effect (James 5:16)- “Ask me of things to come; will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?” (Isaiah 45:11)
Pray earnestly (James 5:17)- If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. (Ps.66:18)
Pray continually (James 5:18)- 1Thess.5:17
When we look into the Bible or into history, we find that every man /woman of God that was used by God were men and women of secret prayer. Christ Jesus also showed us the great example of a life filled with prayer. Prayer is one of the great provisions given by the Lord for us to communicate. God in His mercy has made all the provision for mankind to communicate with Him; 1 Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus…” No other means/medium that the world seeks today is required other than what God has provided/promised. Prayer is not a one way but a two-way communication. A real praying person is also one who always hears from the Lord.
Many of our problems would be answered / solved if we take time to get alone with God and seek Him on a regular daily intense time of prayer! In Prayer only, will one see/perceive things which a worldly person cannot. God does not expect a Christian who struggles; yet He looks for His child who leads a victorious Prayer life which will reflect the real Christian character in all the areas of his/her life. Through such His name is glorified!
To Act on:
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
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