Prayer is an effort of will. For example, “You shall not steal” (Deuteronomy 5:19). Print subscriptions available in U.S., Canada and Europe, Article URL: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/god/prayer-fasting-and-meditation/how-to-pray/effective-prayer/, Intercessory Prayer: How to Pray for Others, Spiritual Needs to Pray for From Psalm 119. And then verse 17 comes to ground that point. It’s tragic how easily we can miss the main ingredient in effective prayer. Effective prayer is prayer that we know God hears. God deeply desires for human beings to grow to love Him with all of their heart, mind, life (soul) and strength, and to show their love by obeying Him (Deuteronomy 6:5-6; 30:6; Joshua 22:5; Nehemiah 1:5; Matthew 22:37). Prayer meets our inner needs removing fear, strengthening us, and providing guidance and wisdom. These "studies on intercessory prayer" have revealed no objective effect. John also wrote, “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22). If this were true, no human would have ever had an effective prayer … God’s ears are open to the prayers of the righteous who are humbly seeking His help, guidance and blessing. But prayer is not some incantation or formula to produce "results." And I know that You always hear Me” (John 11:41-42). All rights reserved. We’re on a mission to change that. Dr. Fred Rosner, an authority on Sign up to receive the week's latest articles, blog posts and updates. This means that the locus of effective prayer is not us, but God. Does God love everyone in the world? David wrote in one of his psalms, “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. From this passage we see that the main key to the effectiveness of prayer is the spiritual condition of the one offering the prayer. God’s commands came from His mind and thus reveal His mind and nature. Effectiveness is the belief that our prayers have power over everything. As the New International Version puts it, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”. Does it mean that Elijah was righteous and his prayers worked, so we should be like Elijah for our prayers to work too? It’s what I used to think. The fewer the words the better prayer. Without faith, … Interlinears and other translations show that the word fervent is not actually supported by the Greek of this passage, but the words righteous and effective definitely are. Jesus gives us his commentary regarding the effectiveness of prayer. He or she has come to know God by living a life of obedience to Him in the letter and spirit of His laws (1 John 2:3-4). Prayer is not optional for the believer because it is one of our vital covenant responsibilities. From this passage we see that the main key to the effectiveness of prayer is the spiritual condition of the one offering the prayer. James tells us that Elijah’s prayers … “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. Prayer showed me who I am in Him rather than in the world. At least 10 … Or sickness? Prayer led me to the throne of God where I met Him for the first time and eventually felt His presence. Praying rightly for something that would glorify the Lord is an excellent way to pray. If we talked to people the way we too often talk to God, they might think we are losing our mental faculties because our minds wander from one subject to another. James doesn’t say for us to be like Elijah for our prayers to be answered, but that Elijah was like us and his prayers were answered — therefore, pray. You can learn to pray with confidence, knowing that God is listening and will act for your good according to his will. What does God’s Word reveal about righteousness―how to be considered by God as being righteous? It comes down to whether the one praying has an attitude of humility or self-righteousness. When we study and obey His Word and seek to please Him, the same God who made the sun stand still upon … A key to praying rightly is to pray for things that are on God’s heart – like asking the Lord for the opportunity … To make it even clearer, he follows this with, “The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power.” That line is the second portion in a double dose of support for our praying. For a more complete study of the keys to answered prayer, please read the article “Five Keys to Answered Prayer.”. In our sin, we’ve been rewired to focus on us — on the steps we should take for our prayers to be heard. Used by permission. It’s commonly understood like this: Be righteous, and your prayers will work. All of God’s commandments and laws are a product of God’s mind. Then, in the beginning of verse 16, because prayer is effective (James 5:13–15), he says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16). Rather, prayer is a means of communication with God. Rote, memorized prayers are not what God wants. Charles Jr. addresses five elements that impact the effectiveness of prayer. Learn More About Prayer, Fasting and Meditation. If something works for somebody, we want to know what that somebody is doing. Like James said, “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and … Our broken bent is to make the burden of this passage something to do with us. We can become righteous by humbly using the power of God’s Spirit to live in obedience to God―learning to love as God loves. But effective prayer does require that we understand and believe that we are indeed talking to our God and Father who loves us (John 16:26-27) and is concerned for us and our needs, whether we are offering up intercessory prayer for others or requests for our own needs. What do I mean by this? If you're not religious, then it comes from the brain." ~ Oswald Chambers. It’s what happens when we fly by the text without questions. A willingness to compromise and make personal sacrifices is critical to healthy close relationships. While some religious groups argue that the "power of prayer" is obvious, others question whether it is possible to measure its effect. That is why the Word of God admonishes that we pray always, Luke 18:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:17. They married a few days following his graduation. For prayer to be effective, we need to speak to our Father as we would speak to anyone whose help we are seeking. We pray as ordinary people who have an extraordinary God. But if our faith is in Jesus, the Bible tells us he is the reason our prayers are effective. We often think of "effective prayer" as prayer that leads to the results we desire. For they think that they will be heard for their many words” (Matthew 6:7). This is something Jesus warned against in what is called His Sermon on the Mount. Never miss a post! Why? (2) Through prayer God’’s servants gain ample provision for all their needs. “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently.”. debate surrounding intercessory prayer may also diminish with time, even though our ignorance about the mechanism involved may remain. It’s what happens when we fly by the text without questions. But that’s the skim-milk meaning. Mercy for Today: A Daily Prayer from Psalm 51. The letter of God’s commandments and laws describes what we are to do or not do. What does Elijah have to do with our praying? Prayer is a powerful force of change in the life of the believer. Why? It became my lifeline of joy, peace, love, and hope. Many of us find James 5:16 to be a familiar verse: “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” — which is also translated, as an ESV footnote spells out, “The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power.”. How Should a Christian Deal With the Coronavirus Pandemic? Remember what Jesus said when He prayed to His Father (who is also our Father) when He resurrected Lazarus. ~ John Bunyan. One of the important keys in praying is to come to God with an attitude of humble obedience. They will want to live to please God. Effective prayer is a way to strengthen our relationship with our Father in heaven. Prayer is effective, not because of great men who pray, but because of a great God who in Christ graciously hears his people. And being just a man, being like us, having a nature like ours, he prayed fervently and God heard. His concern is not how prayer is made effective, but that prayer is effective. He had a nature like ours. God wants this for our benefit—for our good! Get the latest blog posts from Life, Hope & Truth straight to your inbox. In Proverbs 10:24 we read that God will respond positively to the requests of the righteous: “The fear of the wicked will come upon him, and the desire of the righteous will be granted.”. 2:5). Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. By Joy Kitanga. Married couples who are happy to … prayers are effective, most of us just give up the idea of having an effective prayer life. We desire effective and powerful and being just a man with a nature ours! The article “ five keys to answered Prayer. ” for answers and searching for God will come repentance—to... Have no experience of lasting joy in Jesus, the Bible tells us he loving! Health than using any single study method need to be considered by God as righteous! S what happens when we fly by the text without effectiveness of prayer ( John )... 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