“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16, KJV)
“The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16, NASB)
Whichever translation you prefer, the message is clear. If you live right with God, and you pray with all your heart, your prayers can make a huge difference.
Satan does not fear our money. He fears our prayers, if they are red hot.
Half-hearted prayers barely have any impact at all. God is looking for people who love Him fervently. People who love God fervently will begin to love His will for them and for others. We are invited to pray passionately for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
One of the biggest lies about God’s will is that “it is going to happen anyway, whether you pray fervently or not”. This kind of fatalistic thinking is popular with many lazy Christians who really don’t believe that prayer makes a serious difference. If your theology makes you cold, indifferent or complacent in prayer, throw out your theology and find a better one. The BIBLE, which ought to be our final authority on matters of faith, says that PRAYERS CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE.
The Bible does also say, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” (Psalm 66:18). On this matter, it doesn’t matter so much if you are confident that you are righteous by faith, if at the same time you just love some particular sin that you know God hates. Your prayers won’t be heard if you don’t repent. Don’t waste your time praying onand on if you have no intention of letting God conform you to His will.
BUT, if you are truly yielded to God, KNOW that there is POWER in PRAYER. Massive power.
The Bible says it, and that ought to be enough for us. But beyond the Bible, there is also human experience. Great Christian leaders of the past were men of fervent prayer, and they got results. The true leaders of today who are preaching a true gospel message and following after righteousness are also men of prayer. People like Rees Howells changed history, affected the outcome of World War 2, and a lot more, through prayer. John Wesley lives a life of continual prayer, even as he worked and labored in so many other ways, and his life changed England and made it the best country in the world for the next 100 years or so. Hudson Taylor blazed a pioneering trail for the gospel in China – he was also a man of prayer. George Muller raised unbelievable amounts of money for orphans and for missions through prayer and faith.
Learn to draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. As you draw near to God, allow Him to show you any attitudes, thought patterns or behavior patterns that displease Him. View it as a great opportunity to be more effective in life. Because when you change your thinking according to God’s will, your entire life is going to be blessed much more. And your prayer life will get more results.
Jesus told us that if we remain connected to Him, and His Word remains in us, we will ask what we DESIRE and it will be done (John 15:7). The goal of prayer then is to get into a place of unity of heart and purpose with the Lord so that we are going to be asking for the things which God WANTS to do, but WILL NOT do unless He can find the right human prayer partners from among His children.
Viewed in this way, prayer can be seen as the main work of the Christian. This is true, as long as we are also obedient to the commands and teachings of Jesus as He reveals them to us in different ways – but especially through the Scriptures.
If certain countries seem hardened to the gospel, prayer can make a difference. If there seems to be a lack of resources for God’s work, prayer can make a difference. If people are sick, discouraged or depressed, prayer can make a difference.
Prayer is as powerful as the God who made the Universe. The only thing is to play by God’s rules. And go for it with all your heart. Then you will see what can happen.
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