This post has nothing to do with water. Or rocks. Or feet. Or fly-fishing for that matter. You know what I absolutely cannot quit thinking about lately?
I use the word "effective" because James tells us that "the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much."
I cannot get off this scripture.
The Bible says in Romans 3:22 that "righteousness from God comes through
faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe."
So, we then can know how to take care of
the "righteous" part in James 5:16 - give our lives to Christ.
So, once we are right with God, how then do we become "effective"
Obviously, anytime I stop to pray, I want God to hear me. I want Him to know my heart. To hear my cry. To heal. So, the question that has been swirling through my brain for about 8 months now is "Why are some people's prayers more effective than others?"
Why do some of my prayers seem to hit an invisible ceiling? Whereas, other times, it seems that the heavens literally part and the answer floats down miraculously, quickly, and sometimes just in the nick of time. Then, James goes on to talk about Elijah. He makes it perfectly clear that "Elijah was a man with a nature like ours..." I read that first line and think - "Okay James - you want me to know that Elijah was nothing special. Elijah was human, sinful, and with the same nature as you and I. "...and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on Earth for 3 years and 6 months. And he prayed again, and the sky poured rain, and the earth produced its fruit."
Wow. I stand in awe of that story.
It is obvious that through Elijah, God showed his power and judgement to the prophets of Baal. Elijah was bold. His prayers were effective. Yet, Elijah had a relationship with God first and foremost. Because of this relationship, there was a Holy God on the receiving end of his prayers. Elijah believed in God. He was obedient and willing to be used by God. We just began a study at church called "Lord Teach Me to Pray" by Kay Arthur. I don't know all the answers. I often wrestle with questions about hearing God's voice, praying God's will, and work to understand God's involvement in my circumstances. What I do know is that if the effectiveness of my prayers ever DOES depend on what I am doing or not doing, then I want to be confident that I can apply the truth of God's word to my prayer life. I want to know how to take care of business in intercession for my family, friends, and circumstances.
I'll be hashing out these questions/answers on my blog for the next few weeks.
Yet, I believe this is a good place to begin:
What are you praying for today? The first thing we must do in order for our prayers to be "effective" is to give our lives to Christ. It says there is "no way to the Father except through Christ Jesus" in John 14:6. Jesus bridges the gap. He stands in the gap between heaven and hell, and it is through Him that we can communicate with the Father. Lots of people pray, but is the God of the universe on the receiving end of your prayer? If you have not accepted Christ consider this today.