Passionate, Fervent, Prayer

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (ESV)
James 5:16 b
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (NKJV) 
James 5:16b

 

Last night, our church held its annual Spring Prayer Day Service.

It is an evening devoted to praying for our work, crops, fields, and to recognize God as sovereign over all that we pray for.

We read the following Bible Verse together:

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce
no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 
YET I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habbakuk 3:17-18.

Then I thought how difficult that is for the Church of North America to understand with all our prosperity. Would we really keep praising God if we lost everything? That is a good question to ponder. We surely would need God’s help to stay thankful in those circumstances, to keep praising God and maintain a heart of gratitude.

So as I pondered the topic of prayer, I chose the Bible Verse from James 5:16(b) to head up the blog for today. The New King James version of the Bible translates the passage with excellence.

In our times of distress when our hearts are vulnerable, sometimes very broken, we need to be in prayer. But prayer is not enough. We need to have hope and faith. We put our hope in God to come through for us. That does not mean we get exactly what we want, but God will walk through whatever trial we are going through as a rock to lean on and a fortress to confide in.

When the believer, in God’s grace, prays expectantly, with hope and confidence in God’s promises, it avails much.

The term “avail,” according to dictionary.com means “to be of use; have force or efficacy, serve, help, effective use in the achievement of a goal or objective.”

So even if we don’t have the outcome of our will, God’s will prevails, and He will give us grace to sustain us whatever befalls us.

There are many examples of characters in the Bible, people used mightily by God, who sought God in prayer first before doing anything. One great example is always David. He had such strong faith that he dared to face the giant Goliath. Not only that, he had faith in God to give him victory. 

Our greatest example is always Jesus. He prayed as He went to the cross, knowing He would die a cruel death, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will, by yours be done.” Total submission to God’s will. Amazing.

I will revisit this topic of prayer soon, possibly for the month of April.

Let me just close with one thought and one more Bible Verse.

We fight the enemy of our souls, the devil with prayer. That is how we do spiritual warfare. We stand against the enemy with God who has power over and has defeated Satan. We pray. Rely on God. Pray.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against,
the devil’s schemes.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this
dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with readiness the comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Pray also for me,
that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly
make known the mystery of the gospel,
for which I am an ambassador in chains.
Pray that I may declare it fearlessly,
as I should.
Ephesians 6:10-20

If this doesn’t encourage us to pray fervently what will?

God hears the prayer of the righteous (made right by Jesus Christ alone) and as we lift our prayers fervently alone or in groups it is effective. Never ever, ever doubt the word of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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