26 September 2013

Powerful AND Effective

There is a seemingly endless plethora of information on prayer in the Bible. Tonight the Lord put this verse in my heart and I wanted to check and make sure that no one had posted about it yet this month and to my excitement I am the first. :) I am excited because today God has answered my prayers which has motivated me to pray even more. After I heard the answer to my prayers I couldn't help but to pray even more for this person that everything would work out as God intends them to. Tonight God enabled me to pray in a way that I don't often have the right mindset to pray in; with authority. This article explains what it means to pray with authority "Praying with Authority" by Dr. Charles Stanley (better than I know how to explain it).

Anyways, the verse that I am so excited about sharing with you is...

James 5:15-17

New International Version (NIV)
15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.

This excerpt from Matthew Henry's Commentary on James 5 explains further. 

In prayer we must not look to the merit of man, but to the grace of God. Only in this we should copy after Elijah, that he prayed earnestly, or, as it is in the original, in prayer he prayed. It is not enough to say a prayer, but we must pray in prayer. Our thoughts must be fixed, our desires firm and ardent, and our graces in exercise; and, when we thus pray in prayer, we shall speed in prayer. Elijah prayed that it might not rain; and God heard him in his pleading against an idolatrous persecuting country, so that it rained not on the earth for the space of three years and six months. Again he prayed, and the heaven gave rain, etc. Thus you see prayer is the key which opens and shuts heaven. To this there is an allusion,Rev. 11:6; where the two witnesses are said to have power to shut heaven, that it rain not. This instance of the extraordinary efficacy of prayer is recorded for encouragement even to ordinary Christians to be instant and earnest in prayer. God never says to any of the seed of Jacob, Seek my face in vain. If Elijah by prayer could do such great and wonderful things, surely the prayers of no righteous man shall return void. Where there may not be so much of a miracle in God’s answering our prayers, yet there may be as much of grace.

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