When it comes to Believers Praying Effectively to God, the Bible says:
‘The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months’ (James 5:16-17 NKJV).
There are two words in this portion of Scripture that you need to pay particular attention to:
(1) ‘Fervent’. This describes the intense heat you get from a blazing fire. The Amplified Bible puts it like this:
‘The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God – it is dynamic and can have tremendous power]’ (James 5:16).
If you’re not careful, you can fall into the trap of thinking you have to ‘work up’ strong emotions before you pray or while you’re praying, in order for your prayers to be heard and answered. Not so! Your feelings may move you, but only your faith will move God.
The Bible says, ‘He who comes to God must believe…that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him’ (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV).
Just because you felt God’s presence in a special way yesterday when you prayed, and you don’t today, doesn’t mean your prayers aren’t being heard and won’t be answered.
(2) ‘Righteous’. Elijah was a righteous man, but he certainly wasn’t a perfect man. Yes, his prayers were effective. But he was also given to bouts of fear and deep depression.
Here’s the key: because you are clothed in Christ’s righteousness you’re always worthy and acceptable before God, therefore you can be confident your prayers will be heard and answered (see Romans 5:17).
By knowing these from our ‘Word for today‘, you can pray effectively.