James 5:16, “…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”
Many times I’m asked to keep someone in prayers for financial breakthrough, healing, salvation, protection among others. And what a blessing to bring such needs before the Lord and I always do. A few years back the Lord began to deal with me about praying for needs, something bigger than what I was used to praying. Hope I can lay some groundwork first and then give examples from the bible about effective praying that avails much.
I am constantly reminded that prayer is not so much about what I get but how I am changed by it and in it. And because prayer changes me, it changes how I approach God too for my needs and needs of others. For example, if you were to pray for someone’s salvation, how would you pray? You may pray something like this, “Lord save my loved one, so that he can know you and go to heaven when he dies” Nothing wrong with that, what I call an effective prayer for a lost one would be something like this, “Lord awaken my loved ones lost in sin and rebelling against you, Lord help them see their sin, wound their pride and ego, take away anything that cloud their minds and blocks their eyes even if it’s a good thing, that they may surrender to you in repentance and faith. Lord I’m not praying that you save my loved ones so that they can go to heaven, I’m praying that you save my loved ones for your glory, so that they can serve You, live for You, walk with You, and one day be with You in heaven” . The emphasis is more on who the prayer is all about, in this case, it’s about the glory of God through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s easy to pray for salvation when you see how it will benefit you, “if my loved ones are saved, I will see them in heaven; oh and the fights at home will stop; at least we can raise our children in the things of God as we would be in agreement; he can be better husband, treating me right etc.”, all these are ok prayers, but not effective to avail much, why? James 4:3, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures”, either we do not ask for the right ends or not in a right manner, not in faith or fervency. There is amiss in those prayers that takes God off the focus and places the focus on the person you are interceding for. Where there is amiss, there is a drift.
How about praying for someone else who has a need. Instead of first praying that God provide the need, how about you pray that God establish their faith. If you are praying for them and they are doubting, how will that be effective? Jesus performed miracles based on the individual’s faith, God given faith. Matthew 9:22, “But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour”. Matthew 9:29, “Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” Their faith gave God the glory. In praying also, why not sometimes pray that in that situation God would grow them more in holiness, patience, establish their character, integrity, that the blessing may be more to His glory than for what it means to them and to you. Praying that His will may to prevail.
In our own needs we could be praying “God get me out of this” or pray effectively, “Lord teach me to endure, teach me self- denial, help me learn all that I need to learn in my situation. Help me see the bigger picture than what I desire for you to do in my life”. We often hear declarations in prayers “claim it and receive it, blab it and grab it”, that can be dangerous and this is why, you may not have any character and integrity to maintain the blessing. So what was supposed to be a blessing turns into a curse. How about we pray, “Lord prepare me, show me my pride, my stinginess, build a strong foundation in me, help me grow in the fruit of the spirit, perform what is best for Your glory”. How you pray will reveal more of your motives, many times our motives are for selfish reasons. We therefore need to learn to pray effectively for ourselves and those we pray for. I will share on examples in the bible of effective prayers. Blessings Ev