Seeking Jesus First - Sept. 14, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - Sept. 14, 2023

Powerful Praying - The outcomes of our prayer are impacted by the way we pray.

Pray in faith.

Pray with purpose.

Pray fervently.

The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes a lot, both great and small.

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6–8, NKJV)

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. 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. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” (James 5:13–18, NKJV)

  • Pray in faith.
  • Pray with purpose.
  • Pray fervently.

The epistle of James focuses the believer on how to live and walk by faith as a Christian.

Look at how James, by the Spirit, describes the prayer of Elijah. It says that Elijah prayed earnestly for the rain to stop, and it stopped for three and a half years. Then he prayed fervently for it to start raining, and it did. The focus here is on Elijah’s prayer of faith. It is not on God’s initiation of the prayer or on God’s response to His prayer. The emphasis being taught here is the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man who is praying in faith. (You can read 1 Kings Chapters 17 and 18 for the full account.)

“Clay, are you saying that if I pray harder, I will receive what I’m praying for?”

I am reading the Scripture and I believe I am understanding what James is writing.

  • “Praying in faith” - One can only pray in faith if they have the revealed Word of God. Faith begins where the will of God is known. Once we have the revealed Word of God on the matter, we can be firmly persuaded in our hearts that God will do what he said He would do.
  • “Pray with purpose” - One can only pray effectively by praying on purpose with purpose. Effective prayer is rightly empowered and directed by Holy Spirit. It is focused in the correct way. It is not based upon wishes. It is based upon The Loving Word. Pray God’s Revealed Loving Word back to Him.
  • “Pray fervently” - Fervent means “intensely passionate” or “hotly glowing”. It sounds like it means that we are praying in a manner that is full of energy and expectation. Elijah bent himself to the ground and pressed his head between his knees as he prayed. It makes me think of a birthing simulation. Take a look at Romans 8:26, “the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” This may be why Apostle Paul teaches us to pray with the Spirit and then pray with the understanding and pray that we may interpret the prayers of the Spirit.

I am saying that Jesus’s brother, James, taught us, that the outcomes of our prayers depend on the way we pray.

Praying needs to begin with asking Holy Spirit to reveal a loving word from God that will give us faith and purpose. We do this as we study God’s Word with the empowerment of Holy Spirit who lives in us. When Holy Spirit quickens a loving word from God to us, faith will arise in our hearts. We then begin praying with purpose, focusing that revealed loving Word on our situation as we pray it back to The Father, and declare it over our situation, giving thanks that God has already done it. And we do this with intense passion as we hold fast to our profession of faith and to our confidence in God and His Loving Word.

The Scriptures teach us that our prayers change things. But we are not talking about religious prayers. We are talking about faith filled, purpose focused, passionate fervent prayers with thanksgiving to the one who promised.

We are empowered to pray effective, fervent prayers of faith that accomplish their purpose.