I once heard someone say that a pastor can always preach either on prayer or problems and know that it will touch most of his audience. Why? Everyone has problems and few people pray over them.
The Bible tells us about a man who experienced the power of prayer. His name was Elijah. Consider this important passage of scripture:
James 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
Why were Elijah’s prayers so effective? I believe that there are several reasons.
I. ELIJAH’S PRAYERS WERE EFFECTIVE BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE WILL OF GOD
James says: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16) What does it mean to be righteous? Literally it means to be ‘right with God.’ The prayers of a person who is right with God are very effective and powerful. How can we be right with God? There are two aspects that we must consider.
A. Our Relationship with God Must Be Right
The Bible says – “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” (Ps 66:18) Or in other words, if I harbor sin in my life, God will not answer my prayers. This important truth is reaffirmed throughout scripture. In 1 John 1:5-10 we are told that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Because God is light, He will not share Himself with that which is darkness. Therefore, in order to have a right relationship with God, we must be in the light as He is in the light. How do we walk in the light as God is in the light?
1. We must allow our lives to be examined by the light of His truth (the Bible)
2. We must confess all known sin and seek His cleansing
None of us are worthy to pray to God on our own. No one naturally possesses the purity that is required to please God. The Bible says that we’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s perfect standard. Yet we do not have to remain in our sin. The Bible also tells us that if we will confess our sins to God, He will forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from everything that is unrighteous.
Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Join me again tomorrow as we continue to study this very important topic.