(Part 3 of 3)
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
James 5:16 (KJV)
Another key component to developing a prayer life that avails much is praying effectually! Effectual is defined as being successful in producing a desired or intended result; effective.
Prayers that are successful in producing a desired or intended result are those prayers prayed in alignment with God’s Will and God’s Word! When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray Jesus responded with Matthew 6:9-10:
“This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Effective prayer flows from a life that is aligned with God’s Will and prayed in agreement with God’s Word. Matthew calls this seeking first the kingdom of God:
“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Our prayers become ineffective and unfruitful when they are not properly aligned with God’s Holy Word. Let’s look at some examples. Let’s say a single Christian gets involved romantically with a non-believer. When the relationship turns south, they pray and ask God to move in that situation. The dilemma is that God’s Word tells us not to become unequally yoked with unbelievers. That individual is praying a prayer that God has already addressed in His Word. There is no other answer needed.
How about this scenario, a family struggles with major financial issues, and they call out to God to intervene. How effective will their prayers be if they do not honor God with the tithe, according to His Word.
What about the individual that is struggling with sickness and needs healing? They have prayed for God to heal, yet not one time have they, in agreement with the Book of James, called on the elders of the church to lay hands on them.
What about couples who are struggling in their marriages and praying that God would work in their situation? However, the couple doesn’t honor marriage as a covenant, are not mutually submissive, sacrifice little, and show no respect or honor.
In order for prayers to be effective, they must be prayed in alignment with God’s Word and from a life aligned to it as well.
Pastor Scott Burr