Thursday, August 13, 2015

Praying Effectively

Chuckle: "The healthiest part of a donut is the hole. Unfortunately, you have to eat through the rest of the donut to get there."
Quote: "Prayer is not learned in the classroom but in the closet." --E. M. Bounds
"The (fervent) prayer of a righteous man (person) is powerful and effective. "Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops" (James 5:16b-18 NIV).
Sometimes, we think we must call in a prayer "expert" to handle the "heavy-lifting" type prayers for us. Please notice that the Bible says Elijah was a man just like us. You may think you need to get someone else to pray for things you're concerned about. Of course, requesting others to pray for you is a wonderful thing as long as such requests are not driven by a feeling that somehow your own prayers don't carry as much weight with God as the prayers of someone else. You have the same access to the Father as any other Christian. Each of us has the power of prayer at our disposal.
"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." Let's consider two types of righteousness:
(1) Imputed righteousness. This is the righteousness of Christ which we have received as Christians. ". . not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ. . ."  (Philippians 3:9 NIV). We have no righteousness of our own. After Christ becomes my Savior, God doesn't see me and my failures -- He sees the righteousness of Jesus that clothes me and secures me as a child of God.
(2) Practical righteousness. 1 John 1:9 tells us "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." If there is unconfessed and unforgiving sin in our lives, we cannot qualify as the righteous person whose prayers are powerful and effective. Sin breaks the link of fellowship with the Father but "The Lord hears the prayers of the righteous" (Proverbs 15:29 NIV).
I want to challenge you to become a man or woman of prayer. If you accept this challenge, you can be a mighty force for your Lord, your family, your church, and your community. You may feel you are not as spiritually talented as some, but by seeking God's face in prayer, you can help release God's power which can change lives and rearrange the world.
James 5:16 tell us we should confess our sins to each other and pray for each other. Confession and intercession are the tasks of all Christians. These responsibilities are not limited to ministers, priests, or teachers. You see, with the Holy Spirit resident within you, you have the same access to the Father in prayer as any spiritual leader. The problem is that far too few of us exercise that privilege as God would have us to do.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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