Let’s Pray (Part 2) – What Is An Effective Prayer?

by BRAAM Family
Let’s Pray (Part 2) - What Is An Effective Prayer?

Pastor Elie Hamuli

James 5:15–18 tells us of how Elijah, an ordinary man, prayed an effective, and fervent prayer, which was answered, and the results were powerful. With results far beyond his capacity, It demonstrates that it’s also possible for us to render prayers that yield such results. Prayer is a central element of our relationship with Jesus Christ and there is much to learn from Elijah’s story for our benefit in this regard.

While prayer gives us a happy feeling, James 5:15–18 shows that ultimately, we pray to hear back from God. We communicate with God in prayer, expecting a response from Him. Teaching His disciples in Matthew 6:9–13, Jesus Christ shows us that, as children, effective prayer gets a response because it seeks for God’s will to be done in all circumstances.

Being specific in who we stand in front of in prayer, and specific in our plea, is what gives prayer its power. Just as Elijah, who had a relationship with God and was considered righteous, gave a plea, we are confident in our prayers because we stand in front of the Maker of Heaven and Earth, the faithful and living God!

A righteous person will always offer an effective prayer (James 5:19). Jesus Christ, who reconciled us with our Heavenly Father, clothed us in righteousness so that we may enjoy the privilege of this relationship (John 1:12–13). When Jesus Christ came, after His death and resurrection, He was given complete authority. Thus, He empowered us to pray in His name because He promised that if we asked for anything in His name, we would receive it (see John 14:14).

In James 5:17 Elijah was called earnest in a prayer offered without fasting, shouting, or going for hours (1 King 17:1). Simply founded on the will of God and anchored in the covenant he kept as a righteous person, he brought about God’s will against those who willfully departed from God’s mercy. The result, three long years with no rain! In the old covenant of justice and judgment, the earnest prayer easily brought judgment, yet it took a lot in prayer to bring out grace and see the rain return (see 1 Kings 17: 1 in comparison to 1 Kings 18: 42-44).

The earnestness of prayer is founded on the covenant of God and His people. In the new covenant of mercy and grace, Jesus Christ is our qualification, taking away the punishment that was for us so that we may be left with all the spiritual blessings (Hebrews 8: 12). Therefore, praying fervently in the new covenant becomes a declaration of our knowledge of the finished work of the cross: healing, forgiveness, the glorious riches of God, His protection, and grace (see Ephesians 1).

Similarly, we pray earnestly when we pray in the truth of the new covenant with God, wherein blessings and judgement no longer depend on our good or bad works, for Christ took on our judgment and availed blessings for anyone who believes in Him. The Holy Spirit, who bears witness to Truth, intercedes for an answer to the Father according to the covenant, making our request effective (see Romans 8:27; John 4:23). Yet, in an old covenant mindset, we hinder ourselves in begging God in emotions for what He calls us to declare over our lives and circumstances.

Therefore, let us pray with an understanding of what makes prayer fervent, so that we may live in the grace and mercy of the New Covenant. We know the effectiveness of our prayer is not based on its physical intensity but on the righteousness of Christ in us, who came not to judge or condemn but to lead us to the acceptable year of God’s favour (see Luke 4:17-20 and Isaiah 61).

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