Remember what Jesus said when He prayed to His Father (who is also our Father) when He resurrected Lazarus. All rights reserved. ~ Martin Luther. To say it plainly, a righteous person truly knows God. Of course, there are circumstances and trials we pray about every day, and as we focus on them and rephrase them, these can be meaningful repetitions―like those of the persistent widow whom Jesus praised in Luke 18:1-8. Prayer is an effort of will. To illustrate effective and powerful prayer, James then refers to the prophet Elijah as an example of a person who had a powerful and effective prayer life. If we come to know God, we can begin having the confidence that God hears our prayers. Effective prayer is prayer that we know God hears. What does God’s Word reveal about righteousness―how to be considered by God as being righteous? Rote, memorized prayers are not what God wants. Dr Van der Does5 dismisses the effects of intercessory prayer because they would be indistinguishable empirically from the effects … Why? Prayer meets our inner needs removing fear, strengthening us, and providing guidance and wisdom. For a more complete study of the keys to answered prayer, please read the article “Five Keys to Answered Prayer.”. For example, “You shall not steal” (Deuteronomy 5:19). Therefore, God is under no obligation to answer the prayers … Does God love everyone in the world? "...but the people who know their … Instead, prayer can improve a person’s mental health, such as reducing anxiety and stress. First, look at the context surrounding James 5:16. Effectiveness is the belief that our prayers have power over everything. If you're not religious, then it comes from the brain." Or, as Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). ~ Oswald Chambers. Like every part of the Christian life, prayer is a growth process. We simply settle to think that, if we want our prayers to be effective, then we need to be righteous. The spirit of the law describes the qualities of God’s nature of love that God wants us to have. The efficacy of prayer has been the topic of various studies since at least 1872; such studies are generally devised to ascertain whether intercessory prayer has a blind effect on the health of "third parties", who are unaware that they are being prayed for. The point is not that we should be righteous at the extraordinary level of an Elijah, but that he was normal like you and me. Prayer can become so much of a habit that our minds are no longer “in gear.” We start praying and our minds go to “automatic pilot.” We begin to say and think the same things over and over by rote―routine―instead of actually realizing we are conversing with our Father, the Creator of the universe! This means that the locus of effective prayer is not us, but God. God’s commands came from His mind and thus reveal His mind and nature. He stands as the “one mediator between God and men” (1 Tim. David wrote in one of his psalms, “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. Please understand that God’s ears are open not only to the cries of the righteous, but also to those who want to be right in God’s sight―those who see that they are not living as they should and deeply desire to change. It’s what I used to think. Prayer showed me who I am in Him rather than in the world. This is one of those coffee-mug verses. The main ingredient in effective prayer is emphatically not us. When the effects of prayer are averaged across all 17 studies, controlling for differences in sample size, a net positive effect for the prayer group is produced." Then, in the beginning of verse 16, because prayer is effective (James 5:13–15), he says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16). These "studies on intercessory prayer" have revealed no objective effect. Remember, God hears the prayers of those trying to live a righteous life. In other words, most studies done on the efficacy of intercessory prayer show the power of prayer … This is something Jesus warned against in what is called His Sermon on the Mount. The Impact of Religion on Health. If you are just beginning to build a relationship with God, realize that He is loving and patient. David wrote in one of his … The spirit of God’s commandments and laws describes how God wants us to be. And I know that You always hear Me” (John 11:41-42). The Effectiveness and Power of Prayer. The commandments and laws of God (in the letter of the law and the spirit of the law) reflect God’s very nature of love and reveal what God says is right―the right way to live. In each case, James encourages his readers to pray. There is no magical formula or words that make prayer effective and thus powerful. Pastor and author H.B. They married a few days following his graduation. Steve Moody graduated from Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, in June of 1971. Sign up to receive the week's latest articles, blog posts and updates. “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. Learn More About Prayer, Fasting and Meditation. Effective prayer is a way to strengthen our relationship with our Father in heaven. Many of us find James 5:16 to be a familiar verse: “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” — which is also translated, as an ESV footnote spells out, “The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power.”. But that’s the skim-milk meaning. His concern is not how prayer is made effective, but that prayer is effective. It’s what happens when we fly by the text without questions. It comes down to whether the one praying has an attitude of humility or self-righteousness. As the New International Version puts it, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”. Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. We’re on a mission to change that. The psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:172, “My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness.”. We see in 1 Kings 17 … Interlinears and other translations show that the word fervent is not actually supported by the Greek of this passage, but the words righteous and effective definitely are. But that’s the skim-milk meaning. We’re just normal, you and I. We’re just normal like Elijah. That frame of mind makes … Being in the habit of coming to our Father on our knees in prayer on a daily basis is what a righteous person will want to do. Or sickness? Deuteronomy 10:12-13 records, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?” (emphasis added). Is that what he is saying? All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version (© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.). While this applies to certain things, it doesn’t apply to prayer — or at least that’s not the vision the apostle James gives us. It’s commonly understood like this: Be righteous, and your prayers will work. It’s what I used to think. The ostrich “deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers.” Is ours a land where ostriches roam? We have this bent toward believing that every result is born from method. By Joy Kitanga. Does God care about both the elect and non-elect in the same way? Because prayer is effective, which means, God hears his people and acts on their behalf. We’ve developed the assumption that if we can just strip it all down to a reproducible process to put into action, then the results will multiply. Our prayer … What do I mean by this? James doesn’t say for us to be like Elijah for our prayers to be answered, but that Elijah was like us and his prayers were answered — therefore, pray. If this were true, no human would have ever had an effective prayer … The Bible shows we all start out unrighteous—as sinners (Romans 3:23). The Holy Spirit is … If we talked to people the way we too often talk to God, they might think we are losing our mental faculties because our minds wander from one subject to another. Or sin? The Power Of Prayer. James tells us that Elijah’s prayers … James’s point is to repeat his theme to pray because prayer is effective. … The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan. Prayer can reduce anger and aggression A 2011 study found prayer can help reduce anger and aggression. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Benefits of Prayer Peace of mind “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God; and the … Print subscriptions available in U.S., Canada and Europe, Article URL: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/god/prayer-fasting-and-meditation/how-to-pray/effective-prayer/, Intercessory Prayer: How to Pray for Others, Spiritual Needs to Pray for From Psalm 119. And being just a man, being like us, having a nature like ours, he prayed fervently and God heard. A righteous person has truly begun to build a relationship with God (through obeying Him from the heart) and thus knows God listens to his or her prayers. Many of us find James 5:16 to be a familiar verse: “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” — which is also translated, as an ESV footnote spells out, “The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power.” This is one of those coffee-mug verses. 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