How to Pray

PRAYER THAT WORKS

Did you know there is a type of prayer that God always answers?  Did you know there is a type of prayer that always works?

James 5:16 says,

“…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” 

Effective means “able to produce a desired result.”  James 5:16 talks about prayer that produces the desired result. That’s the kind of prayer I want to get in on.

What is the type of prayer that yields the desired result every time?  James 5:17-18 says,  

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”

This incident which James refers to as an effective, fervent prayer is from I Kings 17:1.  There Elijah says to Ahab,

“…As the Lord God of Israel lives, before Whom I stand, there shall be no dew or rain these years, except at my word.”

What’s important here is that Elijah speaks with a divine confidence.  He goes into this situation with the strength of knowing that his prayer is going to be answered; that he is going to get the desired result.

Prayer That’s Grounded in the Word of God

There is a reason why Elijah prayed with such a godly confidence.  The reason Elijah had an assurance of getting the desired result from his prayers was because his prayer was grounded in the Word of God.  Elijah knew Deuteronomy 11:16-17 said,

“Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them,  lest the LORD’s anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce….”

Did you catch that?  Elijah knew that God had already spoken on the matter.  He knew God said that if the people would turn aside and serve other Gods, He would shut up the heavens.  So, when he “prayed earnestly,” as James 5:17 said he did, he did so with the confidence that God already said what He would do in that situation.

You can do the same thing every time you pray too.  Before you ever pray about something, you should first search out what God’s Word has to say about it.  His Word is His will.  If His Word says it, then you can know that it is His will for you to have it.

Prayer That Strengthens You

After Elijah prayed and the rain ceased for three and a half years, he went up to Mt. Carmel to pray for the rain to return.  Elijah starts by getting in a position [attitude] of prayer and fellowship with God.

Meanwhile he sends his servant to see if there is any sign of rain, and there is none.  Elijah continues to pray and send his servant back to check for any sign of rain seven times.  On the seventh time, the servant came back and reported there was a cloud the size of a man’s hand.

When James 5:17 talks about how Elijah was a

“man with a nature like ours,”

it could be referring to the fact that between the time when the praying began and when the servant spotted the cloud, Elijah had an opportunity to let doubt creep in.  Instead of being overcome with doubt, he allowed himself to be strengthened through the process of standing in faith.

Too many people lose heart between the beginning of prayer and the full manifestation.  That’s when you have to invoke Galatians 6:9:

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” 

Learn to appreciate the process.

When you pray prayers that are grounded in the Word of God, prayers that are saturated in fellowship with God and prayers that strengthen you along the way, you will be praying prayers that work every time.

Excerpts from an article by Corey Naquin,  published in Voice of the Covenant magazine 3/11

at: prayer@godspeedministry.com.

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