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PRAYER THAT CHANGES THINGS

IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.

TOPIC: PRAYER THAT CHANGES THINGS

COMPILED/EDITED BY:-
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM.

“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
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: 13-16

Summary: Prayer is both an incredible privilege and an awesome responsibility. It can move the hand of God in situations where there is no other hope.

One of the reasons why many Christians do not spend much time in prayer is that they feel that they are inadequate in their praying, or that their prayers are not effective. In other words, they feel or question in themselves, “who am I that Almighty God will hear my prayer?” But the truth of the matter is that the word of God ASSURES us that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man AVAILS MUCH.

James tells us very clearly that it is effectual prayer which avails much and uses a man named Elijah as an example of effectual prayer . . . The first time we meet Elijah, he’s storming into King Ahab’s court, saying, ‘It’s not going to rain but according to my word. Scripture records that the clouds indeed went away and no rain fell on Israel for three and a half years (I Kings 17:1).

How could Elijah speak with such boldness?

James tells us something we wouldn’t know from reading the Old Testament account when he tells us Elijah prayed earnestly. What does it mean to pray earnestly? The Greek word translated prayer is deesis, which means to bow down. The Greek word translated earnestly is mproseuche, which means to pray.

This means Elijah could speak to Ahab with certainty and could pray effectively because he was bowed down, submitted to the Scriptures. You see, Deuteronomy 11:16-17 a text Elijah would surely have known, says this:

Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you.

Aware of this promise, Elijah could say to Ahab, Because of what you have done in this land by introducing Baal worship, it’s not going to rain.Time passed, and in a confrontation with Elijah, the prophets of Baal found themselves on Mt. Carmel praying hour after hour for their god to send fire as they danced and screamed and slashed their bodies. Finally, Elijah said, You’ve been going all day, boys. Your god has baal-ed out. Now it’s my turn.

And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at they word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. (1 Kings 18:36-37)

And, after praying this prayer which takes about 7 seconds to utter, fire came down. Do not be like the heathen who think they are heard because of their much speaking, Jesus said (Matthew 6:7) and then gave us for a model a prayer 65 words long which takes less than 15 seconds to say slowly.

We think we’ve got to impress God with lengthy prayers and fancy words. Jesus says, No, that’s the way of the prophets of Baal, the way of the heathen. Just talk to Me simply. Elijah knew the Word, was submitted to the Word, and prayed according to the Word.

So too, we must understand that to pray effectively is to combine prayer with reading the Word. You will never again snooze through a service or doze off during devotions if you are praying while you’re listening. That is, when a point comes to you that you know is convicting you, talk to the Lord about it right then.

James tells us that it is not only effectual prayer which avails much but fervent prayer. And, again, Elijah is our model . . . After calling down fire with a prayer that took only five or six seconds to utter, and after telling Ahab it was going to rain, Scripture records that there, on the top of Mt. Carmel, Elijah placed his head between his knees and prayed for rain. Any clouds coming?he asked his servant. Theres not a cloud in sight. Its clear and sunny, his servant answered.

Effectual prayer must have a definite object. In other words we must be specific in our request, otherwise how will we know if our prayer has been answered?

Effectual prayer must be in accordance with the revealed will of God. God’s will is revealed by 1) Express promises in the Bible, 2) Sometimes by His providence, which requires spiritual discernment and 3) His will is revealed by His Spirit (Romans 8:26,27).

We must pray with submission to the will of God. We must be obedient to the revealed will of God in our prayers. When we can’t discern God’s will we are to pour out our heart to God the desire of our hearts and leave it in His hands.

If the desire for an object is strong and is a benevolent desire and the thing is not contrary to God’s will the presumption is that it will be granted. If you find yourself exercised/excited with a benevolent desire (my desire to start a prayer and fasting ministry) there is a strong presumption that God’s Spirit is exciting these desires (Gen. 32:26)

Prayer must be offered with right motives. Prayer must not be selfish but should be dictated by a supreme regard for the glory of God. George Mueller is as excellent example. When he established his Orphan Homes the first object of the work was that God might be magnified by the fact that the orphans under his care be provided with all their needs only by prayer and faith without anyone being asked for funds, “Whereby it may be seen that God is faithful still and hears prayers still.”

For prayer to be effectual it must be by intercession of the Spirit (Rm. 8:26,27)

“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
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.
Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
[James 5:13-20]

You must pray in faith. You must expect to obtain the things for which you pray (James 1:6). You need not look for an answer to prayer, if you pray without an expectation of obtaining it.

May God bless you richly as you become a doer of the word and not just a hearer only. Remember you have not, because you ask not. Therefore, begin standing in the AUTHORITY that has been given to YOU as a BELIEVER and use the AUTHORITY that you have been given in the mighty name of Jesus with commanding authority over the enemy. You are a child of God and sickness and disease have no right or place in you or your family.

SHALOM!

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