PRAYERS THAT ARE ANSWERED

James 5:16 – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

There are two things that jump out at me in this verse. First, the Lord hears and responds to the prayer of the righteous. So that has to be answered first, am I a righteous person that the Lord responds to? This goes to the very heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ. How is a person considered righteous by God? This is the very foundation of the message of the Apostle Paul. A man is considered righteous not by his own efforts but simply by his faith in Christ. Righteousness is a gift that I receive the moment I put my trust in the Lord. That brings us to the second part, prayer is supernatural and has great power when it is released in us. Again, I have to walk by faith and actually allow the Lord to pray His effective, fervent prayers in and through me. We enter this life by faith and then we begin to walk it out by faith. Here are some thoughts from Adam Clarke on this verse.

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. The words δεησις ενεργουμενη signify energetic supplication, or such a prayer as is suggested to the soul and wrought in it by a Divine energy. When God designs to do some particular work in his Church he pours out on his followers the spirit of grace and supplication; and this he does sometimes when he is about to do some especial work for an individual. When such a power of prayer is granted, faith should be immediately called into exercise, that the blessing may be given: the spirit of prayer is the proof that the power of God is present to heal.”

I love that explanation, “the spirit of prayer is the proof that the power of God is present to heal”. Getting my eyes off of my own worthiness and on His worthiness is the key to righteousness. Getting my eyes on His sufficiency and off of my insufficiency is the key to answered prayer. The Lord is not looking for perfect vessels, He is looking for yielded vessels. Like it says in the Passion Translation, ‘for tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer’.

PRAY

Pray for each other.
JAMES 5:16
Have you ever thought about prayer? No, really. Have you ever really thought about prayer. All religions practice some kind of prayer. The Hindus have some sort of chanting, the Muslims turn toward Mecca, and the Catholics have their rosaries. The problem with all of these prayers, they are all focused on human effort. Only true Christian prayer can actually qualify as prayer. What do I mean by that? Real prayer is a mysterious combination of human endeavor and supernatural intervention. Prayer actually originates in heaven. Our role is more of a yielding than initiating. That’s why all true prayer finds an answer. Christ is the heavenly Intercessor, His prayers are released in us through the Holy Spirit. That’s why Paul said we don’t know how to pray as we should but the Holy Spirit prays through us. These God initiated prayers are powerful and bring God’s kingdom down here on earth. Here are some practical guidelines from Andrew Murray about prayer.
“Intercession is an indispensable part of prayer. It strengthens our love and faith in what God can do and is a way of bringing blessing and rescue to others.

Begin by putting forward those who are close to you, those with whom you live. Pray that you will be a help and not a hindrance to them. Pray for wisdom, for consideration toward them, for goodness and love, and for your self-sacrifice for their good.

Pray for your friends and for all with whom you come into contact….Pray for all Christians, for spiritual leaders and others in positions of authority.

Pray for those who do not yet know Jesus Christ as their Redeemer. Make a list of the names that God has laid on your heart and pray for their conversion. You belong to Christ; He needs you to bring the people around you to Him in prayer. The Holy Spirit will strengthen you to actively care about others. Pray, too, for the poor and the neglected. Pray for the unconverted and for mission work….Remember that you have been “saved in order to serve, and you are on earth for the sole purpose of making God’s love known to others.”
The easiest thing for me is to start out worshipping and praying in the Spirit. Soon, the Lord takes over and we find and effectual time of prayer. It’s not hard, all it takes is a yielded heart.

WAITING FOR THE RAIN

WAITING FOR THE RAIN

James 5:7-8 ¶ Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Sometimes people are praying for things they not only don’t understand, they might not be happy if it actually happens. Revival can be like this. Many unsuspecting church folks pray for revival but they want it in their own image. The real “dead give away” is this, “Lord, send the real revival”. Did you catch the implication. Send my idea of revival. If The Lord Himself were to show up, it might get really messy. Jonathan Edwards spoke about the unpredictable nature of God’s outpourings. Check this out.

“Persons are very ready to be suspicious of what they have not felt themselves. It is to be feared many good men have been guilty of this error. . . . These persons who thus make their own experience their rule of judgment, instead of bowing to the wisdom of God, and yielding to his word as an infallible rule, are guilty of casting a great reflection upon the understanding of the Most High.”

Revival has often been compared to rain. Just as their are dry seasons and rainy seasons the same could be said of the spiritual rain. The Lord sends His rain in His seasons to accomplish His plans and purposes. Arthur Wallis spoke powerfully about revival rain in his book “In the Day of Thy Power”. Check this out.

“It has been shown that the church age is the time of rain. We may look upon Pentecost as the commencement of the former rain, for it was during those first and powerful effusions of the Spirit that the gospel was spread throughout the civilized world, and the ground prepared for the final harvest. Before the age concludes with the personal return of Christ at harvest time, we must expect the latter rain of promise, or the rain of ingathering. How can the day of reaping come before this final season of the outpouring of the Spirit, so vital for the final maturing of the spiritual harvest? Just as the rainy season of Canaan concluded with the same kind of rain as it began—the geshem, or heavy rain—so should we expect before the coming of Christ a season of mighty outpourings, eclipsing all that the church has experienced since the Reformation and only comparable in character and in power with the former rain of the early church.”

So get ready. It seems like we are due for another outpouring of His Spirit. Just as He sent the rain of preparation at Pentecost, He will now surely send His latter rain for harvest. How can we prepare. Listen to the words of Zechariah, “Zech. 10:1 Ask the LORD for rain In the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone.”