The Effectual Prayer of a Righteous and Confident Believer
Friends, many times we are defeated in our minds before we embark upon prayer with our Heavenly Father. We have to realize we are not ‘unworthy’ or a ‘weak worm of the dust’, praying to a God who might be too busy or capricious to hear us. No friends because of what Christ did on the cross and due to his blood sacrifice, resurrection and ascendancy, we are now the righteousness of God. Jesus who lived a godly and sinless life on the earth was righteous, so that his righteousness became your righteousness (1 Cor 1:30)! Our standing with God is secure! We are positioned as if we’ve never sinned! Think about that for a moment.
Be confident before your Father
We don’t need to have an inferiority complex but can approach the throne of God with confidence. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). The author of Hebrews makes it explicit; we are to boldly approach the Father, secure in what Jesus did for us and expecting the Father’s help in our time of need. I realize it is encouraging to recall the miraculous exploits of the men and women of God in the Old Testament, but realize that none of them were in the lofty position we are today, as we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, at the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 2:6).
People often think of Elijah as the man who called fire down from heaven against the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:38) and the time he ran faster than a chariot (1 Kings 18:46). However Elijah was a man with flesh and blood, he was subject to discouragement and emotions as we are. He still had to listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit as we do (1 Kings 19:11-13). There was a time when he was so discouraged he asked God to kill him (1 Kings 19:4). This is even after he saw signs and wonders from heaven and saw God move in powerful ways. This is no criticism of Elijah whatsoever, other than to prove the point that he was a man anointed by the Holy Spirit as we are and we have a better covenant than he did. The Apostle James called his prayers ‘effectual and righteous’, yet he was not perfect and neither are we. This should encourage us that the Father in Heaven is ready to answer our prayers as they meet the conditions of faith, as set forth in God’s word. Our prayers are not received because of our exploits but because of the exploits of the Son of God (Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 1:20, Ephesians 2:6). He ever makes intercession for us (Romans 8:34)! Let’s read it together.
“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.17 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.18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” (James 5:16-20).
Praying from a place of privilege
If God answered Elijah’s prayers with dynamic results, he will answer your prayer of faith also. Remember, you are a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17), Elijah never had that standing. He would be envious today of your standing with Jesus. We are joint heirs so we receive the title and rank of another, which is the rank of ‘righteous’ in the eyes of God, which Jesus deserved for living a sinless life. He then conveyed this rank to us as we are joined to Him (being in Christ). Oh what privileges and benefits we have in Christ Jesus!
Along this line, some people struggle with prayer because their hearts condemn them resulting from some unresolved issue with the Lord. ”Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (I John 3:21). Get right with Him today, release your sin (if needed) and receive His forgiveness and times of refreshing. Your confidence will return immediately, so will your expectation.
Check this out…“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (I John 5:12-16). If it’s in His word, it’s for us!
There are no favorites in the Kingdom
Some people think, “well, if I can only get in agreement with brother so-and-so and pray with him, God will hear and answer my prayer because he’s tight with the Lord.” Many people mistakenly think that others are in better standing than they are, but friends, the truth is you are in just as good standing with the Lord as anyone else! Your authority and rights are no more or less than the next Christian. Now others may have learned and experienced God’s provision through time but that’s only because they’ve practiced their faith, not because they’re in a better position than you.
Start afresh today, realize your standing with Christ is as good as the next brother or sister and expect God to move on your behalf today if you have prayed the prayer of faith (James 5:16).
|Senior Pastor Carl Joseph desires to see God move in power in the downtown Denver area. He is joined in the ministry by his wife, Amy. In his spare time, he rides his motorcycle and plays golf.|