“The effectual fervent prayer of a
righteous man availed much.”
Why Pray? In my bible study group, I recently covered the topic of prayer. In that lesson we considered God’s sovereignty and our prayer life. We know that God is sovereign, has a perfect plan for me, you, and the world, and has the power to make sure his plans are executed, then why do we need to pray? The short answer is that God determined before anything was, that he would use the prayers of his children to accomplish his Will. Hard to Understand If we can get our heads around this truth, it is really sobering. God wants me to petition Him for things that He already wants to do, so that He can use my prayers to accomplish his will. I will admit that this is hard for me to understand, however, I believe scripture teaches that this is true. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availed much.” James 5:16 Learning to Pray The key to this conundrum, in my understanding, is not what God wants to do – that’s settled. Rather, what is the substance of an effective prayer. In Luke chapter 11, after seeing, or perhaps hearing, Jesus pray, the disciples asked Him to coach them on how to pray. I believe His instructions to them can help us understand how God’s sovereignty and our prayer life align.
We must have a relationship. “Our Father” is a prayer for a believer. Only saved people get the privilege of talking to God
We must see Him for who he is. He is “hallowed”. The creator God, worth of worship and honor
We must want what he wants. His “kingdom come”, not ours. His “Will be done”, not ours
We must trust Him for what He has already promised. Our daily needs, His promise to forgive, His promise to protect
100% Certain When we look at how Jesus coached his disciples, we can be 100% certain those prayers are answered. Why? Because it all aligns with God’s Will.
When I pray for my lost friends and family, God agrees because He has called me to be involved in evangelism.
When I pray for wisdom, it aligns with a promise He made in His Word.
However, what about my prayer for a new truck just so my neighbor will think I’m successful and feed my pride? One Other Thought When we pray the kind of prayers I used as examples, what is the outcome?
The Holy Spirit will move us to act.
We’ll tell our friends and family about Jesus.
We’ll read His Word to gain wisdom and understanding.
Praying in His Will should move us to act in accordance with His Will. Lord, help us to want what You want, ask You for those things, then RALI to see Your Will be done.
Larry Martin MD5 Lab Facilitator