Thursday, 9 September 2021

Effective Prayer

 Scripture: James 5 v 14 - 18: "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:

15  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.
16  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  Elias 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."

Everybody wants answers to their prayers!  Else why would we pray?  We are people of faith in our Father, confident that He hears and answers.

Hebrews 11 v 1: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Faith is the substance, the thing we depend on, for that which we hope and pray for.  Faith is the evidence, the visible part, of things not seen yet.  This is not visualisation, which is a counterfeit using mind power and imagination, but putting our knowledge of God into our belief.

In visualisation its all about us making something out of nothing.  In true prayer its all about God Our Father, hearing the requests of His children and giving us an answer at the right time.  

Faith is a muscle which needs to be built up, like the muscles of our bodies in a gym or on a track.  We cannot lift the heavy weights with unused muscles, we need to build our muscles up through daily exercise.

Spiritually we need to start with small things, and know that God knows we are doing this, and if we are sincere He will encourage us.  He will send answers to build up our faith.  Soon we will be praying mighty prayers of faith because we don't just believe, we know God hears and answers.

Many of our prayers are about health, finance or work.  Jesus said we must make our needs known to our Father.  Not our demands or greeds.  We cannot pray for a two week ocean cruise if we are not earning and cannot put food on the table.  Our needs are for food and a roof over our heads, pray for these and the Lord will help.

If we are praying for the sick call the pastor to bring the elders to anoint the sick with oil on their foreheads and pray.  The Bible says, By the stripes of Jesus we are healed.  The 39 lashes on Jesus were to break the hold of disease upon us.  If we believe it, we receive it.

In James 1 v 5 - 8: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

If we doubt and waver in our belief it will hinder our prayers being answered.  We have to believe absolutely no matter what things look like.  The situation may worsen and we may doubt, but its Jesus in battle against the enemy of our soul, if we weaken, He has to wait till we get strong again.  It is our faith and determination that He acts upon.

Think of Peter when Jesus walked on the water, He called him to come.  Peter walked on water but when the waves rose up he was afraid and sank beneath the waves.  Jesus said, Peter why did you doubt?  We may be expecting big things but if we doubt, it kills it.

As Christians we put on the whole armour of God for protection against evil.  We should have this armour on whenever we pray.  Ephesians 6 v 12 - 18: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 
13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 
14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"

We are all spirit beings, clothed with a soul, and covered by a body of flesh.  Only a born again person can perceive the true power of God.  We don't struggle against other people, we struggle against negative, malign spirits that indwell other people.  Jesus in us fights against them.  We just go through whatever the ordeal is until Jesus conquers them.  Don't waver!

We need His truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, Bible and fervent prayer to overcome our problems.  James also says, Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee.  So relinquish all your ideas to God, resist, say no, to temptation, and the devil will flee because he cannot win this battle.

If we pray with unconfessed sin in our lives, our prayers will hit the brass ceiling.  The only prayer God hears from a sinful person is the prayer of repentance.  We must show remorse.  Think of court cases where heavier sentences are given to people who show no remorse.

Job says that, That which you greatly fear shall come upon you!  Deal with everything that scares you and bring it under God's authority so that it loses its power to hurt you in any way.  This is true security and the correct way to get answers to prayer.  

Many times we pray because we are afraid, but we need faith to receive the answer we seek.  Fear cancels faith because fear is a tool of the Devil to keep us in his power.  The one amazing thing that conquers fear is the love of Jesus.  No matter what medical reports say about our condition, Jesus, the great I Am, can be victorious in that situation.  Because He loves us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father we are sometimes anxious and perplexed because we need immediate answers and they are occasionally slow in coming.  Forgive our fears, doubts and worries and strengthen our faith to believe You for great and mighty things.  In Jesus' name and love. Amen.