Effective, Fervent Prayer
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (Jas. 5:16).
“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” —James 5:17-18
Elijah had been instructed by the Lord as to His intentions concerning wicked King Ahab. Though God had decreed a drought, it was through Elijah’s faith that God’s will was accomplished. He “prayed earnestly that it would not rain.”
When the Lord spoke again to Elijah about the end of the drought and the coming rain, Elijah did not sit passively and wait. That which God had spoken became a matter of prayer. Elijah prayed seven times that God’s word would come to pass (1 Kings 18:41-46). It was his “effective, fervent prayer” that released God’s will.
Though God has decreed a thing, made a promise or established His purpose in your heart, it often must be birthed in prayer if it is to come to pass. I am convinced that many of God’s blessings and purposes for our lives have been missed due to a lack of effective, fervent prayer.
Consider Jesus as He was praying about His coming crucifixion and separation from the Father.
“And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed . . . And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly.” —Luke 22:41-44
This is a striking passage. Jesus prayed, was strengthened by an angel, and then prayed more earnestly. Can Jesus pray “more earnestly?” Apparently so. What does that say about our prayer lives? If there is an effective, fervent prayer, there is also an ineffective, passive prayer.
Have we become passive in being a channel of God’s blessings through us to others? Do we just assume that good things will happen because we found a promise in the Bible? Elijah prayed precisely because he had a word from God.
Effective, fervent prayer is one that is operative, at work, and puts forth power.
When a promise has been conceived in your heart, faith is activated, but it may take effective, fervent prayer to bring the promise to birth. There could be resistance to your answer.
(See Ephesians 6:10-18.)