Effectual PrayerBro. David Chancellor
8/26/2007 11:00 AM
Confess your faults one to another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." A new book has come out, a collection of the letters of Mother Theresa. She felt she had no contact with God. The letters are presented in a showing of how she was faithful to do what she thought God wanted her to do although she had doubts.
There is a story in the Streams in the Desert devotional about George Mueller. The captain had his doubts about the fog lifting, but George Mueller didn’t. He said, "I’ve never failed to get an audience with God."
Look at the difference in the two experiences. One felt she had no contact with God; the other walked with God. One said her prayers; the other prayed effectual, fervent prayers.
There are some prayers that are ineffectual. Religion today claims to be different on the inside than it is on that outside. This is hypocrisy. Prayers can make a difference. We can have a real walk with God. We need the prayer that avails much.
The words "effectual" and "fervent" were translated from the word that our word "energy" comes from. The effectual, fervent prayer will have some energy to it. The prayer from the prayer book is lacking in vitality. We need the prayer that touches God, the kind of prayer that makes a difference.
It takes a righteous man to have availing prayer. He has to apply himself to prayer to get stuff done. The prayer should be specific. It’s better to state the need than how to answer it. God knows how to arrive at fixing the need better than we do. Tell God the problem and let him figure out the how. It’s better to pray "whatever it takes" than it is to tell God how to do his job. Don’t be afraid to be specific with God. Put your heart in your prayer.
Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" If you find a sinner who his having trouble getting through to God, this might be the problem. If there is a sin he wants to hang onto, he’s going to have trouble getting through in prayer. People need to realize that sin is all bad. This is why repentance is important. Be sick of sin and want to be free from it. You can’t be truly repentant and still regard iniquity in your heart.
In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
Daniel understood that it was time for things to be different in Jerusalem. His prayer was in tune with the plans of God. It matters what we pray for. We want to pray for what is in line with God’s will. It is still God’s will that souls be saved. God can help us know what to ask for and what to pray about. He can help us to aim our prayers. We want to pray in tune with the will of God. Ask God to direct your prayers.
A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth. O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
God spoke and it stirred something in him. Prayer should involve hearing what God says. We need to ask God to convict the sinner, so he can be stirred to cry out to God.