Why does prayer not work for us any better than it currently does? It's certainly not because God has no interest in what we have to say. Think about it. We know He is interested in hearing from us because He is the one who came up with this thing called prayer, and the sole purpose of prayer is for us to communicate with Him. Moreover, we are commanded to pray always (Luke 18:1). So why would God come up with the idea of prayer, command us to pray, and not be interested in our prayers? Since the above scenario does not jibe with reason, I have concluded that the solution to the problem has to do with us. Furthermore, I believe that two Christians can pray the exact same prayer to the same God and get different results. So now am I saying that God is a respecter of persons? The answer is no; absolutely not (Romans 2:11). But consider this verse: "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16b). That is the rendition from the King James Version (KJV). The New International Version (NIV) records it this way: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." In this post, I will use the KJV because I want to zero in on a couple of key words that the KJV makes it easier to refer to. Please note that this verse makes it clear that the type of prayer being referred to "avails much," meaning it accomplishes a lot. According to the abovementioned verse, effective prayer is powered by two forces: a righteous man and effectual fervent prayer. Of course, every one of us who has been born again through faith has been declared righteous. But that does not necessarily mean we walk in righteousness as a way of life. And it is the latter that the verse is referring to. That's why I said earlier that two Christians can pray the exact same prayer to the same God and get different results. In other words, if one believer is committed to walking in righteousness and the other is not, God's response to their prayers will be different. Secondly, the King James Version refers to "effectual fervent" prayer. These two words are rendered from one Greek word which means to be operative , as in to work . A clear implication in this statement is that not all prayer works. So it's not true that it does not matter how we pray. Sometimes, the way we pray makes it impossible for God to positively respond to our petitions. And so if we can identify and eliminate these hindrances to our prayers being answered, we will move in the direction of operative prayer. Here are a few examples: Â€ Self-serving prayer--"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts" (James 4:3). Â€ Prayer void of faith--"Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord" (James 1:6-7). Â€ Iniquity in our heart--"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me" (Psalm 66:18). These are three major hindrances to effective prayer. Any of them can creep into our prayer life very easily. But if we are vigilant to eliminate them, and if we walk in righteousness, the Bible promises that our prayers will avail much. Frank King
Brother Frank, yes let's learn how to pray the way that will touch God's heart ,let us avoid the pitfalls of unanswered prayers. Indeed the 3 points you shared are so common even when we pray.
May the Lord help us and to raise us as prayer warriors, men and women who know how to stand in the gap, who know how to touch God's heart that Heaven can be released on this earth.
Thanks for sharing.
From Hwa Silverpen
Thanks for sharing these points Brother Frank! A wake up call in prayering, to which we may learn also to simplly listen and respect that the answer may be no as well! And patience and answered prayer that blows our minds-but yes-with no doubting! With a pure heart! God Bless you always , my dear Brother! In Christ-Dave
First of all, I agree wholeheartedly with your blog. I am commenting because I just want to stress that God wants to hear from each of His children. He wants each of His children to approach Him in righteousness and with fervant and earnest prayer. God diligently answers individual's prayers when they follow the three verses you have quoted - prayer that is not self serving, prayer based on faith, and prayer from a truly repentant heart. I believe there are some situations that call for a prayer warrior approach. But, we should not be dependant on others to pray for answers to our true needs. We are to boldy approach our one and only High Priest, Jesus Christ, and not rely on others to pray in our place. Each of us, who have been born again in Jesus Christ need to seek intimacy with our Lord and Savior. Jesus is our interceder, depend on Him! Through Him alone our prayers will be and are answered.
As you can tell, I am promoting a person's strong intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That is what each of us needs! I believe, our belief, trust and faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work at the cross and walking in The Word is what touches God's heart.
Thank you for your truth sharing and inspiring blogs!
All of these are very good points! I like, however, what @childlikeheart brought up as well.
[quote]A wake up call in praying, to which we may learn also to simply listen and respect that the answer may be no as well! [/quote] Many times God has answered our prayers... but we do not like either the answer, the method by which God is responding or both.
I have seen people seek God for deliverance in certain situations in their lives and rather than "remove it", God has enabled them to endure it. A casual observer may say that God did not answer their prayer, they didn't have enough faith, or whatever. However, when I have looked at the lives of these people, I am seeing them living victorious lives in Christ. I am seeing joy despite the hardship, they are at peace about it and have even used their experiences to help encourage others.
When we pray, we would do well to identify whether or not the hindrances you mention are in our lives. Then we must lay aside our own will in regards to exactly how God answers our prayers... and trust that He knows best.