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29th November 2023

The Power of Prayer

Prayer is like breathing for Christians – absolutely essential for life.
The benefit is that prayer makes a difference & that every prayer counts.
We will be looking at 5 S’s from the letter of James about prayer.
Firstly though, we will look at Elijah who is portrayed as a powerful man of prayer.
It is easy to think Elijah had special powers of prayer but the good news for us is that he was just an ordinary man.
The key was that his prayer was full of faith as well as being passionate, persistent & persevering.
That is what made the difference & this will be our focus for today.

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
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 5:16b-18 NKJV

The key point James is making is that fervent earnest prayer of righteous people prevails.
We are righteous through Christ the righteous one (Romans 3:21-23). We align that with faith & pray with expectation.
Elijah was an ordinary human being, just like you & me, yet his prayer was extraordinary.
His passion & zeal for God fueled his prayers to make them hugely effective.
It was prayer that flowed from the heart as Elijah was moved by the Spirit.
Elijah was deeply moved & in turn this fervent, earnest prayer moved the lord’s heart too.

What does James mean by effective prayer. Prayer that works.
Faith filled prayer from passionate hearts aligned with Scripture is very powerful.
This is what helped contribute to the amazing miracle that took place.
A drought in the land for over 3 years!! That’s effective prayer.
This combination of faith, passion & persistence is a repeated pattern in Scripture.
Think of King David, Daniel, Nehemiah & Jesus as obvious examples.

If we expect the Lord to move in response to our prayers, we need to pray prayers that move us!! SELAH
This calls for a strong release of emotion at times. Passion, zeal & fervour for the Lord & His will, word & ways.
Elijah prayed straight from Scripture (we will look more closely at this later in this series) & so must we.
Prayer means effort mingled with expectation in an environment of vibrant faith.
We can with as Elijah did as we are human just like him. We also have the Spirit of God in, on & through us (Matthew 11:11).
The least in the kingdom of God can be an awesome prayer warrior. There is abundant hope for us all. Hallelujah!!!

For Reflection

  • How easily do I let my emotions flow in the place of prayer?
  • Recall & reflect upon a moment or time of great passion in prayer.
  • Meditate upon passion & perseverance in prayer.

A song related to this theme:


Heavenly Father,
Thank you that You always hear & answer my prayers,
Help me to pray in line with Your word, will & ways.
Jesus thank you that You carved out time for daily prayer,
That You sought communion with the Father above all else,
Teach & train me to do the same.
Holy Spirit keep me attentive to the word of God & what is happening in this world,
So that I can pray with revelation, discernment & understanding.
This I ask in the mighty Name of Jesus.

Written by Gareth Jones

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