POWERFUL PRAYERS THAT WORK
SOUGHTOUT EMEKA MATTHEW
“Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much. Elijah was a human being with the same nature as us, and he prayed fervently for it not to rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the earth produced its fruit”. James 5:16-18 ESV
I may not go ahead to tell you about the scenario that erupted to Elijah praying and it rained not and prayed again, and it rained; but I am here to talk about the how to pray the prayer that works.
If you look at the above scripture you can understand that there is no super prayer man anywhere. Elijah was a human being and with same nature as us. He was born like us. He has same one head, two eyes, and one mouth, like us. But what makes him control nature through the prayers was because; he understood how to pray the prayer that works.
KEYS TO PRAYING THE POWERFUL PRAYER THAT WORKS
To pray the prayer that works, you have to observe the following:
- CONFESS YOUR SINS AND PRAY FOR FORGIVENESS:
It is written: “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed”.
Sin makes us spiritually sick; but forgiveness of our sins makes us spiritual healed and healthy.
Sin closes the ears of God to our prayers; but confession of our sins and praying for His forgiveness opens His ears to our prayers. Sin also shortens God’s hand from reaching down to us in order to intervene on our behalf; but confession of sin and asking for His forgiveness releases His intervening hands.
Sin disconnects us from God; but forgiveness of our sins connects us back to Him.
Isaiah 59:1-2 says, Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
When we regard iniquity, God disregards our prayers; but if we confess and forsake it, and seek for His forgiveness, God hears our prayers and works out what we prayed for.
Psalm 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me”.
In the book of Job 36:21, a warning came, saying: “Take heed, regard not iniquity….”.
Do you want to pray the prayer that works, then we must be careful to deal with sin issues. And that can be by confessing it, repenting from it and asking for one another’s and God’s forgiveness in prayers. Adding to that, we must forgive ourselves too, so that we will not make our prayers ineffective through self condemnation. Lastly, on this, God is greater than our self condemnation, see 1 John 3:20-22:
“For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight”.
when we have confessed our sins and asked for His healing or forgiveness, we shouldn’t allow guilt or self-condemnation to overwhelm us rather we need to be confident toward God that He, who is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness has forgiven us and holds no record of our sins.
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more”. Hebrews 8:12
- EFFECTIVE PRAYER AND RIGHTEOUSNESS:
One thing is to pray effectively; but another thing is to be a righteous person. This is because; effective praying without righteousness will make you nothing but a noise maker; but if you are righteous and prays effectively over issues, your prayer will accomplishes much.
It is written: “…The effective prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much”.
WHAT EFFECTIVE PRAYER IS
The King James Version defines effective prayer as “…The effectual fervent prayer ….”.
What’s Effectual? The word EFFECTUAL in Greek is called EN-ER-GACE’ or ENERGĒS that where the English word ENERGY is coined out from. This meaning implies active, operative or powerful. Another Greek word for it is
ENERGEŌ or EN-ERG-EH’-O which also means to be active, efficient, to do or be fervent, to be mighty in work, shew forth self or to work effectually in something.
Another Greek word for EFFECTUAL is pronounced ENERGEIA or EN-ERG’-I-AH which implies efficiency, energy, operation, strong, effectual working.
Now we have understanding about what effectual means, let’s see what fervent means. Although the writer played with words in the above King James version by defining effective prayer as effectual fervent prayer, we could also see the word fervent in the Greek word is pronounced ENERGEŌ or EN-ERG-EH’-O; but let’s still consider the word FERVENT and see what Greek manuscript has to tell us about it.
The Greek word for FERVENT is pronounced EKTENĒS OR EK-TEN-ACE’ which implies intent or without ceasing.
With this understanding we can conclude that effective prayer is to actively, operatively, powerfully, with efficiency, energy, strength, intentionally and without ceasing make prayers to God over an issue.
When the above is in place and you are righteous, such prayer works and accomplishes much.
It is written, “Elijah was a human being with the same nature as us, and he prayed fervently for it not to rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months……”.
WHAT RIGHTEOUSNESS MEANS
Our God, who we pray to and who answers our prayers is the God of righteousness. The Hebrews calls Him YEHÔVÂH TSIDQÊNÛ or JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU, which is a symbolical epithet of the Messiah and of Jerusalem meaning the Lord our righteousness.
Since prayers that works are prayers that God hears and answers, someone who must pray the prayer that works must first be accepted by God before God will accept his/her prayers. And one of the ways to be accepted by God is to be righteous even as God is righteous.
If you look at the meaning of the name of God called JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU, which is the Lord our righteousness, we must get to know that the righteousness that counts and the one acceptable by God is His own righteousness. Our righteousness is filthy rags before Him; but His gives us a good standing with Him, see Isaiah 64:6 KJV.
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away”.
JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU is the Lord our righteousness. We need His imputed righteousness to be the righteous He wants us to be. This is not the kind of righteousness that is of the by being obedient to the law of God; but of the one that believe in Jesus Christ, in whose obedience anyone who believe in Him is considers by God as righteous.
A righteous is one that lives righteous life. Living in righteousness is an expression that you are born again or born of God.
1 John 2:29 KJV, If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
You cannot be prove you are born of Him when you don’t know that he is righteous and that everyone who live righteously is born of Him.
In being born of God, we aren’t what you were, you become a different personality. This is because; our spirit possesses the nature of God through new birth and lives righteously as we equip ourselves with the knowledge of God, see 2 Corinthians 5:17 & 21, 2 Peter 1:2-3 KJV.
Those who live a righteous lifestyle live as God or Jesus is. It is deception to think you aren’t living like Jesus Christ when you are doing right things r living in righteousness.
1 John 3:7 KJV say, “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous”.
God’s will for us is that we sin not. The purpose of bringing to us teaching and warnings in His writings (The Bible) is that we sin not. But if it happens that we fall into sin after being born of Him, we still have an advocate which is Jesus, our righteousness. He is the propitiation for our sins, not only for us; but for all the sins of all in the whole wide world.
1 John 2:1-2 KJV says, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world”.
When Jesus, who is with God the father advocates for us, God doesn’t see our sins; but He sees His son’s payment for our sins. And when we confess it, He forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness; see 1 John 1:9 KJV, and keep our right standing with Him intact, see Zechariah3:1-5 KJV.
Then shall we pray and our prayers will work or accomplishes what we ask for.
- PRAY AGAIN:
If you take a look at our introduction text, it is written concerning Elijah that … he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the earth produced its fruit.
Prayer that works should not be prayer that you make once. It is the prayer that you pray again and again until the hand of answer appears. This kind of prayer principle was practiced by Elijah and we can see it in the scenario below:
“And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel”. 1 Kings 18:41-45
If you look at the scenario above, you can see that there was an issue for which Elijah prayed for. And that was that heaven should give rain. If you continue to go down you will see that Elijah instructed his servant to check if he could see something in the sea while he prays. The servant checked the first time and told him he saw nothing. Elijah asked him to go back again which he did for seven times. And that is to say that Elijah prayed again and again up till seven times before his prayer worked.
So, it takes the righteous to pray and keeping praying until something happens for his/her prayers to work.
OTHER BIBLICAL MEN WHO PRAYED CEASELESSLY
Beside Prophet Elijah, there were other Old and New Testament figures that prayed the kind of prayer I called PRAY AGAIN. These candidates include:
He told the children of Israel saying, “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way”. 1 Samuel 12:23 KJV
Jesus understood this principle and he taught his disciples and his audience saying:
“Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you went to your friend’s house very late at night and said to him, ‘A friend of mine has come into town to visit me. But I have nothing for him to eat. Please give me three loaves of bread.’ Your friend inside the house answers, ‘Go away! Don’t bother me! The door is already locked. My children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you the bread now.’ I tell you, maybe friendship is not enough to make him get up to give you the bread. But he will surely get up to give you what you need if you continue to ask. So I tell you, continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find. And whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them”. Luke 11:5-10 ERV
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:1-8
THE EARLY CHURCH:
The early church knew this principle. They failed to apply it when James was apprehended by Herod and he was killed; but when the applied it in the time Peter was apprehended, it worked even while they were still praying.
“Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying”. Acts 12:1-12
Paul understood this principle. He practiced it and also taught others to do same.
“For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers”. Romans 1:9 KJV
“I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day”. 2 Timothy 1:3 KJV
“Pray without ceasing”. 1Thessalonians 5:17 KJV
In conclusion, you have to repent of your sins, confess it and seek God’s forgiveness. Then, pick up an issue and pray effectually and fervently; and without ceasing until answer comes. That’s how to pray the prayer that works.
Having learn how to pray the prayer that works, you can now start it.
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