Monday, February 22, 2016
A favorite verse of mine, especially the last half, is James5:16, which reads: Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed . The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (KJV) One of the greatest privileges a child of God can have is to pray for others. To me, it is a bigger honor still to have friends or loved ones approach us requesting prayer. Because you are among those who people approach with such a request, do you ever wonder how you can make your prayer for them stronger and more effective? I think we can get a good idea by carefully analyzing and correctly understanding the bible verse in question. Many people immediately disqualify themselves because they misinterpret the word “righteous.” To them the word means holy, even sin-free. No, it is not that at all. Everyone who has ever believed and received Christ as their Savior has been declared righteous.
According to 1 Corinthians 6:11, those who come to Christ are washed, sanctified, and justified. A simple way of saying this is that, when we gave our lives to Jesus, we were cleansed from our sins, set apart by God as being one of His, and justified. That spiritual process legally makes us “righteous.” That being the case, each and every child of God can lift up powerful prayers for themselves and others. Two other key ingredients of an effective prayer are faith an love. First off, we must believe that God is hearing our prayer at the very moment we are making it. Secondly, we must have a genuine love for those for whom we are praying. To be honest, this will not always be easy because sometimes we don’t really know the person we are praying for.
Let me tell you what I do in such cases. I feel very confident that it works for me and I trust it will do the same for you. All the while I am praying for the person, I envision how deeply loved he or she may be to many people in his or her life. I also keep in mind how much the Lord loves him or her. Once I do that, my prayer for the person is genuinelyheartfelt. A certain modern version of James 5:16 reads: The heartfelt supplication of a righteous man exerts a mighty influence. Perhaps you can try this method for yourself. If it works for you like I feel it does for me, I believe you too will feel and just know that the Lord definitely heard your prayer and that it was strong and effective. In the end, God’s children who pray this way, probably get as much benefit, if not more, than those for whom they pray.
Memory verse for the week: (Colossians 3:23) Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.