The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16.
Yesterday it happened again. We prayed together in Bible study, and by the time I got home last night, God had already set it in motion. I remarked to my sister last night, that God is flabbergasting me, because never in my life have I experienced such rapid answers to prayer! Her response reminded me of James 5:16; that if there is prayer that is effectual, there must be prayer that is ineffectual too.
I must confess that I prayed ineffectually for most of my life. But God has been teaching us effectual fervent prayer in our Bible studies. Why now, after all these years of ineffectual prayer? All I can say is, I was too busy raising children and homeschooling to listen — really listen — before. I am a natural Martha, and too easily let what needs to be done around me drown out His still, small voice. It is not that I am not busy now; sometimes I look at my to do list in the morning and I have to remind myself of what God has done for me in Jesus Christ to keep from getting discouraged. But God has been calling, calling, “Seek Me – seek My face. Are you really content with so little of Me when I yearn to give you so much of Me? Enter into this great romance with Me, My child, My sister, My bride.” And by the grace of God, I am doing my best to choose Him, as Mary did.
Is He calling you too? If you still your heart, and listen for Him, can you hear His longing for you — all of you, as He has given us all of Himself?
In our first Bible study, we asked God to meet with us and for His presence to lead us. So He has been. He shows us what to pray for, because He has already planned to act. This must be what John writes in 1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us.” And we know what His will is; His word tells us His will. So we are learning to pray His word when we pray.
To be continued …
Update: continued in Effectual, fervent prayer, part two