“The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16
Father, we thank you that the fervent prayers of the righteous avail much. We thank you for hearing the prayers of Deeper Still and answering. We ask for you to meet every need of Deeper Still in 2015 and to do above and beyond all we can think or imagine in setting the abortion wounded free. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Someone recently shared with me how she was praying for something but didn’t think her prayers would be heard because of the verse above. She went on to explain that she was not righteous. She had a sinful past, so how could her prayers be effective based on the verse above.
Perhaps you have held a similar thought before. If so, may you find freedom in what I also shared with her.
I first asked if she was still living in the sin or if it was in the past, just to clarify. She answered that it was in the past and that she had asked for forgiveness.
Habitual sin does hinder our prayers and separates us from the Father (1 Peter 3:7). But, as soon as we go to Jesus, confess our sins and turn away from them, we are in right relationship again. If you happen to be reading this and know there is an area of unconfessed habitual sin in your life, confess it, renounce it and cast it off (Acts 3:19-20).
My prayer is for you to understand your position in Christ and the power you hold in Him. Your righteousness has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with Jesus. Because of the blood of Jesus, you have been made righteous (2 Cor 5:21).
If you are in Christ, there isn’t one thing more you can do to be more righteous than you are at this very moment.
And your prayers are heard and answered not because of who you are, but because of who He is.
In the next verse, James 5:17-18, it says, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours.
Elijah is often viewed as some sort of super hero because of the miracles God performed through him. However, he was just a man. In fact, he was just a man with a nature like ours, a sinful nature like ours. He struggled with sin just like we do. He had a flesh just like we do, and his prayers were powerful and effective.
There is a reason God put the example of Elijah following James 5:16. And there is a reason the Lord pointed out that Elijah had a nature like ours. Friends, your prayers are just as powerful and effective. Yes, Elijah was amazing, but he was also just a man.
Your righteousness has nothing to do with you and everything to do with God. He has already made you righteous through the blood of Jesus. There is not one man more righteous than you. Not Billy Graham. Not your pastor. Not sister so-and-so on the prayer team at church. You are righteous and your prayers are effective and avail much.