James 5:16-18 (ESV) 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
James 5:16-18 (AMP) 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power]. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours [with the same physical, mental, and spiritual limitations and shortcomings], and he prayed intensely for it not to rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its crops [as usual].
1) Effectively - Pure Heartedness
2) Fervently - Constant & Persistent
3) Accurately - Asking God’s Will
Four causes of ineffective prayer
1) Cherishing Iniquity (Psalm 66:17-19)
2) Pride / Hypocrisy (Luke 18:9-14)
3) Love of the World (James 4 - asking “wrongly”)
4) Marriage Problems (I Peter 3:7)
Leads to DOUBT / Double Mindedness (James 1)
Matthew 21:21-22 21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Luke 18:1-8 1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Isaiah 62:6-7 6 On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest, 7 and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth.
Not empty phrases (Matthew 6:7)
But Asking (Matthew 6:9-13)
Praying is Asking
Elijah prayed God’s Will (I Kings 17:1)
Drought was warned (Deuteronomy 11:16-17)
Prayed God’s will Again (I Kings 18:42)
Rain was promised for obedience (Deuteronomy 11:13-15)
The Prophetic Destiny of Prayer upon our spiritual Tribe
Gripped by the Luke 11:1 question from the disciples to Jesus - "Teach us how to pray"
Paul's radical commitment to prayer.
1000 to 1 Prayer to preaching ratio
Prophetic words starting with my wife have a common theme of prayer for my life and ministry: "He who prays will lead"
Our history in prayer:
- Three times a day for years
- 24/7 prayer in 2010
- Daily prayer and worship now
- Citywide prayers
Quotes that impact my conviction about prayer:
1- "The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to world evangelization in history." Andrew Murray
2- "We must begin to believe that God, in the mystery of prayer, has entrusted us with a force that can move the Heavenly world, and can bring its power down to earth." Andrew Murray
3- What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use -- men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men -- men of prayer.
E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer
4- God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil….
5- Leonard Ravenhill says that prayer is the least attended meeting in the church.
And LR says:
The Sunday meeting shows how popular the church is.
The Sunday night meeting shows how popular the preacher is.
The Wednesday prayer meeting shows how popular God is.
I believe that every church is called to prayer.
But I believe, because of the above, that we have a unique call to prayer.
It is a high and holy call. And it is resisted by the powers of hell.
Only the great evaluation will reveal how much oppression we all have undergone to keep us from our destiny of prayer.
I believe we are all called to the ministry of agreed prayer.
Matthew 18:19 19 ““Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
Would you consider again the call that is upon us?
Would you consider again the call of:
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
Colossians 4:2 NIV
Would you surrender wholeheartedly to the Holy Spirit's leading in this matter of persevering agreed prayer?