"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Philippians 4:6


                                   Effectual Prayer

God is eager to hear our prayer requests, but they are to be accompanied "with thanksgiving." God, Creator of all, invites us, His children, to pray, and He assures us He will hear. He is holy, separate from sinners and undefiled, and we are rebellious and sinful, but as a Father, He invites us to ask favors and promises help. "Ask and it shall be given to you . . . for everyone that asketh receiveth . . . If you, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him" (Matthew 7:7-11).

Prayer changes things. The Bible says, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16). Prayer for the sick is not a substitute for medicine; prayer for daily bread is not a substitute for work; and prayer for the lost is no substitute for the gospel, but those things are no substitute for prayer either. Because Christians pray, some are well who would still be sick, some are alive who would be dead (James 4:15), souls are saved that would be lost (Romans 10:1), doors of opportunity are open that would still be closed (Colossians 4:3), some are wiser than they were (James 1:5). More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of. And many more things yet would be wrought by it, if we prayed more. "You have not, because you ask not" (James 4:2).

God commands us to pray. "Pray without ceasing" (1Thessolonians 5:17). "Continue in prayer and watch in the same with thanksgiving" (Colossians 4:2). "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6). The greatest of all privileges is not only allowed, but is even enjoined upon us. To let us pray would be marvelous, but He commands us!

God urges us to be persistent in prayer. If at first we do not get what we ask for, we are to keep asking. If God, who hears all things, appears deaf to our cries, we are to cry longer. Jesus told a parable about an unjust and uncaring judge, who finally ruled in favor of a poor widow simply because she wore him out with her persistent pleas. He told that parable, He said, to teach us that we "ought always to pray and not give up" (Luke 18:1). God is not unjust and uncaring, like that judge, but we are to be persistent, like that widow. God never wearies of our asking, even when it appears He is not hearing.

We are invited to pray and God has promised to hear. Great things happen because of prayer. We are commanded to pray by the One who loves us, and reminded that we show Him our love by keeping His commandments. We can "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). Yet, believing all of that, many of us pray so little. Perhaps we should ask ourselves, "Why?"

Is effectual prayer a daily habit in your life? Remember, it is not the arithmetic of our prayers, how many they are; nor the rhetoric of our prayers, how eloquent they may be; nor the geometry of our prayers, how long they be; nor the logic of our prayers, how argumentative they may be; nor the method of our prayers, how orderly they may be. Yet it is fervency of spirit which availeth much!

May the Lord bless you with a prayerful LIFE!


"Lord Dictated Them"


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