The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly… James 5:16-17
“The great point is to never give up until the answer comes!” responded George Mueller, who experienced amazing miraculous answers to his prayers throughout his life. His words echo one of the main keys for powerful effective prayer – prayers that get miraculous results just like Elijah did.
What is this key? Earnest prayer. James 5:16-17 in the New Living Translation states, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years!”
In order to understand how you can engage in “praying earnestly”, let us take a look at the original Greek text. In James 5:16 there is no corresponding Greek word for “fervent” or “earnest.” In James 5:17, however, the word translated into English as “earnestly” actually comes from the Greek word “proseuche,” which is the most common Greek word translated as “prayer” throughout the New Testament. And, the Greek word for “prayed” is “prosechomai,” which is most commonly translated as “pray”. So, the literal translation for “prayed earnestly” would be Elijah “prayed with prayer.” In other words, after Elijah prayed, he prayed some more. He persisted in prayer – never giving up until the answer came. (See 1 Kings 17:21-23 & 1 Kings 18:42-44)
Pray earnestly! Pray never giving up until God’s answer comes!
Directly after Jesus taught the disciples how to pray in the prayer commonly known as “Our Father,” He shared the importance of persistent prayer. He concluded this parable with these words, “because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.” (See Luke 11:5-8) Following this parable, Jesus instructed us to “ask, seek, and knock” until the door is opened, until the prayer is answered. The continuous present tense for these 3 verbs (ask, seek, and knock) are used, which would mean keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking until your prayer is answered. This exhortation emphasizes once again the idea of persistent prayer – after praying, pray some more. (Luke 11:9-13)
George Muller stated, “The great fault of the children of God is that they do not continue in prayer; they do not go on praying; they do not persevere. If they desire anything for God’s glory, they should pray until they get it.” George Mueller like Elijah had a human nature like ours. His prayers like Elijah’s prayers availed much, got miraculous results, because he never gave up until the answer came, judging Him faithful Who promised.
I exhort you to pray earnestly! Pray never giving up until God’s answer comes!
Practical Application for Praying Earnestly:
1. What is the problem? Make a list of your needs and those close to you.
2. What is God’s answer? Find a Bible verse(s) that answers that need.
3. Write out the Bible verse(s) and place them where you can prayer-read or declare them throughout the day.
4. Never give-up until God’s answer comes!