Corliss Taylor, GFC Lutz
Have you ever had your faith tested when your prayers did not get answered? I have. Earlier in my walk with Christ when my prayers were not answered I wallowed in the misconception that surely God is to blame. As I grew to understand God’s character, I realized it was me, not God. I learned two significant facts about the characteristics of God. One, God is not rude. If you talk to Him, He will talk to you. Two, effectual, fervent prayer avails much. If you dig deep in prayer, an answer will come.
When my goddaughter was bullied by her friends, I was devastated. I love my precious Maya. I went to God in prayer. I used effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much as a weapon. This powerhouse statement is found in James 5:16. Effectual is defined as capable or having the power to produce a desired result. Fervent is defined as passionate, constant, or intense. When we come to God in prayer, James tells us we should be passionate about the power we have to get results. So why are we not seeing the desired outcome of our prayers?
The Word of God gives guidance for dealing with any of life’s challenges and hard situations. In James 5:13, the question is asked, “Are any of you suffering hardships?” Then, James gives the answer, “You should pray.” Another question is asked, “Are any of you sick?” The solution? Call for the elders of the Church to pray. Prayer is the answer to deal with adversities. I followed these instructions for my goddaughter Maya. Now, she has the victory.
You may wonder what effectual, fervent prayer looks like. In 1 Samuel 1, we find Hannah praying in Church. In verse 10 we are told Hannah was in bitterness of soul because she did not have a child. To get a miracle from God, Hannah prayed. Her prayer was so intense that the priest, Eli, thought she was drunk (verse 13). Imagine for a moment an issue so pressing that you are on your knees in the presence of God, laser focused on the power of God to send an answer that onlookers think you are not sober. That much force and faith creates fervency. Not being concerned about what people think and being determined and settled about what God can do creates effective prayer.
How can you pray an effectual, fervent prayer amidst all you have going on in your life? Look at Hannah’s example. Hannah shut out everything and everyone. She went to an environment where God’s spirit was present. She cast her cares on God (1 Peter 5:7) by pouring out her soul (verse 15). Hannah trusted that not only did God hear her, He would answer. What is admirable about Hannah is she did not wait until her situation got better to pray. Sometimes we may think we are bothering God, or that he is too busy to answer us. Not true. In her grief, concern, and distress, Hannah went to battle in prayer. Because of her response to her situation, she received an answer from God. Hannah conceived a son. She named him Samuel and dedicated him back to God for his entire life. Samuel went on to be one of the greatest prophets in the Bible.
What is the practical application of effectual, fervent prayer? If you have any situations going on in your life, 1) go to your prayer closet – this can be in your home, at church, or where you can totally focus 2) charge the atmosphere with worship, praise or something that will cause God’s presence to linger 3) dig deep in your soul and talk to God about all that is happening –ask God to give you His answer to resolve the situation – and look for its manifestation.