Prayer Of A Righteous Person – May 20, 2016

James 5:13, Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

“If it is coincidence, I sure have a lot more coincidences when I pray than when I don’t.” – Unknown

This week, we have been examining what James, the brother of Jesus, has to say about “Elite Level Prayers.” If you missed the previous blogs, you can find them @ James’ final point about elite prayers is that they are offered by competent people. Read James 5:16, “…The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Did you get that? “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” However, don’t get confused; righteous does not mean perfect, actually it is far from it. Remember, James’ example of a righteous person was Elijah, and Elijah was no different than we are. Elijah was not super human, and he was not a spiritual giant for most of his life. In the Old Testament, we see Elijah hungry (1 Kings 17:11), afraid (1 Kings 19:3) and depressed (1 Kings 19:3,14) on several occasions.

Elijah’s prayers were not special because he was special. No, the key to Elijah’s prayers was that they were prayed for a righteous purpose. And what was that righteous purpose? It was God’s glory. That is exactly how Jesus told us to pray. Remember how the Lord’s prayer started, when Jesus said in Matthew 6:9, “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, 10Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” So James and Jesus agree, first and foremost, elite prayers are righteous prayers that are prayed for the single purpose of honoring God! How do your prayers measure up?

Take care and have a blessed weekend!

John Mark Caton, Ph.D