Elite Level Prayer! – May 16, 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.
Psalm 145:18, The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.
“We can be prayer pessimists and see the expectation to pray merely as an obligation, or we can be optimists who view the command to pray as an opportunity to receive the mercy and grace of God.” – Donald Whitney
“To abandon prayer is to fight the battle with our own resources at best…” – Donald Whitney
Yesterday at Cottonwood Creek, I finished my teaching series titled, “Legit Faith-All Day, Everyday!” In this series, we looked at how true Christianity is lived out Monday through Saturday, and not simply compartmentalized to Sunday mornings. Yesterday we tackled the topic of “Elite Level Prayer!” Read what James says about “Elite Level Prayer” in James 5:17,
“Elijah 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.” Now that’s “Elite Level prayer,” but did you read what James said about Elijah? Read again in James 5:17, “Elijah was a human being, even as we are.” So Elijah wasn’t super human, he wasn’t super spiritual he was just like us. But the one thing Elijah did do was “pray earnestly.”
To be honest, that is where most of us fall short in our prayer lives. We know we need to pray more, but we actually only pray from time to time. It’s just like athletes who knows they need to practice more to be great, but they just do not put in the effort or practice time. That is the way we are with prayer. Too often, we know we need to pray, but we never seem to get around to it. Let’s change that starting today!
Start a list in a journal or on your phone. Set reminders to intercede for others. Make time to pray. Remember, you can pray in the car, as you get ready for work/school, before bed…. Let others know that you are praying for them. ‘Earnestly’ means: serious in intention, purpose or effort; zealous.
Take care and have a blessed day!
John Mark Caton, Ph.D