Energized Prayer
Prayer is like a lamp. We can turn it on and off, on and off, but if it is not plugged in to the power source, if it is not energized, nothing will happen. Every prayer we pray is either energized or it is not. When it is, we are letting loose an earthshaking power.
Jam 5:16 tells us that “the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” A better translation of that would be: “the energized prayer of any believer has great power.” The word “effective” comes from energeo, the root of our word “energy;” it means “to energize.” The word “accomplish” is ischuos, the strongest of five Greek words for power. It means “applied power, demonstrated power.” God will demonstrate His power through the energized prayer of His children.
The “righteous man” is anyone who has been imputed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Because we are in Christ, we have access to God 24 hours a day for the rest of our lives (Heb 4:16). In Jam 5:17, the Lord’s brother reinforces the principle that anyone’s prayers can be powerful when he says that Elijah was a man with a nature like ours. That is an extremely important little statement. It tells us that the prophet Elijah—known among the Jews for his phenomenal prayer power and prayer ministry—was a natural human being. He had a sin nature; he struggled with areas of weakness; he knew what it was like to sin and to fail, but his prayer power was not based on anything in Elijah; it was based on God.
So, how can we “energize” our prayers? Every time we stop to pray, we should ask ourselves two questions:
  1. Am I in fellowship (Eph 6:18)? Sin throws up a barrier between God and us and short-circuits our prayer (Isa 59:2). Self-examination and confession removes the barrier and restores us to fellowship (1Jo 1:9, 1Jo 3:21–22). If we have unconfessed sins in our lives, if we are not filled with the Spirit, our prayers are works of the flesh and have absolutely no power.
  2. Am I praying according to the will of God (Joh 15:7; 1Jo 5:14–15)? How do we pray according to His will? We have to know His Word. Lack of study will rob us of the ability to pray effectively. Jesus said that whatever we ask in faith, we will receive. But what is “faith”? It is a response to God’s Word. We cannot ask for something in faith unless the Word of God declares that what we ask is the will of God. When we know the Word and our will is in line with His will, then our prayer will be powerful prayer.
Paul tells us in Col 4:2 to devote ourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving. There are five dangers to which we should be alert: failure to confess (Isa 59:2), failure to study (Joh 15:7), failure to obey (1Jo 3:22; 1Pe 3:7), failure to ask according to God’s will (1Jo 5:14–15), and infiltration of personal lusts (Jam 4:2–3).
If we are alert to those dangers and can say “yes” to those two questions, we can pray in faith-rest, knowing that what we ask will be done in God’s perfect time. Jesus Himself said in Joh 15:7, If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.”

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