“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit” (James 5:16b-18, NKJV).
A righteous man is a man who has put his faith in the grace of God and has been forgiven of his sins. Elijah wasn't a perfect man. He had shortcomings just like we do. But when Elijah prayed in faith, he saw miracles.
You can’t live a righteous life until you believe in your heart that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. The Pharisees believed they were righteous based on their ability to keep the law. Their hearts were not right with God. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites,” Jesus said! “You are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27, NKJV)! You have what the Pharisees didn’t have. You have righteousness that you didn’t have to earn. Jesus earned it for you. You are righteous because Jesus gave you His. When you believe that only in Christ you are righteous, then you live righteously without striving to be perfect. You have nothing to prove because Jesus proved Himself for you on Calvary.
Prayer is a spiritual relationship with God where you commune with each other. Prayer is also a way that God has set up for us to ask Him for things. We, like Elijah, can pray for specific outcomes. You don’t have to be “good enough” to pray explicitly. Remember you, like Elijah, are a natural man and have shortcomings. Elijah’s prayers held back the rain and then brought the rain. You, like Paul and Peter, have shortcomings. Their prayers healed the sick and cast out demons. Paul and Peter didn’t heal the sick. It was the righteousness of God within them. Your good living won’t bring results to any fervent prayer. But the righteousness of Jesus Christ within you will bring forth miracles.
“Therefore I say to you,” Jesus said, “whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24, NKJV). Pray specifically in faith. Pray from your assurance of your right-standing with God. That right-standing you have with God is the righteousness Christ has given you. Believe you will receive what you ask for.
Even though we have shortcomings, we, too, can pray believing and see miracles. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
©2021 Lynn Lacher