by Dr. Charles Stanley
Friday February 11, 2005
Praying in a Crisis
Scripture tells us, "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16 NKJV). Effective. That is exactly what we want our prayers to be, especially in a crisis. When we meet God's requirements, we can have confidence that He will respond by releasing His divine energy into the situation. Then we will be assured that our prayers are producing results.
Requirement #1 - Fervent prayer. Motivated by a deeply burdened heart, fervent prayers are filled with intense passion and a strong sense of personal helplessness. They also have a narrow focus on some specific difficulty about which we care deeply. Scripture describes this type of prayer as "laboring earnestly" (Colossians 4:12).
Requirement #2 - A righteous man or woman. At salvation, we become rightly related to God as His children. We are permanently sealed with the Holy Spirit, and we are declared righteous forever because of our position in Christ. But the word "righteous" is also used to describe a believer's lifestyle or conduct. Therefore, to be called a "righteous person," we must be found in Christ (Philippians 3:9) and have a lifestyle that is obedient before God. If we willingly and knowingly continue in sin against God, then we are not engaged in righteous living, and our prayers will not be effective.
When someone is lifting an impassioned prayer to the Lord, He knows who is praying. If it is a righteous person whose life reflects God's ways, Scripture promises the Holy Spirit will begin His divine work.
God responds with great power to the prayers of even one righteous person. That person can be you!
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