“The earnest, heartfelt, continued prayer of a righteous man (person) makes tremendous power available, dynamic in its working.” James 5:16b Amplified
Ever feel like your prayers aren’t getting answered? Do you wonder why? While there is no “formula” for prayer, so to speak, I believe the verse today tells us we can have a powerful prayer life.
Before we examine that verse, notice it is the second part of the entire verse. The first part is key and it says “Confess to one another therefore your faults, your slips, false steps, offenses and sins, and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored to a spiritual tone of mind and heart.” Did you recoil at the first word, confess? Probably, especially when the words after that were, to one another. We don’t want to spill our guts to our friends and family, even our brothers and sisters in Christ, that might cause them to reject you. Though that may happen the point here is humility. The first beatitude that Jesus gives us is that the spiritually poor/humble are blessed, He says theirs is the kingdom of heaven! (Matthew 5:3) When you humble yourself this verse says you will be healed and restored.
Once you are humble then our verse today says our prayer must be earnest and heartfelt. Most of us would believe we go to God earnestly with our request, we wouldn’t pray if it wasn’t important. We also want our prayers answered and we usually want it answered the way we think it should be answered. To me though, the word to key in on is heartfelt. You might think it means the same thing as earnest, but in this case I believe it means you have to believe your prayer WILL be answered. Heartfelt equals faith. You MUST believe your prayer will be answered though it may not be how you think it should be answered. I believe if we pray and ask God for His will in the situation our prayers will be answered, and remember His will is best for us, that’s where our trust in Him truly comes in.
Lastly, the verse today says the continued prayer. We can’t just pray once and go on, we must pray continually to God. I love the story of the widow and the judge in Luke 18:3 and recommend you read that. In short, the widow kept going to an unjust judge asking him for help, but he wouldn’t do anything for her. After a while he finally decided she wasn’t going to quit bothering him so he helped her. Jesus said “Will not God help you more than this unjust judge did, when you go to him day and night?”
We can have prayer that is “dynamic in its working” as our verse today says, when we have humility and faith.