The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
Paul believed prayer is effective. He believed prayer is not just some spiritual exercise but something God uses to change things.
James 5:16 says, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” If prayer is going to be a part of your life, then you have to be convinced that prayer is effective.
There are two practical applications we can embrace about prayer from Romans 15.
The first application is a pastoral plea. Paul said, “I urge you … to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me” (15:30). And I issue the same plea to you. I beg you to pray for me. Pray for my spiritual protection. Pray for my preparation of the messages. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s power when I deliver them. Pray that I don’t do or say anything that would bring shame upon the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for my family. Pray for the church. To help you remember to pray daily for your pastor and your church, I suggest you attach your prayer to something you do once a day. Would you consider praying when you brush your teeth every morning? “God, bless the pastor. Protect the church, protect him. Help our church to be what You want it to be.” That is my pastoral plea to you.
The second application is a personal plan. If prayer is going to be a real part of our life, then we need a plan. Any plan for prayer in your life ought to have three components. First, you need a period. By that, I mean a designated time when you meet with God. Prayer ought to be a part of your life throughout the day, but I also believe there ought to be a designated time when you meet with God. It may be in the morning, it may be over lunch, or it may be at night, but set a specific appointment every day with your Creator.
Second, a place. You can and should pray everywhere, but it is good to have a regular place to meet with God–a holy place. It might be in your bedroom, your car, your office, or a closet somewhere, but it is the place where you meet with God.
Third, a pad. Get a journal or notebook where you can write down the specific things you are asking God for and the answers that he provides. Having a prayer list helps me be more focused in prayer. It is also a great way for me to look back and remember God’s faithfulness in my life.
I think pastor R. A. Torrey was right on target when he said, “I must pray, pray, pray. I must put all my energy and all my heart into prayer. Whatever else I do, I must pray.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Bow The Knee” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
R. A. Torrey, “How to Pray” (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1983), 1.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.