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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Flying with Thursday's Word Righteous by Brenda Smith

Thursday's Word

Defined: Free from wrong or sin.
Scripture: Matthew 6:33 Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
 Cole Patrick
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). This is a powerful verse of Scripture with an amazing promise. Do your prayers avail much? Are you a “righteous” person? You may not feel that your prayers avail much. Yet, God has given this promise to His people. God gives it to us to encourage us and to motivate us to pray. This is prayer beyond what you and I can imagine!
God gives us the promise in James 5:16 and then offers the example in James 5-17-18. He refers to the praying of the prophet Elijah. James reminds us of the time when Elijah prayed for drought in Israel and then relief from drought. He prayed first for drought and it did not rain in Israel for three years and six months. He then prayed for rain after the drought and God sent abundant rain. These are all God’s miracles, but the focus is on Elijah and God’s use of him. God used these prayers Elijah prayed with power and effectiveness. You are probably asking…”Why is this such a great miracle?” Elijah was a common, ordinary man. He was no different from you and me – a sinful man saved by God’s grace. He had his ups and downs in his relationship with God. He struggled to trust God as we sometimes do. God shows us that the people in the Bible were not super saints that lived above the daily realities of our own lives. They were flawed people who loved God and walked with Him.
You need to know that powerful and effective praying is not out of your reach. No special powers. No special person. What kind of person must you be to pray like Elijah? You must be righteous. You have to be accepted with God through faith in Jesus before you can pray with power and effectiveness. You must first come to Jesus by faith. Rejoice in the truth that God accepts you through His Son ask God to help you rest in this and that this truth will fuel your praying. We must confess our sins and strive to live a righteous life by obeying God. “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (I John 3:22).
Then, we must have confidence in God. Elijah understood that only the Lord God of Israel could do what he asked. His sense of hopelessness motivated his fervent prayers. When do we pray like that? When we come to the end of ourselves. When our confidence in God and God alone to answer and intervene. When God is our only hope, that is when we pray those fervent prayers.
God bless!

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