Fervent Prayer

We say and do a lot of things with casualness in our lives because we don’t really mean them or intend for them to mean anything. Unfortunately we imagine that the same casualness is characteristic of the realm of our conversations with God.

What kinds of prayers move God to respond? How do you need to pray for God to hear you? Let us take a look at a person whose prayers succeeded in moving God to respond.

Read James 5:13-18 (NLT)

Elijah was a powerful example of boldness in prayer. Something about the way he prayed made tremendous power available. Who was Elijah? Elijah was a prophet from a remote part of Israel east of the Jordan. He showed up a time when Israel had turned their back on God. To get the nation’s attention God had to bring about a catastrophic event, a three and a half year drought. James 5:17 recounts the break in the drought after Baal worship was overthrown on Mt. Carmel.

What made Elijah’s prayers so bold?

  1. Elijah was outnumbered by the prophets of Baal one to 400.
  2. Baal worship had pervaded the land.
  3.  There had been no rain for 3 and a half years and he prays … “now bring rain! bless this land!” … that is the biggest boldest prayer!

Elijah’s prayer was a bold prayer and it was a fervent prayer. There was nothing casual about it. It was not like, “Hey, God! Do this!”. He prayed, “God you want to, you must!”. 1 Kings 18:36 NIV

He could speak boldly in this conversation, and stand up against 400 opposing voices, and plead for rain was because he had taken time to repair the altar and in effect renew Israel’s covenant with God. 1 Kings 18:30 says Elijah said to all the people, ” Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord which was in ruins.

A covenant is a powerful thing. It changes a casual relationship into a bond and it obligates the covenant partners to certain things. Typically covenants are between a stronger partner and a weaker one. A covenant makes the resources of the stronger partner accessible to the weaker one. On the basis of the agreement that has been made, the covenant partners can enter into bold conversations. Elijah prayed boldly because he was invoking the terms of a commitment. Based on what God had committed himself to do for the nation of Israel, Elijah could pray boldly knowing God would answer.

For some of you who might be hearing this for the first time, this is your opportunity to evaluate the basis of your relationship with God. Is it at the level of a casual relationship or is it a bond? Because what gives you the access & warrants you to have bold conversations with God is more than a casual relationship.

We can pray boldly on the basis of God’s covenant promises to us in Christ. And when we pray boldly, our prayers are effective in persuading God to move.

When you get serious, God gets serious!

When we pray boldly, we succeed in making contact with God and in getting him to respond to our prayers. The best known example from the Bible of God’s intervention on the basis of covenants is the rainbow. Whenever it rains heavily and God sees the rainbow he remembers that he has obligated himself never to wipe out humanity from the earth again.

Genesis 9:15-16 “15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

We can confidently present God with all manner of situations and call for him to intervene, based on the binding promises he has made to us in Christ Jesus. An sample of the promises we have in Christ?

  • Matthew 26:2828 This is my blood of thetcovenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”
  • Hebrews 8:66 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.”
  • 2 Corinthians 1:2020 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
  • Hebrews 6:13-14 – 13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.”

God is not persuaded by in infrequent baby Jesus prayers from someone who is bored and distracted, or who doesn’t really expect him to come through. God is not looking for repetitious religious phrases that you have just heard others speaking. God is not moved by a person whose mind is always wandering to other things.

When you get serious, God gets serious!

You have got to boldly, deliberately remind God of what your relationship with Jesus guarantees. you cannot lob a leftover at God. When you get serious God gets serious! God says: “If you get serious, I’ll get serious”. Because if you are not serious God is not serious.

You cannot enter into bold conversations with God if we don’t understand the provisions of the agreement and the things it entitles us to.

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4 Responses to “Fervent Prayer”

  1. Walkonby Says:

    Thank you 🙂

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  2. Thanks pastor Linda, what i get here is that ,prayers have become ritual recitations like national anthem .in the morning …,before meal and bedtime. Peronally , i have been asking my kids to say one line of prayer before we eat .i am grateful that i now understand i have to do it different and with committment .This is a challenge to change the way and time we pray.

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  3. Pastor Linda, that was definitely not a ‘nice’ sermon. Sermons that make me uncormfortable (like this one) are definitely Holy Spirit talking and not ‘nice’. My major question has been why my faith though saving has been (and is so unremarkable. This sermons says it. I am unserious. Going to get serious and live out Acts 26:29. barikiwa!

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  4. Oscar Osabinyi Says:

    for without faith it is impossible to please him, and he that draws near to him must believe that he is faithful for he rewards those who put their trust in him,,,
    I firmly believe that being aware of the conditions of the testament avails the keys to receiving the blessings that God has promised through his word.

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