Do you ever wonder why it feels like, at times, that your prayer goes unanswered? Like turning a light switch on to light up a room, there has to be a place of contact. If we don’t put the effort out to turn on the switch, there will be no light, because there was no “contact” inside the wall where the electricity runs. God has provided what His will has decreed, but without a point of contact, we won’t experience what that provision is.
Many today believe in God’s power, but are not seeing God’s provision because they don’t understand His place of contact. When we don’t make “contact”, we think there is no power. The reality is, we haven’t “hit the switch.”
The point of contact between our provision and God’s power is prayer. Prayer is the one thing God has established to make contact with what He has already decreed. When there is no prayer, there is no contact, and when there is no contact, we do not get what God has already declared for us to have.
Prayer is the mechanism that God has decreed, that is absolutely necessary for Him to release what He intends. Prayer does not make God do what He hasn’t planned to do. But what it does is release God to do what He has already decided to do and says so in His Word.
Isaiah 65:24 – “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” God has already decreed an answer for us. He is just waiting on us to call on Him. He knows the end from the beginning.
Prayer activates the decree and the will of God for our lives. Prayer is the mechanism that grabs something out of the invisible realm so that we can see it work in the physical realm.
Look what it says in Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” He has already give us our provision, but it’s in the heavenly realm. Now all we have to do is figure out how to get it to us in the physical realm.
God has decreed the sum total of our Christian life what He will do and what He won’t do, and when He plans to do it, but it’s with a condition. The condition is “Prayer!” When God answers prayer, we become the distribution point for His supernatural activity.
1 Kings 17:1 says, And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”
1 Kings 18:1 – Now it came to pass after many days that the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year saying, “Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth.”
Before we go any further, let me explain what is going on with the “rain thing” in order to understand why the rain stopped and then started again because of Elijah’s word. The answer is found in:
Deuteronomy 11:13-17.(God is giving Moses commands to then tell the Israelites.) And it shall be that if you diligently obey My commandments which I have commanded you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, (Verse 14) ‘then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. (Verse 15) ‘And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.’ (Verse 16) “Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, (Verse 17) “lest the LORD’S anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you.”
God had already said what would happen if the Israelites started to worship other gods, so Elijah’s prayer was in relation to what had been written before. Let me make a bold statement here: “If you don’t know what God has already written in His Word, you won’t know how to pray the Scriptures of what has already been decreed in heaven!” I am amazed at the Christians that can’t even find one healing Scripture when they need it. That’s why they are always asking for someone else to do the praying for them. Sad! God’s Word has to be the bases and foundation for our prayer.
Anytime I was desperate for the Lord to answer a certain request, I went to His Word and found in His Word that said it was His will. I would read it to the Lord in my prayer, because He said it and I knew it was His will for me to have it. For instance: When you need peace in your life, the Bible says that he who keeps his mind on Him, He will keep him in perfect peace! (Isaiah 26:3) Don’t make your prayers so vague without finding the Scripture that agrees with His will and what you need.
We all have to learn how to link our situations and circumstances to what God has already declared. Every situation that we have in this life, our answer is in the written Word. But people can’t pray God’s Word unless they know the Word.
Look what James 5:16-18 says. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (Verse 17) Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. (Verse 18) And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced fruit.
There was a gap of three and one-half years between no rain and when it rained again. Why? Because of their idolatry. The idolatry had to be addressed, just as our sin has to be addressed when prayer is being submitted. God is not going to overlook our disobedience and neither should we.
Many people want God to send rain, blessings, without touching anything in their lives. They want God to bless them, all the while worshiping other things, including self, money, and other things that have become an idol in their lives. (Remember, idolatry is any unauthorized person, place, or things, that people look to in order to get their needs met.) Some worship Him only on Sunday, but all week-long they live unto themselves for what they want. God would not shift from no rain to rain until they addressed their idolatry. God is not going to bless us so that we can share it with an idol.
So, if God has already decreed certain blessings for our lives, why do we still need to pray? Because what God has decreed needs a point of contact before it is delivered! Even though God knew when the rain would stop and when it would start again, nothing happened until Elijah prayed. When Elijah prayed, it came into the physical world. Point of contact!! James said that a fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
If we understand effectual, fervent prayer, as illustrated by James in the life of Elijah, we can effect heaven in opening and closing when we pray. James also said that Elijah was a man with a nature like ours. He was flesh and blood just like us. Elijah didn’t have just a general, ritualistic prayer that had been already written for him and then he repeated it out loud. What Elijah had was an effectual, righteous prayer that reached heaven.
What does it look like to have an effectual, fervent prayer? Well, that depends on how close you are to God and that will determine what you hear from God. If you are not close to God, you won’t hear the will of God applied to your life. The problem is, we want an answer and to hear from God, all the while keeping our distance from Him. The further you are from God, the more static you will likely hear, nothing will be clear. We can’t continue a long distance relationship from God and expect to hear the answer to what we have prayed about.
That is why prayer is relational communication with God, not ritual communication. If you draw near to God, you will be able to pick up on things that others won’t hear because of your proximity to the Lord.
What made proximity so close for Elijah? Scripture said Elijah was a righteous man. He lived his life to please the Lord. He was obedient. We cannot hear God’s will for our life while living a life-style that is in disobedience. If we want to experience supernatural power in prayer, the proximity must be “CLOSE!”
In verse 42 of Chapter 18, Elijah goes up to the top of Mount Carmel and bows down with his head between his knees. He gets alone, no distraction. We all need a place that is quiet without distraction in order to be alone for a one on one with the Lord. That’s one reason why people won’t pray. They are not willing to find a place with no distractions from the noise of the world to be alone with the Lord. However, when we get desperate enough for a prayer to be answered, we will find that place.
The bigger the miracle we need, the harder the “labor” will become. We need to push, just like a woman about to give birth. We have to birth that miracle and God will use us to do it. when we make “contact.”
Some ask, “Why do I have to go through all that?” Because giving birth to a supernatural miracle is asking God to do something out of the ordinary. People put time and effort into their careers, things they want to buy, relationships, so why all the grumbling about spending time with the One that can actually give us a better life?
There will come a time in the Christian life where no one, or anything can fix the problem, but God All Mighty! There will be a time when we need the supernatural to be manifested on this earth, so we better learn how to pray.
We commit our lives to Jesus Christ and we commit to prayer and do what it takes to give birth to a supernatural miracle.
AN EFFECTIVE, FERVENT PRAYER OF THE RIGHTEOUS MAN PREVAILS MUCH!!!