This week’s word focus will be effectual & fervent.
Prayer is a funny thing. When you do not have an adequate prayer life it may seem like the bigger the ask, the more difficult it is to pray to God. If we use our children as examples—most children do not mind letting adults know when they are hungry, thirsty, or tired. These are basic needs that every child assumes the adult in their life understands and will accommodate. Would any good parent say “no” to a child that has expressed a sincere need for food? Probably not.
Conversely, Christmas and birthday requests are handled differently. Children may be bashful or hesitant to ask for the expensive gadgets. They may be concerned about costs, a parent’s willingness, or the feasibility of their requests. Your teenager might shy away from asking for a new car when they think the family cannot afford it; they hesitantly hold back their petition…
Like children, we too go eagerly to God and pray for things He is likely to say Yes to. We ask for peace of mind, life, health & strength, passion in the ministry—those are guaranteed gifts from God. But what about the non-essential asks? How do we approach God when the need is not required, but desired.
In light of James 5:16 I have grappled with understanding effectual, fervent prayer. What does effectual, fervent mean exactly? Effectual, fervent in Greek translates to energeō. Which means to have great energy; to pray with great passion. When we pray, our prayers should be full of fervor. We should be earnestly expecting our good father to bless us. The Old Testament showed us how Jacob wrestled with God for so long and with such great strength that God broke his hip. Consider the type of fight & fortitude Jacob showed. We too should be like Jacob. Even if we’ve asked all night long, prayerfully wrestled with our just God, that we can refuse to let Him go until he blesses us. In Luke 18, we’re also given the example of the persistent widow in Jesus’ parable. Jesus explained that the judge granted her request because she continuously (frequently) came before him; so often that he almost became weary of seeing her. [Today’s translation: she got on his nerves about it! 🙂 ]
We too should continue to seek judgement by incessantly petitioning God. Refuse to stop praying until the ask has been availed; refuse to stop praying until our righteous God has judged.
What are you effectually, fervently going to God about today? Continue in that supplication until your request, however big or small, has been granted.
Genesis 32:24-29 ∗ Luke 18:1-5 ∗ James 5:16