“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.”
An ineffective prayer life is a wasted prayer life. One of the greatest tools that believers have in their spiritual arsenal is prayer. Sadly, the weapon that is used the least in the spiritual arsenal is prayer, and then we wonder why our walk with Christ is so ineffective. The only way the believer is going to have an effective walk with Christ is by having an effective prayer life. In James 5, there are five types of prayers that God mentions that change situations which are a result of an effective prayer life. Let me share these five types of prayers with you so that you can have an effective prayer life.
First, prayers of faith produce an effective prayer life. In verse 15 it says, “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick…” God talks about a sick person going to the elders of the church to ask for prayer to be healed. It takes faith for a person to believe that this type of prayer will heal them. You will never have an effective prayer life if your prayers are not filled with faith. A prayer life that prays for the impossible and believes that God can do the impossible produces a Christian walk that does the impossible. Your prayer life will change your life when your prayers are prayers of faith.
Second, prayers of intercession produce an effective prayer life. Verse 16 talks about praying “one for another.” The effectiveness of your prayers will increase when your prayer life is more for others than it is for yourself. One of the greatest joys the believer can experience is when they see their prayers had an impact on helping another to see their needs met.
Third, prayers of effect produce an effective prayer life. Verse 16 talks about the “effectual” prayer, which is nothing short of having a prayer life that prays with a belief that God is going to do something. A prayer of doubt always produces nothing; whereas, a prayer that believes God is going to do something is always effective. Effectual prayers are prayers that pray for productivity. Effectual prayers are prayers that are authentic. Effectual prayers are prayers with an end in mind. If you will stop praying with open-ended prayers, and instead pray precisely as to what you desire, you will find your prayers will become effectual and produce an effect with what you are praying about.
Fourth, fervent prayers produce an effective prayer life. How passionate are you in your prayer life? Is your prayer life more of a repetition of a prayer list, or is it a prayer filled with fervency as a result of you pouring your heart out to God? One of the greatest reasons people are not fervent in their prayer life is because their heart is not into praying. If you would become as fervent in your prayer life as you are about what you are passionate about in life, you will see your prayers effect what you are praying about. One of the greatest pieces of advice that I could give you is to put your heart into your prayer.
Fifth, earnest prayers produce an effective prayer life. Verse 17 says that Elijah prayed “earnestly.” God explains what this means when he said that Elijah “prayed again.” My friend, praying until you see God’s answer is the key to having an effective prayer life. You cannot quickly give up on a prayer and expect God to answer your prayers. The most effective prayer warriors are people who prayed again until God answered their prayers. Let me challenge you to pray again and again until God answers your prayer of faith.