|Kneeling, sitting, or standing up - prayer is still prayer.|
Although many in the clergy cannot, or will not, tell you this - there are [honestly] numerous reasons why your prayers might not have been answered... seriously folks, I'm not making this up. Let's open our Bibles together and thoughtfully examine some passages about Prayer. That is why He gave us the scriptures, after all.... In the Book of James we read:
- "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The Effective and Fervent Prayer of A Righteous Man avails much." - James 5:16.
Even though I highlighted the second sentence in this passage, it is important for all believers to note the sentence, which factually precedes it. Why is that sentence important? Well for one thing, these two sentences are spiritually intertwined statements - which must be taken and read together, in order to factually understand their complete meaning. If that is the case: "Then why did I highlight only the second one," you may ask?
Because the second sentence is the one that so many Judeo-Christian Believers stumble upon - time and time again.... Many may say: "If effective and fervent prayer avails so much, then why are my prayer requests continually being denied? I have incessantly prayed for many things [even good things] and my prayers have never been answered!" How many times have most of us, at least, honestly thought this very same thing? A few, dozens, thousands, or [even] millions of times? Hey, we're all human... and we've all questioned these things at one time or another.
Anyway, back to the one verse in question. The first sentence is a: Declaration, Exhortation, and/or Commandment to "Confess Our Trespasses" to one another and "Then To Pray" for one another, that we may "Be Healed." Meanwhile, the second sentence is merely a statement of fact regarding these much needed spiritual activities - which properly follow the aforementioned sequence. For instance, your Prayer should follow this pattern:
- Confess Our Trespasses To Others. Not just any others, either, but the ones whom we have openly or [even] secretly offended. Doing so, may [justly] require making full or partial restitution for what we have done - if possible.
- Then To Pray For One Another. Prayer can often be a solitary, or individual, activity. However, Yahweh wants us to start acting like the divine family, which He has [actually] made us to be. Many times, He will hold back from immediately answering our prayers - simply to force us into closer spiritual fellowship with one another.
- Be Healed. You cannot be healed if you are doubting of His answers to your prayers. If I believe that the answer cannot, or will not, be honestly received - then I am refusing to accept His scripturally promised reward and will not obtain it.
- Our Prayer Must Be Effective.
- Our Prayer Must Be Fervent.
- And We Must Be Righteous.
- "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 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. 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. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit." - James 5:13-18.
In the verse preceding James 5:16, we see two basic types of prayer, being given.
- Individual [Or Solitary] Prayer is mentioned as being for: assuaging, mitigating, or even eliminating personal suffering. Some examples are: you can't pay your bills, you can't find employment, or you have no [much-needed] transportation. All of these are examples of our own personal human suffering. To put it another way, they are our justifiable: emotional fears, spiritual worries, and physical concerns - for our: wants, needs, and desires.
- Corporate [Or Familial] Prayer is mentioned as being for: physical healings, resurrections, or direct divine intervention.
Believe it or not, this simple passage gives us two out of the three answers that we need. For instance, Effective Prayer is prayer which follows Yahweh's established procedural guidelines. In other words, when we are praying for what is essentially a direct divine intervention - we need to pray together [or combine our prayers with our spiritual families]... and if our prayers then continue to go unanswered, we need to examine ourselves and that particular [self proclaimed] body of believers - because, Yahweh doesn't lie! The other thing of importance in this passage is "Asking It, In God's Name" - and this one's a doozey.... His name is YHWH, and it's humanly pronounced, or vocalized as, Yahweh [in English].
Proper Names are always transliterated rather than being merely translated. My name is Francis. It could be translated to: Franz [in Germany], Francisco [in Spain], or even Franco [in Italy] - but none of those are my name, and I certainly wouldn't answer to them if someone else used them in a crowd. Let's face it folks, if you know someone personally and have a good relationship with them, then you'll probably [at least] know their true name... don't you think? How can you [honestly] claim to know them if you don't even call them by their own name? Let this idea sink deeply into your head....
Contrary to what you may think: God, Lord, The Lord, The Lord Of Hosts, El, and/or Elohim are all humanly devised descriptors... they are not His Personal Name! Nor, will He answer to them. For, it is written: "He is a jealous God," "He is jealous for His Name," and "He will not give His glory to another." This is the Ultimate Key To Righteousness - to Sanctification and Holiness - which we read about, all throughout the scriptures, particularly in the Book of Hebrews. According to the Bible: The Patriarchs and Prophets called upon His Name by Faith and this [singular action] was accounted to them as Righteousness. Righteousness comes from: "Calling Upon 'Yahweh' In Faith!"
The last passage gives examples from two of Elijah's personal prayer requests... and it starts with a very bold assertion or statement. It says, "Elijah was a man with a nature like ours," can this [factually] be true? Of course, it is! There was only one perfect person ever mentioned anywhere in the scriptures. Elijah was a man... imperfect... and possessing of a fallen human nature. The obvious question, then becomes: "So what set him apart from all of the others?" He called upon the name of Yahweh in faith and this was accounted unto him [or imputed to him] as Righteousness.
Calling upon the name of Yahweh absolutely requires faith. Think about it in your own personal life.... Did you [honestly] even know that God has an actual name before? Many still don't.... Did you know what it actually was? Have you ever noticed others with whom you fellowship using it? If not, then why haven't you? What is so peculiar about [self-proclaimed] believers utilizing God's True Name in spiritually minded conversation and/or prayer?
|New Beginnings for "A Peculiar People...."|
However, as is common to all of humanity, they were frequently: thick headed, obstinate, self-serving, and/or pretentious - with respect to everything that they were dutifully instructed. In essence, like most of us modern day believers, they were mostly horrible: witnesses, role models, and/or examples. Not only didn't they accomplish this task, for all of the surrounding nations, but they couldn't do so for their own nation [or even themselves]. For all the increase of knowledge, in The Latter Days, human beings haven't really changed all that much - now, have they? Enough said, upon that subject....
In the last passage we have our final answer. Fervent Prayer just means that we should do so, "Earnestly." Not repetitively, as some people [foolishly] do, but with a: spiritually sincere, deeply felt, and emotively driven passion! Thus, we can now fully understand James 5:16, as understood by those living at the time in which it was written. We can also see this formula clearly being displayed in Yahshua's Model Prayer - as He gave it in Mathew chapter 6.
- "In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your Name [Yahweh]. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." - Mathew 6:9-13.
*** Note: For more about this subject, read: