Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced crops.
James tells us to confess our sins to each other. What does this accomplish? First, by confessing our sins we are giving them to God and asking for forgiveness. Second, we are telling another Christian friend so that they can pray with us. This not only provides us with accountability but also with others to pray through our hardships with us.
Recently I was going through a hardship and asked for the Women of One to pray for me. I did not provide much detail of the hardship; I simply asked for their prayers. The women of LightHouse are faithful. So many prayed. Not only did they pray, they texted me, called me, offered to take me out for coffee or dinner, one even sent me a card. Their support and encouragement were amazing! The prayers were not only felt, they were answered. Praise the Lord!
The remaining verses illustrate another example of prayers answered. Elijah, just a man, prayed for something that seems almost impossible: no rain for three entire years. God answered his prayers. Then Elijah prayed for rain and the earth produced crops. Granted, Elijah was a prophet and a miracle worker. But does that mean we lesser humans shouldn’t pray just as earnestly, with the expectation of our prayers being answered? God wants us to pray with expectation. He wants us to pray earnestly.
I have been praying some of the same prayers every day for two years. During the fast, sometimes I even prayed the same prayers (or at least about the same issues) multiple times per day. I remember, during one particular prayer time, I repeated my prayer for likely the third time that day. I said, “God, I know I pray for this a lot, but your word says to pray earnestly.” I chuckled. Do I really need to remind God what is in His word?
What are you praying for in your life? Have you considered telling a Christian friend or asking others to pray for the same? Do you pray with the expectation of God answering your prayers? Pray. Prayer holds immeasurable power. Never doubt what prayer can accomplish. Prayer can move mountains.
- Kristie Milby