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12: Prayer, Healing, and Restoration – Thought Starters — 4 Comments

  1. Joyce, when you asked, "What is an effectual fervent prayer? Do only righteous people have the ability to pray such a prayer?" it got me to think of two people in the New Testament. The first one is Cornelius, a man Heaven considered great (Acts 10:2-4) but probably not that much among the Jews because he was a centurion in the Roman army and the Jews hated the Romans. Besides, he was a filthy Gentile and Gentiles were not high on the list of spiritual celebrities in Jewish thinking. But Heaven was listening and something he was not specifically asking for was given to him by a loving God, "who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Eph. 3:20 NKJV) for "the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom. 8:26 NKJV).

    Then there is the poor tax collector praying in the temple in one of Jesus' parables (Lk 18:10-14. A Jew, yes, but despised as a traitor to the Jewish nation who taxed what was considered holy and therefore beyond taxation, besides that he sided with Rome for the sake of money. His prayer testified to the fact that he knew he was a sinner, a very unrighteous person indeed. Jesus said of him, "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other" (Lk. 18:14 NKJV). The other was of course, a "righteous" Pharisee, a spiritual leader of the temple, one who was looked up to with great esteem as being a holy one of God.

    So who gets his prayers answered? Only those who we think deserve it? For Jesus also said, "And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness" (Matt. 8:11-12 NKJV). Something for us to think about - I think.

    • The text refers specifically to the prayer of a righteous man: "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James 5:16

      But those "righteous" in the eyes of God are not necessarily righteous in our eyes. The tax collector who prayed that God be merciful towards him was righteous in God's eyes. (Jesus said he went to his house "justified.") And it seems to me that the same would be true for Cornelius who trusted in the mercy of God.

  2. What an uplifting discourse Tyler Cluthe, many a times we have come to wonder whether we deserve to have our prayers answered. But as the scriptures say all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. However God is more than willing to answer the prayers of such sinful people as us, Psalms 51 v17 " The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart, O God , you will not despise."

    • Mlungisi, as you have indicated, we do not "deserve to have our prayers answered." But God certainly is merciful, desiring to lift us up from our unrighteousness.

      Lord, help us to see our need, to seek Your face, and to do Your will.


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