Listen. James tells us that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16). Elijah is our example of the powerful prayers of righteous person (James 5:17-18; check out also 1 Kings 17-18). He is an ordinary person like us and yet he prayed and it stopped raining for three and a half years! Then he prayed again and it poured.
What made Elijah righteous and how did this make his prayers powerful and effective? He was aligned with the will of God. He trusted God and he prayed for what God wanted, not what he wanted. This is what Jesus meant when he taught us to pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Because we love God, when we pray, we want what he wants. We become righteous like Elijah and our prayers become powerful and effective when we trust God and submit our will to his.
Discussion.When you pray about a particular situation have you ever stopped to ask God what he wanted to see happen? If you did, how did you do it?
How can you align your prayers to God’s will as Jesus teaches us in the Lord’s Prayer: “your will be done”? What would you need to believe about God in order to pray this way? (Check out Matthew 6:9 for some ideas.)
Set Goals. Make a plan to pray daily following the outline of the Lord’s Prayer, which includes surrendering to God’s will. Try this: begin with worship, then submit yourself to his will. Once you have done that, begin to pray for yourself and for those in your life, praying for their daily needs, forgiveness (both that we would receive forgiveness from God and give it to others), and for protection.