Prayers (Part 1)

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
(James 5:16)

Contrary to what some Christians believe, I do not think there is one right way to say your prayers.

And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”
(1 Kings 17:1)

In his prayer, Elijah did not ask God to withhold rain. He simply declare or command in the name of God and there was no rain in the land for 3.5 years.

Apostle James called this an earnest prayer (James 5:17) and I agree this is probably the most “faith-filled” kind of prayer, speaking things which do not exist as though they did (Romans 4:17).

But that being said, I believe an “asking” prayer is no less effective even if it does not sound as awe-inspiring.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
(Matthew 7:7-11)

In this very well-known passage, Jesus told us we can receive when we ask. In fact, it is written “we do not have because we do not ask” (James 4:2). Thus there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking as long as we ask in faith.

whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
(Matthew 21:22)

Then what about “complaining” prayers? Will they still work? After all, isn’t it often said that complaining shows a lack of faith?

Give ear to my prayer, O God,
And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
Attend to me, and hear me;
I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily,

Evening and morning and at noon
I will pray, and cry aloud,
And He shall hear my voice.
(Psalm 55:1-2/17)

If he is still alive today, David would probably be told to stop acting like a kid and start declaring in faith like a matured Christian, but hey, despite his incessant whining and complaining, David confidently declared “God shall hear his voice”!

Maybe the key lies in the last verse, “But I will trust in You”… (so apparently, one can complain and whine in faith.)

to be continued

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