Lack of Faith. A simple definition of godly righteousness is doing what God says is right. The point is not that we should be righteous at the extraordinary level of an Elijah, but that he was normal like you and me. We often think of "effective prayer" as prayer that leads to the results we desire. If something works for somebody, we want to know what that somebody is doing. Charles Jr. addresses five elements that impact the effectiveness of prayer. We have this bent toward believing that every result is born from method. “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently.”. 2:5). It’s tragic how easily we can miss the main ingredient in effective prayer. The commandments and laws of God (in the letter of the law and the spirit of the law) reflect God’s very nature of love and reveal what God says is right―the right way to live. In each case, James encourages his readers to pray. Praying rightly for something that would glorify the Lord is an excellent way to pray. They married a few days following his graduation. Then, in the beginning of verse 16, because prayer is effective (James 5:13–15), he says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16). Effective prayer is prayer that we know God hears. For prayer to be effective, we need to speak to our Father as we would speak to anyone whose help we are seeking. Does God love everyone in the world? This is something Jesus warned against in what is called His Sermon on the Mount. And being just a man, being like us, having a nature like ours, he prayed fervently and God heard. For example, we should be totally honest, trustworthy and dependable so that we will not only not take what is our neighbor’s (that is, we will not steal), we will also (out of love for our neighbor) seek to protect what is his or hers (as much as is in our power). We simply settle to think that, if we want our prayers to be effective, then we need to be righteous. He had a nature like ours. Like James said, “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and … We can come to know God. Effective prayer is prayer that we know God hears. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Prayer has less to do with the specifics of how we say what we say, and more to do with the one to whom we are saying it. It’s what happens when we fly by the text without questions. Deuteronomy 10:12-13 records, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?” (emphasis added). This means that the locus of effective prayer is not us, but God. What does God’s Word reveal about righteousness―how to be considered by God as being righteous? Skeptics have contended that studying prayer is a waste of money and that it presupposes supernatural intervention, putting it by definition beyond the reach of science. We’re just normal, you and I. We’re just normal like Elijah. Of course, there are circumstances and trials we pray about every day, and as we focus on them and rephrase them, these can be meaningful repetitions―like those of the persistent widow whom Jesus praised in Luke 18:1-8. Prayer is an effort of will. Get the latest blog posts from Life, Hope & Truth straight to your inbox. The main ingredient in effective prayer is emphatically not us. Dr Van der Does5 dismisses the effects of intercessory prayer because they would be indistinguishable empirically from the effects … We aren’t righteous! While this applies to certain things, it doesn’t apply to prayer — or at least that’s not the vision the apostle James gives us. It's one thing to pray, but quite another to pray effectively. 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