Some facts are easier to grasp in theory. This is the case with the idea that suffering for one’s faith might actually turn out to be a good thing. To know that facing persecution can embolden one’s faith and foster spiritual growth does not make it easy to appreciate and embrace those truths while in the midst of a trial. Anticipating this, James encouraged his audience-Christians who were being or would be persecuted- to ask God for the wisdom needed to endure their particular struggle: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him”‘ (1:5). Concerning James’ admonition: “Wisdom is required because the faithful do not always know how to persevere nor do they easily fit the will to rejoice in future blessings while enduring present trials….The believer is enjoined to turn to God for the internal and practical means to endure the diverse trials of faith“. Lest we think all one needs to do is pray in order to receive wisdom to face the trials of life, James pointed out that our petitions must be accompanied by faith. He continued: “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6-7). The idea is that prayer is more than a ritual or formula. Instead, it is the means through which we pour our hearts out to the God who cares or us. Knowing that He hears us, we trust His ability to answer our cries and provide for our needs (1 John 5:14-15). The wisdom we need to rise to higher elevations, must only come from God; He alone can give it. But, we must believe in Him who alone can bestow it. The one who lacks faith in God to provide is described as “double-minded” and “unstable” (James 1:8). How powerful is prayer? The power of prayer should not be underestimated. James 5:16 declares; “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”. No matter the person praying, the passion behind the prayer, or the purpose of the prayer, God answers prayers that agree with His will. The power of prayer places us in contact with the Almighty God,  and we should expect almighty results, whether He chooses to grant our petitions or deny our requests. The God whom we pray is the source of the power of prayer, and He can and will answer us according to His perfect will and timing. Ask God for wisdom and discernment to teach you how He wants you to pray and what He wants you to pray for according to His will. I really didn’t realize how powerful prayer was at first. Now, I don’t take prayer lightly! I have an extensive prayer life to stay closely connected to God in any way that I can. If you know how to meditate to contact Him, He will respond to your loving demands. To know exactly how and when to pray, according to the nature of our needs, is what brings the desired results. When the right method is applied, it sets in motion the proper laws of God, the operation of these laws scientifically bears results. The first rule in prayer is to approach God only with legitimate desires. Secondly, pray for fulfillment not as a beggar, but as a Son. When you pray deeply and continuously you will feel a great joy welling up in your heart. Don’t be satisfied until that joy manifests, for when you feel that all-satisfying joy in your heart, you will know that God has tuned in your prayer broadcast. You should pray to God ultimately as His child. God does not object when you pray from your ego, as a stranger and a beggar, but you will find that your efforts are limited by that consciousness. God does not want you to give up your own will power, which is your divine birthright as His child. The power of prayer is the power that comes to us when we realize that God can be our point of reference during confusions of our daily lives, the steadfastness of God rather than the incomplete, fragile, and inconstancies of ourselves.




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