Weekly Devotional 7-4-16 Effectual Perhaps, But Not Magical
How often have you heard a Christian brother, sister, or friend say in response to someone who has just bared their soul, so to speak, “I’ll pray about that for you,” as if the solution to whatever the issue was will be taken care of by the prayer? Scripture does say that “the effectual, fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16 NKJV), but upon examination of the context (James 5) the said prayer is conditional. It is conditional upon the prayer warrior and the recipient. There must be a willingness of the one being prayed for to turn and trust in the provision of the Lord, and not in his own abilities or resources. Concerning the prayer warrior, the person who is praying for the distressed, the term “righteous man” presupposes that He is in right standing before the Lord and that God will listen and answer him. However, there is no magic solution to be found in a prayer without surrender, dependence and commitment. If surrender, dependence and commitment are a result of the prayer, then the prayer offered was an effectual prayer, but it was not magical; spiritual yes, but not magical.
Prayer is communication between a child of God and the Lord. God has promised that He will answer the prayers of His children, who are Christians, but He always answers in ways that are in accordance with His will and in ways that spiritually benefits the prayer warrior and or the one(s) for whom the prayer is given. God is not moved by prayers that are not of His will and that are not spiritually beneficial to the prayer warrior or the subject of his prayer. A Christian should not suppose that just because he prayed a certain prayer that God will answer; at least in ways that he might like. Prayers are not magical, but they are effectual when prayed in accordance with God’s will. The will of God after all is the conforming of the Christian into the image of Jesus Christ (see Romans 8:28-30).
All things that occur in a Christian’s life are in the providence of God and therefore prayers are not magical but may be effectual.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man