“We don’t need more weight. We need a better point.” (Dale Mast)
In this critical hour of prayer, do we simply need more people to pray in order to bring more spiritual weight upon the issues? Do we believe that numbers alone will take us to a tipping point for breakthrough and revival?
While there’s no doubt that greater numbers signify greater engagement in the process, it doesn’t always mean increased unity. Nor does it automatically mean more effective prayer. James 5:16 states, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (NIV) Perhaps instead of looking at the numbers in our prayer meetings, we should be asking if our prayers are powerful and effective.
The keys to powerful prayer are given within the same verse. “Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Forgiveness and praying together are essential elements of spiritual health and powerful prayers. This is also reflected in the previous verse when it states, “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up” (verses 14-15). Not only does this speak to physical health, but it demonstrates the spiritual authority given to those who are designated leaders in the church. When we embrace their authority and invite their involvement, God’s favor and blessing is released. Not only can we receive physical healing, but spiritual healing, as well.
These are strategic keys in having spiritual power in prayer. We must be healthy individuals and have healthy relationships in the body of Christ. This affects our spirit, soul and body and is foundational to having powerful prayers.
A key to effective prayer is offered in the following verses when it speaks of Elijah’s prayers. He prayed “earnestly” (fervently) that it would not rain for three years and after he prayed at the end of the three years, it started to rain. This was all in response to the directives of the Lord concerning Israel’s idolatry. Elijah was strategic and targeted in his prayers including timing and focus. This produced very effective results in demonstrating the power of God (verse 18). He was certainly known to have powerful prayers, but he was also effective as he followed God’s instructions. Because of his willingness to follow the specific directives from the Lord, his obedience produced amazing results.
As intercessors looking for breakthroughs in our communities and this nation, we must look at the quality of our prayers just as much as the quantity. Powerful and effective prayers should result in tangible evidence of God’s Presence and power. It’s not just the words we say, it’s how we walk and live on a daily basis in our relationships with others and in our ability to clearly hear and follow the voice of the Lord.