24th May 2023

  Worshipers in the Church of England say

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God,

  having heard a reading from the Bible

Consider 1 Kings 16

Ahab Becomes King of Israel

29  "In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab son of Omri
    became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria over Israel
    twenty-two years.
30  Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of
    those before him.

And 1 Kings 17

17  Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab,
   "As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be
    neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word."

Then in JAMES 5:17,18 we read

17  Elijah was the same kind of person as we are.
    He prayed earnestly that there would be no rain, and no rain fell
    on the land for three and a half years.
18  Once again he prayed, and the sky poured out its rain and
    the earth produced its crops.

The NKJV translates this
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours

Someone said, "Yes, but that was Elijah praying.
He was a prophet. He was a great man of God.

Certainly, he was righteous."
But James said he was a man, "subject to like passions" just like we are.
James didn't say, "Elijah was a prophet who prayed."

He said, "Elijah was a man who prayed."
God won't hear a prophet pray, any more quickly than He will hear
any other believer pray.

It's not the one praying who gets the job done anyway.

The Amplified Bible says, "the earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer
of a righteous man makes tremendous power available -
dynamic in its working" (James 5:16).

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man is what gets the job done.

Someone said, "Well, if I was righteous, I could pray that way and get results."

But if you are saved, you are the righteousness of God in Christ
(2 Cor. 5:21).

God made you righteous.
You can't make yourself righteous.
That was one of the most difficult aspects of the Bible for me to understand
in studying the subjects of faith and healing.
(Kenneth E Hagin)

I pastored nearly twelve years.
During those twelve years, I saw people in my congregation who didn't live
nearly as consecrated as others did, and yet, they could do twice as much
praying and get twice as many answers as the others did.

They would get the job done, so to speak.

But they weren't the ones who were getting the job done.
It was the Lord who was getting the job done in response to their prayers
and their faith.

Some of these people could pray the prayer of faith for themselves and
for their families more quickly than those who seemingly lived
more holy lives.

"Lord, why is that?" I would ask.

Of course, the Lord finally showed me through His Word that you
do not get your prayers answered on the basis of how good
you have been.
You get answers to prayer based on faith in God's Word and on
who you are in Jesus.

You are made righteous in Christ Jesus.

21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;
   that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Righteousness for the Christian is a present-tense reality today.

One definition of "righteousness" is right standing with God.
You see, Jesus became sin for us that we might become the
righteousness of God in Him. Jesus is our righteousness.

We have the same righteousness, or right standing with God,
that Jesus has.

And every single one of us who is born again has this
right standing with God.
We are invited to come boldly to the throne of grace
by the blood of Jesus (Heb. 4:16).

So in James chapter 5 it says, "Elijah was a man."
Although Elijah operated in the ministry of a prophet,
he was just a human being like you and me.

"Elias [Elijah] was a man subject to like passions AS WE ARE . . ."
(James 5:17).
In other words, Elijah was subject to the same faults,
the same shortcomings, the same mistakes, and the same
failures as every other human being is subject to.

Yet his prayer worked; (and so will ours.)

Bible Prayer Study Course - Kenneth E Hagin

Kenneth Erwin Hagin (August 20, 1917 - September 19, 2003)
was an American preacher.
He is known for pioneering the Word of Faith movement.