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Maybe you doubt whether your prayers can really be effective, especially when you’re asking for the impossible or what seems unlikely. In the back of your mind you’re thinking, “will my prayer really make a difference?” Or, as one of my readers asks, “Can I move God?”  

Just the other day, I found myself struggling with these questions.

My daughter lives in Los Angeles where the wildfires this year have been particularly devastating—ravaging the landscape, towns, and homes of California, Washington and Oregon. The fires have been so widespread, they seem impossible for firefighters to put out. 

These areas of the country need our big, bold prayers. But, I found myself becoming overwhelmed by the enormity of the disaster and questioning whether my small prayers could make a difference. I also questioned my ability to move God—that my faith wasn’t enough to move mountains.

Power in Passionate Prayer

Often we hesitate to pray big, bold prayers.

Nevertheless, I prayed. I prayed for rain—torrential rain—the one thing that could extinguish the flames. And, that led me to think about a man in the Bible whose prayers made a difference to the weather—Elijah! He prayed and it didn’t rain for three and a half years. He prayed again and his prayers brought a downpour.

As James 5:16 says: The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. There is a direct connection between our prayers and their effect. 

This should have encouraged me as I prayed for a change in weather on the west coast. But, then doubt set in. “Elijah,” I told myself, “was special.” He was a prophet and a “man of God.” My prayers can’t possibly have the same effect as Elijah’s prayers.

I’m not the only one who held Elijah in awe. His popularity and achievements extended down through the centuries. He was a legend to the people of Israel right into Jesus’ time. But, James makes a significant point about Elijah for the Jewish people at that time, which also applies to us today.

Having just said tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer, (James 5:16 – the same verse as above but from The Passion Translation) James immediately turns to Elijah. (Seems like I’m not the only one who associates big, bold prayers with Elijah!) But, James makes it clear that: Elijah was as human as we are. In other words, there was nothing special about Elijah. Only that he prayed earnestly.

Pray Impossible Prayers

If you’re feeling you’re not good enough, not holy enough, or there has to be something different in your life for impossible prayers to get answered, know that there doesn’t.

You don’t need to be a special person to have big requests answered. You just need to pray earnestly, making big, bold prayers. 

Pray fervently.

What should you be praying for today? What do you earnestly want to happen? 

Pray with courage and confidence believing your prayer will bring change.

  • Thank you for this very encouraging, words. Yes often I am faced with an overwhelming feeling about the situation I confront with, and so that when pray about it, I find doubt seeps in. That is when I start asking myself whether I had prayed with right words or phrase my prayer in the right way. I then get sad that I have not prayed well or the right way to God.

    Your words in your article is an encouragement to me.

    Thank you and God bless.

    NB: Please pray for my 21 yr old son who is going through depression which he is dealing with right now. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD… AMEN.

    LYDIA
    Writing from Australia.

    • Lydia, God hears the cry of your heart even if you feel like you have not used the right words or not prayed well. And he hears your cries for your son, too.

      Heavenly Father, I thank you for Lydia and her faith in You. Give her peace beyond understanding and reassurance that You not only hear her prayers, but You are in control of the overwhelming situation she faces with her son. Lord God, I ask You to make what seems impossible to be possible. I ask You to bring the help needed to cure the depression, to bring health and healing. You are a God who is full of compassion and the God who works miracles. We trust in You, Lord God. Amen

  • Thank you for your encouragement. My step daughter struggles with people swearing at work. Special needs population.
    Today I have an ultra sound and it’s weighing heavy that I have had recurring kidney infections and on antibiotics for 19 months.
    Thank you for being passionate in your faith. Love in Christ Miriam and Amy

    • Miriam – I am hoping and praying that your ultra sound went well. Lord God, our Great Physician, you have Miriam and Amy in your loving hands. Give Miriam peace of mind and as you promise in scripture – take the heavy burden from her as she trusts in you. And, just as you closed the mouths of the lions around Daniel, we ask for those around Amy to stop swearing and to watch their words. Thank you Lord for meeting Miriam’s and Amy’s needs. Amen.

  • Thank you, Rachel, for your encouragement, and for inspiring us to pray with courage and confidence! I oftentimes will forget that praying is really something I am commanded to do, so I cannot continue to be lukewarm or half-hearted or even remotely lazy about. It is a muscle I must continue to work out, and strengthen. For several months I have been feeling as though I am constantly going to and fro, on a treadmill of busyness in life, where want I to be more intentional with my time and resources. I know I must persevere in my prayers for the Lord’s clear direction in prioritizing my schedule. Thank you for providing these wonderful insights and coming alongside. God bless you and your ministry!

    • Thanks Elizabeth. I’m with you on that treadmill of busyness in life right now. And often our busyness is with many good things. Isn’t it strange that in this time when we can do less (because of the pandemic) we still find ourselves busy. Persevere! And I hope you find rest and refreshment in your time with the Lord. Just now I was reminded that we have 90 days until the end of the year to realign our lives and end the year well. (You’ll find the post on my Facebook page @PrayerZoneWorkout.)

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