“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”. James 5:16 NIV
Praying is an act of service. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Who is righteous? Anyone who has surrendered to Jesus and let His Spirit come to dwell in their heart. No one else is righteous in God’s eyes. If you want to have a powerful and effective prayer life, surrender your whole self to Jesus. “Deny yourself, take up your cross (that means “die to yourself” let Jesus live His Eternal Life in you!) daily, and follow Him.” (Luke 9:23) That’s the ONLY way to have a powerful effective prayer life.
In Matthew 5:11-12, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
How is that? Blessed often is translated “happy”. How can you be happy when people are reviling (insulting) you and persecuting you, and saying all kinds of lies about you because you trust in Jesus? Rejoice! Whoop It Up! Because it is sooo neat that you love God and God loves you; and it really doesn’t matter what those other people think; certainly not when you compare it to what God thinks, and how great it is to have a close personal relationship with the One True God! Hallelu-Jah!
As for the last part of this verse, that “your reward is great in heaven”; I like that. But I keep wondering how it could be any better than this; knowing that it’s heaven to have the Spirit of the Living God right here in our own hearts, right now. I’m rejoicing because I have a close, personal relationship with God, just like the prophets. It’s a sign of God’s loving care and your trust in Him when you can rejoice even when you’re being persecuted.