The purpose of your prayer usually defines the intensity of it.
By intensity, I do not refer to the power and strength deployed during your prayer hours. So do not think that intensity means that you jump, clap and shout at every prayer meeting. It does not refer to making noise. Not that those things are bad, please. What I simply mean is that those activities do not necessarily translate to intense prayer. In other words, intense prayer usually includes those activities but those activities do not mean intense prayer.
The intensity of the prayer is much more a disposition of the heart of the one who prays. It is a strategic positioning of the heart that allows for a greater release of the expected result. The King James rendition of James 5:16 is one of my favourite portions of scripture, where availing and prevailing prayer is described as a righteous man’s effectual fervent prayer. So when a man made righteous by God prays, it does not automatically translate to expected results. That prayer must be effectual and fervent.
Effectual refers to the legal capacity to produce the expected result. That is already sort of settled. We have Christ, who has died for us and redeemed us. Hence we are able to have access to the mercy seat of God. And we are righteous because the nature of Christ has been imputed upon us by God, and so we are righteous in His sight,not by works but be the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The last ingredient so to speak is the fervency of our prayer. You see, I believe this to be our only contribution to the receiving of relevant answers in our prayers. We cannot make our prayers effectual because we do not have any such legal power of ourselves that can bring the desired results. Of ourselves, principalities cannot bow down neither can the powers that rule in the darkness run out when we make our appearance. The power is only at work in us by reason of our faith in Christ. There is our effectualness if you will permit such language. Our righteousness is of God and the declaration of Christ by reason of His grace. The fervency of our prayer is our one and only contribution to getting the desired result.
Fervency is intensity. Fervency is characterised by great emotions and desire. Fervency is the degree of passion. And all that relates to what I refer to as the intensity of prayer. I believe that it is not so much about the physical activities of prayer as it is about our passion, desires and emotions in the place of prayer. The reference of James to Elijah lends some credence to my claim.
In 1 Kings 18 from verse 41, Elijah prayed for rain bowed low to the ground, with his legs between his knees. In reporting though, James simply said that Elijah prayed. If it were a matter if the activity, he would have described how Elijah was physically postured in making that prayer. What was most important was that he prayed, every other thing being already put in place by God. This is for a purpose and does not serve to dismiss the place of proper posturing during prayer.
God is favourably disposed to hearing us and only waits for us to establish a communication link with Him. Today if we will only speak up to Him and call upon Him, He will answer. Even a silent cry to Him in our hearts constitute prayer. Let no one deceive you by saying that the fervency of your prayer is based upon how you position your body or how vocal you can be or how much strength you can muster for acrobatic displays like a gymnast. No. That misses the point.
Fervency is not built from the body inwards but from the inner man, outwards. When we pray continuously in accordance with the Word, we remain in constant communion with God. It increases our familiarity with Christ. And it is only natural that the more we get to know Christ, the more we want to know Him more. And that desire keeps us in constant communion with Him.
I know the feeling of meeting a wonderful lady. She has nice eyes and a sweet voice and makes intelligent conversation. She has just the right views and even her opposing views are rather sophisticated and lofty. She is elegant. I can’t get away. I always want to have an opportunity to speak with her. I buy more airtime for calls. I stay up all evening chatting. I get to visit and take her out to lunch. I lobby for more dates. And on and on and on. All her functions of my desire for her. And though my desire and passion for her is usually manifested in my physical activities with and around her, it will be wrong to define the my fervency by those by those activities. The lack of physical activity does not mean I have no such desires. One must see the passion and the desire behind those activities as most important.
That is what God sees in our praying. First our desire. Always first our desire to commune with him. That helps us, no matter how quiet or loud I am, how still or active I am, whether I stand or sit or lie prostrate. No. It is the desire for Him that moves Him to respond to us.
It is the disposition of our hearts, our desire to pray and commune with the Father and our desire to see an expected result that determine the intensity and fervency of our prayer, which in turn may define our physical activities. May.
This post is in response to those who put a premium on physical activities during prayer and look down on the prayers of less active people as incompetent and ineffectual. That is totally wrong.
The Word does not say any such and that is the guide for us today. You desire for God is your fervency in praying and communing with Him. Your desire and fervency are a result of your faith. Faith in the finished work of Christ, your righteousness in Christ Jesus, the powerful Name of Jesus as a legal supreme authority over every other name that is named, and the belief that God loves you and wants to be united with you, will define the intensity of your desire for Him and communion with Him.