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Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Prayers acceptable to God    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Jas 5:16-18
Date
   2005-09-11



James 5:16-18
"Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit."


We children of God are to be a fragrant aroma acceptable to God whether we serve a man of God, serve the temple of God, if we worship, praise and pray to God. Then, God will accept prayers joyfully and give you blessing so that all you needs can be supplied in His abundant grace. I will explain what kind of prayer is acceptable to God, so please make it your life and strength.

First, prayers of a righteous man

James 5:16 says, "The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." And that verse is followed by the illustration of Elijah who God truly deemed righteous. When he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. In addition, when he prayed, a boy who had died was brought back to life and fire came down from heaven.
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, but how could he receive such amazing response from God? That was because he was really declared righteous by God and he did not ask for his own benefits but only for the will of God.
God says in Romans 3:24, "[You have been] justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus." Anyone, when he believes and accepts Jesus Christ as his Savior, is forgiven and receives the Holy Spirit. Then, the Holy Spirit dwells in him and by Him he becomes a righteous man through the justification of God.
Among students are elementary school students and college students. They are all students whether they are quick and bright or slow and dull. Among the righteous, some have only been justified and can barely be saved while some others have entered into the spirit by struggling against and casting off sins thereby changing their hearts into righteous ones like that of the Lord.
The latter righteous people can experience the Word that says "The effective prayer of a righteous man is powerful and accomplishes much" because they have accomplished righteousness in their hearts.
So, in Romans 2:13 He says, "For it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified." This verse tells us what kind of person is declared righteous in the sight of God. We were doomed to eternal death because of our sins, but when we believed in Jesus Christ, God redeemed us from all our sins, sent the Holy Spirit, and declared us righteous.
Those who received this grace of God are always thankful and live by the word of God. They wrestle against their sins to the point of shedding the blood and fully obey the word to become a truly righteous man in God's sight.
When they have reached the measure of not having any unrighteousness and no form of evil, they are truly righteous in God's sight. The righteous do not pray in evil at all but only with good desires. They do not seek for their own desires but only according to the will of God. These prayers of the righteous are a fragrant aroma to God.
It says in Psalm 66:18 NIV, "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened." It says you should make your hearts righteous and then show its proof with perfect words and deeds because you are the sacrifice offered to God. If you have obeyed the God-given words, you have been made righteous just that much. Then, God accepts your prayer joyfully and gives you answers when the proper time comes.
If you sometimes gossip with your lips that you pray to God with, or complain or judge others, you can never be called righteous. Then, I wish for you to become prayer devotees who can be really declared righteous in the sight of God.

Secondly, God accepts the prayer of love.

If you truly love someone, you seek what is beneficial for that person before your personal benefit
Then, the prayer of love that is acceptable to God means praying first for the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and at the same time for the shepherd and souls. When you pray for something in love, it works differently according to your heart and attitude.
You should pray for the church, the shepherd and many other souls in the love for the Father and with the hunger and thirst for righteousness. It is a real 'love prayer.' You should understand in perfect and spiritual love what the will of God is and what kinds of duties are more important for His kingdom, and then pray for them with love and the sense of responsibility. You must consider works of God as your own and pray for them.
When you pray for the Grand Sanctuary, if you rally love the temple of God, you will pray with the heart of building your own house. You earnestly ask for all the detailed things that are necessary for building it with the love for the temple of God. For example, it includes the site of it, financial supply, skillful workers and engineers, technology and good materials, and so on. It is the same with prayers for souls. If you love and pray for souls in spirit, you don't ask for something that you think necessary to him or her but something that is really necessary to him or her. When remembering the word saying, "Love your neighbors as yourself," consider their problems as your own. Stand in their shoes and pray for them that is the prayer of love.

Thirdly, God accepts prayers of tears.

Tears here do not indicate tears of those who feel the pain of trials, feel offended at being mistreated, or groan and complain of their lives lived in sorrow and regret. When you shed tears for accomplishing the kingdom of God and for many souls, those tears are accepted by God.
Prophet Jeremiah shed a great many tears proclaiming God's prophecy on the destruction of the kingdom Judah. He shed so many that he was nicknamed "Prophet of tears." Jeremiah confessed in Lamentations 2:11, "My eyes fail because of tears, My spirit is greatly troubled; My heart is poured out on the earth Because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, When little ones and infants faint In the streets of the city."
Jeremiah was severely persecuted and imprisoned because he predicted the destruction of Judah. But he shed tears in preaching the prophecies of God not because he felt sorry for his tough and burdensome life but because the people of God would suffer from such disasters. God comforted his heart and explained to him that the people would not be destroyed for ever but He would surely recover them when the time comes. God does not only receive your prayers and tears that you mourned for the kingdom of God and many souls but comforts and answers you.

When do you pray with tears of mourning?
First, you mourn when you find people going to the way of death. When the people around you go the way of death or fall into temptations and lose God's grace, you need to encourage and strengthen them. And you have to mourn and pray for them. When you repent of their sins with mercy and love for them on their behalf, and you earnestly pray so that they walk in the light and truth, you will shed tears. You mourn and pray not just for the people around you but for your own country, and people like Jeremiah, and for the salvation of countless souls of the world.
A man who mourns for the kingdom of God morns and has anxieties when church members do not stand firm on the word of God and some churches disgrace God. When someone is persecuted in the name of our Lord, he does not mourn because he feels burdened only because he has compassion for those who persecute.
When you give God the prayers of tears for the His kingdom and many souls, He receives all your prayers and surely comforts you in spirit and body. The tears you shed in such mourning will never disappear but will change into beautiful jewels in heaven and given to you as rewards.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The prayer acceptable to God is prayers of a righteous man, prayers of love and prayers of tears.
I wish for you to get rid of the fountain of evils, pray with all your good hearts and words, seek for the kingdom of God with the love welling from your heart, and sometimes plead with mourning. May all of you and your prayers become a fragrant aroma of sacrifices that are acceptable to God and dedicate yourselves to the kingdom of God and the shepherd, in the name of the Lord I pray!

 
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