“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  James 5:16

This is a verse I memorized as a child. I used the King James Version here – the same one given to me as a child to memorize.  This verse will stay with me my whole life!  The word “fervent” left quite an impression, even in childhood. My whole life I have pictured model prayer to be fervent. To me that word meant passionate petitioning to God.

When I think of Jesus calling out to God from the Garden of Gethsemane prior to his arrest and crucifixion, I picture fervent. And that he certainly was!  Scripture says that his sweat was as blood.  You can’t get any more fervent than that. 

I don’t know about you, but prayer has flummoxed me my whole life. Give me thirty minutes to read a passage of scripture and I can read, research, and meditate upon it. Mission accomplished!  Give me thirty minutes to pray and I fall flat, more like the disciples falling asleep in the Garden than Jesus fervently praying.  The high bar to always fervently pray can exhaust!

I am realizing, later in life, that every prayer does not need to be fervent. That’s an awfully high mark. Some prayers can be nothing but silence before God. Other prayers – random conversations to God throughout the day.  Fervent prayer is definitely needed at times, but not always! 

My goal during Lent for prayer?  Relax, be silent and still. Quit trying to talk so much!  What does God have to say to me that I’ve been too fervent in my attempts at prayer to hear?

Have a blessed week!

Diana Kongkeattikul