I flipped the switch on my vacuum cleaner and nothing happened. What was wrong? Evidently, the switch was broken. I pushed the switch off and back on, harder this time. Still nothing. Then I noticed the problem. The cord wasn’t plugged in.
Problems are impossible to solve when you’re looking for the solution in the wrong place.
I sighed, but not because I’d solved the problem. I felt relieved that nobody was around to see my stupidity.
How many times do I turn on my prayer switch without plugging in the power?
James writes, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” I used to think that was the dumbest verse in the Bible, merely stating the obvious. Of course an effectual prayer will avail much. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be effectual, would it? This is like saying if you get a raise you’ll make more money.
Then, one day I connected that verse with what the apostle Paul said in Romans 8:26: “The Holy Spirit will help us in our weaknesses. For example, we don’t always know the Lord’s will and what to pray for, but the Spirit prays through us with groaning that English words cannot express.”
When I connected the two verses, I realized what made prayer fervent and gave it the power to “avail much.” When we pray specifically according to what God wants to do, we become the conduit to connect the electrical power to the appliance.
My vacuum cleaner runs well when I follow the right procedure: (1) Plug into the power. (2) Turn on the switch.