Effective Prayer

James 5:16b KJV

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

This is probably one of the most well known verses from the book of James.  We will look to this verse to verify that God hears and answers our prayers.  After all, it tells us that our prayers do hard work and will deliver good results, right?  Isn’t that what it says?  I am going to break this verse way down and see what Jams is telling me to make sure I understand it completely.

Effectual fervent prayer – these words paint a dynamic picture of prayer.  This is not a passive prayer.  It’s not a sweet little prayer that we remember at the last minute.  It’s not a prayer that we just say in passing, or that we say when we are taking prayer requests at church.

No this is a prayer of action.  A prayer that comes from deep within our hearts and souls and expects a return.  It’s a prayer that runs through us like electricity runs through a wire.  It brings change the moment it is spoken.  It produces faith in the hearer.  It proceeds out of our mouth expecting to make a change wherever it is directed.  This prayer is  prayer that comes from a working faith, because it is a prayer that works.

This actually brings us full circle in this book.  Remember back at James 1:3, he writes that the “trying of our faith works patience”.  Faith working in us is the idea here as well.  Faith that can move mountains.  Faith that can calm the sea.  Faith that can raise the dead or open blinded eyes.  Faith that produces patience!

Why would we need patience if we have this kind of faith?  Isn’t this miracle producing faith?  Won’t my prayers be answered immediately if I have this kind of faith?  That is never up to us, my friends.  The word avail means these are powerful prayers that produce extraordinary deeds.  They are prayers that produce results.  But the timing of those results is up to God, not us.  An instant miracle always seems like the best answer to our prayers, but we do not always know what God is in store for us if we go trough the trial.

How many of you can say that you have grown in your faith by this blog?  How many would say the poetry on my other blog has lifted your spirits?  Have you been blessed by the words here, or maybe by a comment I made on your blog?   I don’t ask these questions to get a pat on the back or anything.  I ask them to make a point.

If the prayers prayed for me at the beginning of this cancer had come to pass at that time, and a miracle took the cancer completely out of my body before any treatment started, I would have been thrilled!   Believe me, there were plenty of prayers to that affect.  It was our prayer as well!  I loved my work and my health and did not want anything to come and interfere with that.

If those prayers had been answered, this blog would most likely never have materialized.  The growth I have experienced in my faith would probably not have happened.  I am sure my poetry would have continued, but perhaps I would never have started my WordPress page for poetry and just stuck with my Facebook page.  The people close to me would be rejoicing, but then they would not see how God would  bring me trough a trial like this  A miraculous healing before this began would be forgotten, or thought of as a missed diagnosis.

Now people can see my progress, my healing, week after week, and their faith is growing as a result.  They can hear my voice get stronger as I lead worship.  They can sense the deeper passion I have for the Lord in my words and my songs.  Much of this would not be so if I had received instant healing.  And I most likely would not have met you!

Even though I did not receive that miracle, the prayers for me were still prayers of action and power.  They did work, and continue to work to bring complete healing to my body.  I rejoice daily as I feel better and better, and I grow stronger and stronger.  Effectual, fervent prayer that avails much.

The last piece of the puzzle to this effective prayer is the righteous man (or woman).  If we expect our prayers to be effective, we must do our best to fulfill this part of the verse.  The word righteous means holy, without fault, conformed to God’s law, full of integrity –  pretty much what we expect it to mean.  If we fulfill that part, then we can use this verse to encourage ourselves in prayer.  If we do not,  we should not expect an answer to our prayers.  It’s that simple.

When this study in James finises up in a day or two, I am going to spend some time blogging through an in-depth study I did almost 30 years ago on prayer.  I found my notes a few weeks ago, and have wanted to redo this study because I loved it so much.  I hope you enjoy it as well.  It will be entitled simply A.S.K.


12 thoughts on “Effective Prayer

  1. working4christtwo

    Thank you Pete; truly profound.

    So you have lived and learned that when it comes to God and our prayers of petition; that God does answer all prayers; BUT

    BUT God can say
    Not Now
    and even NOT exactly as we asked Him for.

    Life is a Faith Journey guided by our Prayers

    Continued Blessings

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Bruce

    Hi Pete, looking forward to your forthcoming post on prayer. I for one have been encouraged and lifted up by your posts and through them I continue to increasingly understand the different but same journey that so many of us are on. Sometimes it is not just the words you use but the essence behind them that grabs me. You are a brother and you are endeavouring to walk with our Lord, just like me. I see your “heart” behind the words and I know instinctively, what you are saying is true. Your honesty and sincerity are also qualities that I value and you make me mindful of our wonderful God. This particular post is no different, heartfelt prayer is as vital as the air that we breath and I can easily identify and agree with the truth that you have written. Grace and blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pete Post author

      Thanks Bruce. You have been such a great encouragement to me on this journey. I always look forward to your comments and your insights.

      I too look forward to this upcoming study. I have long thought about going back trough this, and hen I came across the notes from 28 years ago I decided it was time. I m excited about sharing it with you.

      Be blessed

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I Can Fly

    Indeed! Some of my best prayers have been spontaneous with no direction in mind. Just honest heartfelt conversation. I read once our prayers should be asertive: continous: almost to the point of, oh I cant remember. Wasnt it Moses was very demanding of our God? Yes? Prayer abd converse like that. With faith as large and solid as a Rock. Pun intended.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Pete Post author

      Some of mine are the same. I am so glad God honors our heart! Yes, Moses had many demanding moments but He always did so with humility, and they were always prayers to bring glory to God. Be blessed in your prayer life, my friend.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. SR

    Hey Pete,

    You know what I love most about your blog, as you know I have been blessed by it, is you always use it for God’s glory. Even though at times, there are things I have to ponder on, and at times 2-3 questions come, it is always directing me back to God. I think I like that about your blog more than anything.

    My friend, I am noticing I am not the only “Catholic” following your blog now! That surely tells me you are doing “something right!” LOL! We can be kinda “clannish” ya know! LOL!

    You just keep it up bc we all love the blog, your poetry, and you! And you bring us all to God at the end of the day! Tell your beautiful wife hello and sending love. God Bless, SR

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Miss Hope

    Don, I am so happy to have found your blog and especially this study on James. On Monday, I begin a 13-week small group and which I will be leading others through a study of James. I am so excited to have your blog as an additional resource! I praise God for the healing that has taken place in your body and join my expectation with yours that you shall have full and complete restoration of Health! I look forward to reading your continued posts. May God richly bless you and keep you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pete Post author

      Thanks for joining my blog. I hope you have a chance to go back and read the James posts from the beginning. I know it blessed me as God showed me things through this study.

      Be blessed and feel free to ask any questions you might have as you go along

      Liked by 1 person


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