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Summary: God wants you to become a person of prayer, who sees specific events & specific people specifically changed in answer to your specific prayers. Powerful specific praying brings powerful specific results.

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JAMES 5:16b-18.

A RIGHTEOUS MAN'S PRAYER

[1 Kings 17:1; 18:1, 36-46.]

Those of us who pray believe in the power of prayer, but we often do not fully realize what powerful praying can accomplish. But for those who live in obedience to God and experience the working out of God's Will in their life a door has been put before them to partnership with God in changing lives. Prayer changes lives. It first changes the life of the one praying so that the person begins to seek God's will instead of their will, then it changes the lives and life situations of those prayed for.

God wants you to become a person of prayer. One who sees specific events and specific people specifically changed in answer to your specific prayers. Powerful specific praying brings powerful specific results. This praying is not for "Super Saints" but for common every day believers obediently committed to the purposes of God (CIT).

I. THE POWER OF PRAYER, 16b.

II. THE NATURE OF THE MAN, 17a.

III. THE NATURE OF HIS PRAYER, 17b.

IV. THE FRUIT OF HIS PRAYING, 18.

To encouraging both elders and Christians to intercession for those in spiritual weakness, we are reminded in the last part of verse 16 that prayer is effective. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

When a man living in God's will prays it is a very powerful working. God energies obedient prayer so that it accomplishes His will. The effective prayer brings the needed cure, the needed healing, the needed solution, the needed saving from God.

While crossing the Atlantic on a ship many years ago. Bible teacher and author F.B. Meyer was asked to speak to the passengers. An agnostic who listened to Meyer's message about ANSWERED PRAYER told a friend, ""I didn't believe a word of it."

Later that same day, the agnostic went to hear Meyer speak to another group of passengers. But before he went to the meeting, he put two oranges in his pocket. On his way, he passed an elderly woman who was fast asleep in her deck chair. Her arms were outstretched and her hands were wide open, so as a joke he put the two oranges in her palms. After the meeting, he saw the woman happily eating one of the pieces of fruit.

You seem to be enjoying that orange," he remarked with a smile. "Yes, sir," she replied, "My Father is very good to me." "What do you mean?" Pressed the agnostic. She explained, "I have been seasick for days. I was asking God somehow to send me an orange. I fell asleep while I was praying. When I awoke, I found He had sent me not only one but two oranges!" The agnostic was amazed by the unexpected confirmation of Meyer's talk on answered prayer. Later, he put his trust in Christ.

God gives us what we specifically ask for, or something better. Prayer will be fruitful when it is effective and fervent. Fervency also makes prayer an overwhelming priority and gives earnestness in petitioning and pleading with God to grant the request that we present to Him as the burden of our hearts.

R. G. Lee told of a little boy PLAYING WITH HIS TOYS in the front yard while his mother sat on the porch engaged in handwork. Occasionally, and casually, the little boy would mumble a request for something to eat without ever looking up from his preoccupation with his playthings. To these requests, the mother seemed to pay no attention. After a while, the son laid his toys aside and made his way hurriedly to the side of his mother, clutched her with both hands to get her attention, and, looking pleadingly into her eyes, cried out fervently, "Mother, I want something to eat." Of course, the mother went immediately to grant his earnest appeal.


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