Summary: What is effectual and fervent prayer? Does it always have to be manifest only through praying in tongues?
Effective and Fervent Prayer
By Pastor James May
James 5:16b, "… The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
Prayer is a vital part of the life of a Christian. Through prayer unto the Lord, we voice our needs, we give our praise, we show our worship and we demonstrate our faith. Through prayer we communicate with our Heavenly Father just as would talk to a friend, or to our earthly father. Through the combination of prayer and faith we can see mountains of difficulties and obstacles moved. Through prayer and faith our relationship with Jesus Christ is built day-by-day and prayer by prayer into a relationship of trust and love that will last for eternity. Through prayer we can change the course of history, see God move in the hearts and minds of men and women and; through prayer we can know the will of God and even have a profound impact upon what God does in our own lives. There is much truth to that simple statement that says so much, “Prayer Changes Things’.
One Sunday evening, at a church in Kentucky, the congregation tried to concentrate on the sermon coming from the pulpit as the father of a very noisy little boy was carried out of the church toward an evitable lesson on behavior while in the House of God. Everyone tried to ignore the whole scene but a prayer request came forth that simply could not be ignored. As they reached the doorway to the outside, the little boy looked quickly around the auditorium and with once last great fervent prayer request he said, "Ya’ll please pray for me right now!"
If we could learn to pray with the fervency and urgency of the prayer that this little boy needed right then, there’s no limit to what could be accomplished through the Lord’s help.
When Paul and Silas prayed in the prison at midnight, God heard their prayer and set them free. Someone has said that it was the angel that fetched Paul and Silas out of prison, but it was the prayers of the church that fetched the angel out of Heaven at the Lord’s command.
I can tell you that prayer works. I never cease to ask God’s guidance when preparing a message. And I always seek His will in dealing with the matters of this church. And I always ask God to help me to be the kind of Pastor that this church needs to carry out its mission in this world. I can also say that I never go anywhere without seeking the protection of God.
When we were ready to leave last week for our trip up to Colorado we stopped for a moment and asked God for His protection and blessings on our journey. When I got up to the very northwestern corner of Texas and New Mexico, I was certainly glad that I did. I’ve never driven much in ice and snow but we had our “Baptism of Fire”, or should I say, “Baptism of Snow” as we approached the mountains.
The Lord was with us though as we caught up with three snow plows that were clearing the roads and laying down sand for traction on the ice and we followed them for about 20 miles or so. It didn’t bother me one bit that they were traveling slow. On icy roads there’s no better place to be than the first car in line behind the plows. Then, as we approached the mountain pass, the snow became much heavier and the ice much thicker. The roads were slippery and dangerous. There were a number of times when I could feel the truck slipping, sliding and fishtailing on the ice, but it would always grab traction and then straighten up.
I was concerned mostly about negotiating those high mountain roads under those conditions, but then the Lord sent us an angel to lead the way. It was an angel in the form of a 18-wheeler truck driver who obviously had been there before. We were number 2 in line behind him as he plowed the road, broke the ice and gave us a fairly solid track to ride in. None of us normally like to follow behind those slow-moving big rigs on the highway, but under those conditions he was a welcomed sight and made our trip a lot less stressful because it was nearly a white out and I couldn’t tell where the road was. You could see the mountain on one side and nothing but a part of the guard rails on the other side. The snow and clouds were so thick that you could not see how far the drop off was on the outside and maybe that was a blessing in disguise as well.