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Summary: Prayer is both an incredible privilege and an awesome responsibility. It can move the hand of God in situations where there is no other hope.

Effectual Fervent Prayer

James 5:16 KJV

Prayer does not equip you for greater works.

Prayer is the greater work. ---- Oswald Chambers

As mature Christians we are naive to ignore or deny the reality of spiritual conflicts between good and evil and our role in them as believing saints. Our main weapon in a prayer offensive is a keen knowledge and application of scripture "declared verbally" in the same way Jesus fought the devil in his wilderness experience.

1. Prayer is a vital key that connects us with our heavenly Father.

2. Prayer is both an incredible privilege and an awesome responsibility. It can move the hand of God in situations where there is no other hope.

3. Biblical prayer is crying to God out of the depths; it is the pouring out of the soul before God

4. "Prayer is like the dove that Noah sent forth, which blessed him not only when it returned with an olive-leaf in its mouth, but when it never returned at all."

James 5:16 KJV

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

• When a person is RIGHT with God, the power of his sincere prayer is tremendous!"

• The conditions for that promise: "when a person is right with God and prays sincerely".

Oswald Chambers wrote:

"We take for granted that prayer is preparation for work, whereas prayer is the work. Intercessory prayer is God’s chosen way of working."

• Effectual fervent prayer is the hardest kind of work there is to do, too! Not only does it "take more out of" a person than any other kind of work, we have to handle ourselves with a strong discipline to make time for effectual fervent prayer.

I. Our natural propensity is to shrink back when it comes to praying for the impossible.

The problem is that we rest the power of prayer too much upon ourselves. We think that we are the ones making things happen in prayer. Instead we are to see ourselves as instruments in the Lord’s hands for accomplishing his purposes through prayer. Prayer is an act of obedience and privilege for the believer. We are commanded to pray. But we are also invited to bring our needs before the Lord. We are to anchor ourselves in his faithfulness and promises. We are to see that the very fact that God commands us to pray is a foundation for effectiveness in our prayers

II. We hesitate to pray, thinking that it will do no good, but James calls our attention once again to the means God has established for doing his good work among us—prayer. Do you believe this? We are so accustomed to neglecting prayer that it is hard for us to think of its power through God among us.

The Power of Fervent Prayer

A. Peter was in prison awaiting his execution. The Church had neither human power nor influence to save him. There was no earthly help, but there was help to be obtained by the way of Heaven. They gave themselves to fervent, importunate prayer. God sent His angel, who aroused Peter from sleep and led him out through the first and second wards of the prison; and when they came to the iron gate, it opened to them of its own accord, and Peter was free.

B. ‘Prayer has divided seas, rolled up flowing rivers, made rocks gush into fountains, quenched flames of fire, muzzled lions, disarmed vipers and poisons, marshaled the stars against the wicked, stopped the course of the moon, arrested the sun in its rapid race, burst open iron gates, released souls from eternity, conquered the strongest devils, commanded legions of angels down from heaven. Prayer has bridled and chained the raging passions of man and routed and destroyed vast armies of proud, daring, blustering atheists. Prayer has brought one man from the bottom of the sea and carried another in a chariot of fire to heaven. What has prayer not done?’

A closer look into the scripture

James 5:16 KJV

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

James 5:16 NIV

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

James 5:16 NASU

The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

James 5:16 TLB

The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results.

What is it that makes our prayer effectual (or effective)?

1. Fervent prayer is putting your whole self---all of your attention, your mind, your will, and your emotions---on that thing you’re praying about. That means your mind is focused on prayer instead of drifting off on other things. Fervent prayer will make a difference in the lives of people, but we must understand that it takes an effort and a sacrifice of our time.

2. In Matthew 15:22-28, the Canaanite woman would not take no for an answer. She asked for her daughter’s healing, and three times she was rejected. But she wouldn’t give up. She understood the heart and character of the Lord Jesus. She not only received the healing of her daughter, but was commended by Jesus: "Woman, you have great FAITH!"

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