Summary: There are Christians who seem to be always getting on. They grow like grass after rain. They are ever adding grace to grace. Every time you meet them, they seem larger and their spiritual stature bigger, taller and stronger. What is the secret?
BRO. SETH A. ARYEE
BETHANY METHODIST CHURCH, DZORWULU, ACCRA-GHANA
THEME: PRAYER: GOD’S DELAYS ARE NOT GOD’S DENIALS
TEXT: "THE EFFECTUAL FERVENT PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN AVAILETH MUCH" (JAMES 5:16)
There are Christians who seem to be always getting on. They grow like grass after rain. They are ever adding grace to grace. Every time you meet them, they seem larger and their spiritual stature bigger, taller and stronger. What is the secret?
God’s promises to His children are varied and numerous. The Word of God says:
* “In blessing, I will bless you” – Genesis 22:17
* “And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten – the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you. And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And My people shall never be put to shame” - Joel 2:25,26
* “The blessings of the Lord – it makes (truly) rich, and He adds no sorrow with it (neither does toiling increase it)” – Proverbs 10:22
* “And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 4:19
* “If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God (Who gives) to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given to him” – James 1:5
* “Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” – James 1:17
* Food, and God says: “I am the Bread of Life”
* Knowledge, and God says: “I am the Truth”
* Companionship, and God says: “I am your Friend”
* Love, and God says: “I love you”
* Happiness, God says: “Rejoice in the Lord always (delight, gladden yourselves in Him) again I say, Rejoice” – Philippians 4:4
* Health, and God says: “I am the Lord Who heals you” – Exodus 15:28
So how do we appropriate the varied and numerous things that God has promised His Children, including all of us present in the House of God today. God assures His Children: “Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking (reverently) and (the door) will be opened to you” – Matthew 7:7. and He adds further: “If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father, Who is heaven (perfect as He is) give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him” – Matthew 7:11
We are also assured that: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds . . ." - 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
So, we find that the only way to be really happy in such a world as ours is to be ever casting all our cares on God, using the weapon of PRAYERS. This means that:
* God is our source
* Heaven in where our help comes from – Hebrews 4:14-16
Prayer opened the Red Sea
Prayer brought water from the rock and bread from heaven
Prayer healed the sick and raised the dead
Is there anything that the Lord cannot do?
What is prayer? Through prayer, we draw near to God. Listen to Ellen G White’s definition of prayer: “Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as a friend”. Prayer does not change God, but it does change us and our relation to God. It places us in the channel of blessings, and in that frame of mind in which God can consistently and safely grant our requests. So prayer is the discipline of mind.
Our text for today can be seen in the second half of James 5:16: Let us all read together “. . .the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”. This passage says the “effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” In this single sentence, a man could be effectual, fervent, and righteous. Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines effective as: producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect. Fervent is defined as: very hot, marked by great intensity.
The two conditions for availing (tremendous power) prayer are:
* Effective and fervent prayer; and
* Prayer by a righteous man
Through tradition, we kneel down; clasp the two hands together and look up to heaven. Sometimes, we make the sign of the Cross to end our prayers. Can we say this act is effectual and fervent?