Summary: What made Elijah's prayers the kind that God would certainly answer? What are the 4 characteristics about his prayers?
PRAYERS THAT AVAIL MUCH
1. A mechanic was removing the cylinder heads of a motor when he spotted a world-famous heart surgeon in his shop.
2. “Doctor, please come over here.” He did. The mechanic pointed at his work, “See here, Doctor. I also open hearts, take out valves, put in new parts, and when I finish, this patient will run like new. So why do you get paid the big money for basically doing the same thing?”
3. The doctor smiled, leaned over and whispered to the mechanic, “Try doing it with the engine running!”
B. HAND OUT INTERCESSION WORKSHEET
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
1. Is a serious/necessary business.
2. Just as we are competitive, to keep up with our competition – in the fields of education and business in the global marketplace, we also should rise to compete with the spiritual forces which constantly do battle with us.
3. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
4. People around the world, with so much less, are diligently obeying the Spirit’s call to intercede.
5. In 2 Cor. 8:8, Paul said, “I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.” Let’s ask ourselves; are we doing all we can? Take the challenge!
I. NATURE OF INTERCESSORY PRAYER
A. OTHER READINGS OF JAMES 5:16
1. Beck, “A good man [woman] can do much by praying vigorously.”
2. Phillips, “Tremendous power is made available through a good man’s [woman’s] earnest prayer.”
3. Living, “The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results.”
B. 4 THINGS DESCRIBED IN JAMES 5:16
1. KIND OF PERSON – a righteous man or woman; “Saints.”
2. TYPE OF PRAYER “effectual fervent” – (gr.) energas[energetic]
a. Adjectives – energetic, vigorous, fervent, earnest
1). Fervent = impassioned, intense, passionate, heated
2). Vigorous = forceful, powerful, strong, spirited, peppy
3). Determined = settled, fixed, purposeful, tenacious, persistent.
b. Is this the way we pray? Prayer is much more than mumbling a few sentences. Does it matter? Yes! Do you want your prayers answered?
c. James 5:16 teaches that the kind of prayer that influences God is the vigorous, passionate, persistent prayer of a righteous man.
d. Paul described it as “wrestling” in Colossians 4:12 or “agonizing” (agonidzomai). Hebrews 5:7 says that Jesus “offered up prayers… with strong cryings and tears.” In Gethsemane, the Lord Jesus interceded with such intensity that not only was he sweating(though it was a very cold night), but the pressure of His intensity forced blood from his skin pores.
3. STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL PRAYING:
a. YOU Pray.
b. Call for the ELDERS
c. Be anointed with oil by them
d. Be prayed for in the Name of Jesus
e. Confession helps with healing(16)
4. EFFECTS OF SUCH A PRAYER – “avails much”; gets results!
II. EFFECTS OF INTERCESSORY PRAYER
A. 3 RESULTS OF THE PRAYER OF FAITH(15)
1. “the prayer of faith will save [heal] the sick”
2. “the Lord will raise him up”
3. “if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven”
B. IN THE NEGATIVE
1. If Elijah hadn’t prayed, it would never have rained.
2. If Abraham hadn’t prayed, Lot and his family would have perished in Sodom’s fires.
3. If Moses hadn’t prayed, God would have destroyed Israel.
4. If the early church hadn’t prayed, Peter would have been beheaded.
C. PERSONAL APPLICATION
1. If we don’t pray, our loved ones/friends will be lost.
2. If we don’t intercede passionately they will never get BHS.
3. If we don’t pray passionately, our country will degenerate morally which will end in terrible calamity, war, and slavery.