The Effectiveness of Prayer – James 5:16

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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A Christian couple had their saved daughter go through a very rebellious time in her teen years. This young lady witnessed discouraging examples of ungodliness from multiple professing Christians. This, coupled with wrong influences and wrong friends, prompted her to leave her walk with the Lord, and rebel against her family. Understandably, her parents were heartbroken. But they continued to fervently pray for her. To God’s glory, and in answer to prayer, the Lord worked in the young woman’s heart and circumstances to bring her back to a proper daily walk. Today she is once again a sweet vibrant example of what a Christian should be. Ask this family if they believe God still answers prayer, and you will hear a resounding: “Yes, absolutely!”

A verse that must stay prominent in our thinking is James 5:16, which says: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” The Apostle James sought to encourage his fellow Jews, who were still under the Law, with this promise about the effectiveness of prayer while facing very difficult times. But God’s promise about answering prayer is just as relevant for believers today in the Dispensation of Grace. Paul believed in answered prayer when he asked the saints to pray that he “…may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judea; and…that I may come unto you with joy by the will of God…” (Romans 15:31-32). He believed in prayer when he asked the Lord to give him a “…prosperous journey…” to see the saints in Rome that he might minister to them (Romans 1:10). When the believers at Philippi prayed that Paul would be spared death and be released from prison, he was so confident that God would answer their prayers that he told them: “And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith” (Philippians 1:25).

Even Paul did not receive all things that he prayed for and neither will we. But God does often answer the fervent prayers of His children, especially those who are seeking to walk in a righteous path of regular godly fellowship with Him. In fact, just as parents take joy in granting some of the wishes of their children, Almighty God is pleased to grant many of our requests. Believe this is true and constantly take your needs before the Throne of Grace. Why? Because in every dispensation, “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."