Prayer That Avails Much Jas 5: 16-18 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
First, prayer that avails much is:
Prayer that is prayed by a righteous person. Our righteousness is in Jesus Christ. However, it is possible to be saved and still live in unrighteousness. 1 Cor 6:9 “know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” If you want prayer that avails much, live in righteousness, keep your flesh and your spirit clean, “perfecting holiness in the fear of God,” [2 Cor 7:1]. We are cleansed by his word [Jn 15:3], by his blood [1 Jn 1:7], and by his Holy Spirit [1 Cor 6:11].
Prov 15:9 “the prayer of the upright is his delight.” 1 Pet 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers.” Prov 15:29 “The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.” BUT Prov 28:9 “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” That’s why the psalmist said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me,” [Ps 66:18].
Second, prayer that avails much is:
Effectual prayer – “producing or able to produce a desired effect.” The example of Elijah given in this passage is excellent from 1 Ki 17:1. He prayed to the living God. He prayed in God’s presence [before whom I stand]. We stand before the Lord and enter his presence by thanksgiving and praise [Ps 100:4[ which are our spiritual sacrifices [1 Pet 2:5; Heb 13:15-16]. He prayed specifically [no dew or rain]. He prayed confidently [but according to my word]. We have confidence with God when we pray according to his will [1 Jn 5:14-15]. And God stopped the rain for 3 1/2 year and then brought it back the day he prayed.
Fervent prayer – “very hot: glowing: marked by great intensity of feeling.” Jesus Christ prayed with strong crying and tears [Heb 5:7]. David said, “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears,” [Ps 39:12]. You and I will cry out to God when we are praying for a crisis concerning our children or our spouses. Likewise, our prayers become more fervent and avail much when we cry out to the Lord in tears for others.
Earnest prayer – “proceeding from an intense and serious state of mind: important.” Neh 1:4-11. Nehemiah prayed after hearing the news of the “great affliction and reproach” of his people in Jerusalem and of the wall that was broken down. He was fervent; he “wept, and mourned,” [Neh 1:4]. He was earnest; He “fasted, and prayed,” [Neh 1:4]. He presented his request before the living God; “I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God,” [Neh 1:5]. He prayed as a righteous man; he confessed his sins and the sins of his people [Neh 1:6-7; see 1 Jn 1:9, for our confession]. He prayed according to the will of God [Neh 1:8-10]. And he made an effectual request [Neh 1:11]. Nehemiah was dead serious. You can see by what he did when the Lord answered his prayer and the king granted his request.
Conclusion: prayer that availeth much is prayer that is prayed by a righteous person, effectually, fervently and earnestly. Would to God he would help us to avail much in our prayers.