Today’s devotion is an excerpt from a Bible Study Series taught at Fellowship Baptist Church, titled “Biblical Building Blocks for Strengthening Relationships.”
Biblical Building Block #23 ~ Pray One For Another (James 5:16) PART 2
James 5:16, Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Not only are we to confess our trespasses to one another, but we are also to pray for one another. It is hard to be mad at some one you are genuinely praying for. We are to pray for each other’s best. We are to pray that one another would grow in their Christian life and be obedient to the Lord Jesus. We are to pray that one another would have strength and wisdom to face the uncertainties of the day. We are to pray that each of us would be restored.
1. Commitment (James 5:16): “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
James pronounces the profound promise, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. He emphasizes the need for upright living and an unhindered fellowship with God. Our hearts must be pure before the Lord if we desire to have our petitions granted. Effectual fervent has the sense of being ‘energized.’ What James is driving at is that effective prayer is fervent and from the heart. When a man will pour out his heart in prayer, God tends to hear the same. A believer whose life is a holy life, whose life is consumed with the desire to love and serve God, who walks with and lives for God, will have power in prayer. Prayer is a relationship of how a child of God goes to the throne of grace based on the relationship HE has freely given us to seek HIS help which He has promised to give.
James then refers to a “righteous man.” He no doubt intends one righteous in his position in Christ (justified). But he also likely refers to one righteous in his living, who is pleasing to God. I John 3:22, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” When such a Christian, one righteous not only in their position, but also in their person, comes to God in fervent energized prayer, that prayer will avail much. The word availeth means to be ‘strong.’ In other words, prayer that is SO strong it accomplishes what was intended. This speaks of "strength, ability, and power." It reveals these prayers have value. We have heard this statement, “those who are able to get a hold of heaven”. That is what James is referring to. He speaks of the ability to pray in power and receive the blessing of God. We need those who can avail much in prayer!
Ten Hindrances To Prayer (R.A. Torrey).
(1) Selfish purposes (James 4:3).
(2) Iniquities (Isaiah 59:1,2; Psalm 139:23,24; 66:18).
(3) Idols in the heart (Ezekiel 14:3). These can be friends, pleasures, habits, hobbies, sports, possessions, business, reputation, money, anything that comes before God.
(4) Ignoring the needs of others (Proverbs 21:13).
(5) Disobedience to God's Word (I John 3:22; Proverbs 28:9).
(6) Not forgiving others (Mark 11:25).
(7) Strained relationships between husband and wife (I Peter 3:7).
(8) Unbelief (James 1:5-7; Hebrews 11:6).
(9) Not abiding in Christ (John 15:7).
(10) Not abiding in Truth (Psalm 145:18).
This is one of the greatest benefits of being part of the body of Christ. We have all faced situations when prayer was desperately needed. Isn't it comforting to know that we have others who are willing to intercede for us and with us when burdens arise in our lives? We must keep our lives free of sin so we can pray when the need arises. Sin stands as a barrier to communion with God. Sin in the church hinders prayer and holds back God’s healing power from being demonstrated among his people. It’s been said, "You can do a lot of things with sin in your life, but prayer is not one of them!" According to Hebrews 11:25, sin is pleasurable for a season. Whenever prayer is not a real experience on the part of the believer, that believer lives a barren, fruitless, helpless life. Prayer is absolutely essential in church. It is important to God therefore it should be important to us and practiced by us. Whenever a church neglects prayer, that church ceases to move under the power of God. Leonard Ravenhill, “The church has many organizers, but few agonizers; many who pay, but few who pray; many resters, but few wrestlers; many who are enterprising, but few that are interceding. The secret of praying is praying in secret. A worldly Christian will stop praying and a praying Christian will stop worldliness. Tithes may build a church, but tears will give it life. That is the difference between the modern church and the early church. In the matter of effective praying, never have so many left so much to so few. Brethren, let us pray.”
Points to Ponder:
God wants us to come to him with passion (Hebrews 4:16).
Prayer is the most precious treasure Jesus has given to us.
By prayer we are consecrated for the battles that we face, consecrated in the burdens we bear.
Questions to Consider:
Do you pray with fervency?
Do you have a place that you go to spend time with God?
Do you consistently and persistently approach the throne of grace?
Thank you for reading PART 2 of Biblical Building Block #23 of this series. Please visit this website tomorrow for PART 3 of Biblical Building Block #23 of this series.
If this post in any way, has blessed you,
please share this website and its articles with others:
Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.