"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)
What is an effectual, fervent prayer?
‘Effectual fervent’ is one Greek word (energeo) that means, “to be operative, put forth power, to effect.”
An effectual fervent prayer is one that puts for power and has an effect. Of course, we can conclude that there are ineffectual, passive prayers that have no effect or power.
When do we pray these kinds of prayers? Elijah is given as our example in this passage of scripture. In spite of having a word from God that it would rain, Elijah proceeded to pray UNTIL he saw a cloud the size of a man’s hand in the distance.
Could it be that we sometimes do not see God’s promises realized in our lives because we haven’t prayed effectually and fervently? I believe the answer is yes.
Problems are like nails. There are many, different kinds of nails in the world of carpentry. Many are small and require little effort to drive with a hammer. Other nails are larger. Some are quite large. They require larger hammers and more effort. Some of the problems in life can be resolved with a declaration of God’s Word and a proactive stance against the work of the enemy. Other issues, however, seem to have deeper roots. When God speaks to our hearts, that word alone will not always bring a manifestation of the answer. It may require our faith filled cooperation (prayer) to bring that promise to reality.
Elijah had a word from God that it would not rain, and then later that it would rain. Such a promise would seem to be complete in itself. However, Elijah prayed UNTIL the promise manifested. He is the example given in the book of James of someone who prayed an effectual, fervent prayer.
What does this kind of prayer look like? I believe it is a faith filled enforcing of God’s will, a resisting of the enemy, praise for the full manifestation of that which was promised. It is a prayer that brings to birth that which God has conceived in our hearts. It is not begging, but rather decreeing that which God has decreed. It is our cooperation with the heart of God; a divine insistence that the Word prevail over the problem.
I believe we too often grow passive and give up in our prayer life. We put down the hammer and relax. We don’t realize that it is up to us to enforce God’s will. Our effectual prayer releases the power of God to impact the circumstances.
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit." (Eph. 6:18)