Effectual Prayers

We are told in the Word of God: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). That word avail according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary speaks of strength, force, authority and success. I have no doubt that each of God’s people wish that their prayers were of this type of nature. I want to give three characteristics of effectual prayers. These are not the only characteristics but they are certainly needed characteristics if we want to pray with more power and success. First, effectual prayers are believing prayers. We cannot separate effectual prayers that will be successful with authority apart from faith. Also, we can neither separate faith from the Word of God. Consider I Thessalonians 2:13 which reads: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” Where the Word of God is effectively working in us and we are trusting in God’s word you will find prayers springing forth from believing hearts. Oh, how we need to trust God’s Word as we pray. This brings us to our second thought. Effectual prayers are scriptural prayers. Jesus said, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7). When we walk with Christ in His word then His word will mold and shape our desires to be conformed to the will of God. We will begin to want what God wants in and for our life. When Christ becomes our delight then our prayers will be molded into desiring the will of God (Ps. 37:4), and if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us (I John 5:14). Thirdly, effectual prayers are righteous prayers. They come forth from God’s children who are righteous in Jesus Christ by faith and from children of God who are seeking to honor Him by living in obedience. When Jesus was talking to His disciples in John 15, He was speaking about bearing spiritual fruit that lasts and then He said immediately afterward, that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you (John 15:16). Then He said, “Love one another” (John 15:16). Just as parents are more likely to give their children what they ask for when they are obedient and loving one another, so will our God. Are our prayers characterized by strength, force and success? May the Lord teach us how to pray and may you see more success in your prayer life. That Christ may get all glory in all answered prayers.