PRAYER PRAY JAS 5

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					PRAY! JAS 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. 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. We all want to have the kind of… Prayer - that Works This is the kind of prayer talked about here in the second part of Verse 16. It is…

We believe in the power of prayer. Our communication line carrier is not Optus, AAPT, or Telstra. It isn’t some saint or Mary. The communication line is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ who intercedes in prayer with us. There is tremendous POWER. "Prayer is the most powerful form of energy one can generate. The influence of prayer on the human mind and body is as demonstrable as that of secretion glands. Prayer is a force as real as terrestrial gravity. It supplies us with a steady flow of sustaining power in our daily lives." -- Alexis Carrel (French surgeon and biologist) “One of the great failures of the church is that we often try to accomplish with human systems what only God can do.” Church, we need to pray. We need the power of God, and this will only come as we truly learn to pray, and act prayerfully. “If a church wants a better pastor, it can get one by praying for the one it has.” (Merrill C Tenney) “Satan trembles when he sees The weakest saint upon his knees.” There is amazing untapped power in prayer.

1. Prayer with POWER It tells us here that prayer - that works - is EFFECTUAL FERVENT. The word "effectual fervent" here is one word = energeo. We get our word energy from this word. It means to be active, to do, to be mighty in, to work. This same word is used in Phil 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. This kind of prayer is described here as present tense in continuous action. It isn’t a single act of prayer - but an ongoing action.

2. Prayer with PASSION This kind of Prayer is FERVENT. This is Passionate prayer. It is White hot Prayer - real prayer - is not just a passive request. It is an intense pleading, by faith, at the throne of grace. It is persevering prayer. There were times that the Lord Jesus continued all night in prayer (Lk. 6:12). When Jacob was feeling down and scared in Genesis: 32:26, he held fast the Angel of the Lord - who represents to us our Lord Jesus - and Jacob cried out, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” God blessed Jacob for his perseverance. “When we don't pray, it's primarily because we don't sense our need for God.” Have we lost that passion that love - that boldness to seek the Lord? We need to pray in faith. We need to Pray more earnestly.  We can give up too soon.  We can get so easily distracted or discouraged in prayer. Moody: “Some men's prayers need to be cut short at both ends and set on fire in the middle.” Where’s the Fire?

Bunyan: “In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without heart.” When Peter was put in prison, the early church faced a great trial. They prayed earnestly for him. This was an awful, difficult time for God’s people. But the Bible says that they prayed earnestly for him. Acts 12:5 “Prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” And that prayer worked. Our verse tells us of the effectual prayer of a righteous person one who is made just in the sight of God. We know that we are made just - we are justified and made righteous through the blood of Jesus, and we need to live like it. Another meaning of just is "barely enough to get by on." Sometimes that's the way we pray: Prayers like, "Lord, we just ask that you bless this food." ....or "Father, we just ask that you protect us as we travel these highways and byways." I know I can get into a habit of "just prayers" which can sound like they lack faith and trust in God’s power. How can we get more PASSION in our Prayers - God wants to hear bold prayers prayed by just men and women of God. He wants us to pray effectual or effective prayers that make a difference not only in our lives, but in the lives of others. We must pray, and pray through. We must pray until our hearts are fully in tune with the heart and will of God. We need to pray - no matter what the difficulty - no matter what the discouragement. Let’s not be distracted from praying in faith, and trusting in the promises of God. Let’s hang in there in prayer.

3. Prayer with PURITY Our verse talks to us of a RIGHTEOUS MAN We are to be righteous. We are called to Right living. Prayer is a closeness to - a relationship with - the Lord, in living right, in obedience to the Lord. It does not always pay to pray… In Caribou County, British Columbia, a man was accused of setting a forest fire. Left alone in a room at the police station, he fell to his knees and prayed, "Oh God, please let me get away with it." The prayer was picked up by a closed circuit television camera. It was ultimately admitted into evidence and used against him. What is "a righteous man"? This means a person who has received the righteousness of Christ - given by God. God has declared him righteous based on his faith in the finished work of Christ. A righteous man is one who has had his sins forgiven by faith in Christ.  There is the realisation of sin.  There is the overwhelming need for God’s awesome grace.  Then, the Holy Spirit brings us to our knees at the cross.  The blood washes away all sin and the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us. This is the righteous man. This man has taken his place before God and man as a needy believer. He has access to the righteousness of Christ to plead his case before the throne of God.

Without a PURITY in our heart, our Prayers will be in vain. Unless we are righteous, the Lord will not receive our prayer. Psalms 66:18 "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" Is our prayer being blocked because of a lack of Purity in our heart before God? Isa 1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 59:1, 2 "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." 1 Pet 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. “As it is the business of tailors to make clothes and of cobblers to mend shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray.” (Luther) As God’s righteous people, we naturally want to communicate with our Heavenly Father. Our prayer life will help us live right.

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS When just men and women pray, the Lord makes His tremendous power available to them. Our verse tells us that this kind of prayer AVAILETH MUCH. This word AVAILETH means “CAN DO” - as in Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. The word "availeth" also means "to be strong." It is a present tense verb - it is instruction for the here and now. There are wonderful resources in God that are made available to us through prayer. When things are difficult, it’s time to pray... effectually and fervently. Paul tells Timothy that he wants "men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing" (I Tim.2:8). Sometimes people emphasise the physical the lifting up of the hands. But the apostle is really emphasising the holiness of the hands - that is, they are a part of lives which are "without anger or disputing."

It is important to Pray - AND work… “Work as if everything depended upon your work, and pray as if everything depended upon your prayer.” (Booth) Prayer availeth much… Not that we always get what we want… As I pulled my brimming shopping cart to a stop at the checkout counter, a toy truck caught my son's eye. "Mommy--a truck. Can we buy it? Please?" With his fifth birthday only 11 days away, we had used our money to purchase his first bicycle, the one item he wanted more than anything else in the world. So I said no to the truck. "You never say yes to anything," he muttered dejectedly before retreating into silence. As I reflected on his childish behavior, I cringed. I had acted the same way before God just a few days before. I had prayed for something he chose to withhold. I hadn't stopped to think that his "no" today might be a prelude to unimaginable blessings tomorrow.

Effectual -Power Fervent - Passion Righteous Man - Purity Availeth much


				
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