The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
God promises all believers that if we live righteously and pray fervently, our prayers will be effective and produce significant results. How do we treat a promise like this? Wemight argue, “But I do pray, and nothing happens!” Our problem is that we do not hold ourselves accountable to the Scripture. God’s Word saysthat prayer ought to accomplish much. If our prayer life is notaccomplishing much, what should we do? If we are praying but seeing noresults, should we conclude that this promise is untrue? Should weexcuse this Scripture as impractical and unrealistic? Or should we examine ourselves to see if we meet its conditions?
James says thatfervent prayer avails much. Could it be that we are not as fervent inour praying as we should be? Fervent prayer means we do not quiteasily. Fervent prayer means we purposefully spend sufficient time inintercession. Fervent prayer means we cry out to the Father, sometimesin tears, with our heart and soul. Fervent prayer comes as the HolySpirit assists us in praying with groanings too deep for words (Rom.8:26). According to James, our righteousness will ensure effectiveprayer. God’s standard of righteousness is different from ours, for Helooks beyond our actions, even beyond our thoughts, directly to ourhearts. How then should we hold ourselves accountable if our prayersare accomplishing little? If nothing happens when we pray, the problemis not with God. The problem is with us, for God’s Word is absolutelyreliable. If we adhere to what God requires, He will lead us to prayfor things that align with His purposes, and God will answer ourprayers in a mighty way.