March 31, 2023

James 5:16b

Written by:
Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy


James 5:16b

16b The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.


What is effectual fervent prayer? The words “effectual fervent” are translated from one Greek word (energoumenē) from which we get the English word “energy”. Here it denotes an energetic, operative prayer. We must not be contented with weak prayers.

The energetic, effective prayer comes from “a righteous man”. In the context of our verse, the righteous man is the one who confesses his sins to the one whom he has offended in order that they may be reconciled and pray together. He is a man who seeks to live a life of purity, peace and prayer. It is to such saints, who are dedicated to living a holy, amicable and prayerful life, that effectual prayer belongs.

Weak, ineffectual prayers proceed from spiritually and morally weak people. As Christians, we must seek to possess a life of effective prayers. If we would pursue holiness, fellowship and joint-prayers with God’s people, we will soon be heirs of a powerful life of prayer. If we were to be blessed with a powerful prayer life, we must cease from all sins and offences, and live a devout and dedicated life of Christian fellowship.

The success of prayer is intimately connected with our Christian character. The prayer of the righteous is sincere, and it does not proceed from insincere lips, or a hypocritical heart. The Lord is pleased to hear those who obey His Word sincerely; hence, he will answer their prayers.

Proverbs 15:8 tells us that “the prayer of the upright is his delight.” Proverbs 15:29 says, “The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.” Psalm 34:15-17 remind us that “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.” The blind man healed by Christ commented, “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth” (John 9:31).

Hence, prayer is more than a mere good spiritual discipline of the righteous; it is their channel for asking and receiving God’s wonderful provisions. Let us therefore pursue a life of purity, peace and prayer that “availeth much”.

Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church adheres to the system of faith commonly known as the “Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
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