Pastor’s Corner | So, what is an “Effectual Fervent Prayer?” (James 5:16)

Prayer is not something you do when there is nothing else going on. Prayer is not just an activity that divides up a worship service between singing and the offering! Prayer is the expectant communication between you and your creator. Prayer is not an excuse for a church-wide activity. Prayer certainly is of value to FCBC so we hope you will do it more! It is time, and energy, well spent with your Lord. When I listen to a television personality or politician say that we should pray for others, I often wonder to whom they are encouraging the audience to address their prayers? Is the encouragement to truly pray to their Lord Jesus Christ or to simply “hope” that things will get better with a good heart? Prayer is NOT about feelings alone.

In James 5:16, the Scripture says about prayer, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  The emphasis of this prayer directive is that great value is given when done by a “righteous man!” The focus is not on the activity of anyone who just wants to “think good thoughts” but Scripture says that prayer has power when done by a person in special fellowship with their creator.

When we look at James 5:16, there are some key concepts that may assist us in our prayer lives. Prayer is not to be feared or ignored by His children. Looking at the final words of the verse, we can see that God selectively welcomes prayers from the righteous person. God distinguishes who is speaking from their heart. This challenges the idea that God doesn’t see all prayers as “effectual or sufficient for results!” The reference to “an effectual fervent prayer” seems to call for a committed and passionate prayer that expects results from the recipient, God! The point being that to pray without expectation and passion is to reveal whether or not we are righteous children of our Father.

Our church, the people of FCBC, need a united heart of boldness. We need God’s blessing. We need to expect great things from the Lord as we walk with righteous hearts of commitment to serving the Lord. It is easy to look elsewhere for things that are better than our church but it is more of a blessing to focus our efforts in being the righteous and expectant laborers of God as a team of servants.

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祷告不是你在没有其他事可做时做的事。 祷告不是一个在崇拜时,分开唱诗和奉献的活动! 祷告是你和你的创造者之间一个期盼的沟通。祷告不是一个教会活动的藉口。祷告确定对第一华人浸信会很有价值,所以希望你会多祷告! 花时间和精力与你的 主交流,是值得的。当我听到电视人物或政治家说我们应该为他人祷告时,我常常在想他们在鼓励听众向谁祷告呢? 他们鼓励人真正向他们的主耶稣基督祷告呢?或者只是好心「希望」事情会变得更好呢?祷告不是只是感觉而已。

雅各书5:16说, 「所以你们要彼此认罪,互相代求,使你们可以得医治。义人祈祷所发的力量是大有功效的。 」这祷告的指引强调是义人的祷告是大有功效的。焦点不是在任何一个人只希望有「想好想法」;而圣经说,祷告有力量是一个人与他们造物主有特别的相交。

看雅各书5:16, 有数个关键观念,可以帮助我们的祷告生活。 上帝的儿女是不必害怕或不可忽视祷告。看这一章节的最后几个字,我们可以看到上帝拣选欢迎从义人而来的祷告。上帝可以辨别谁是从他们的心里说话。这个挑战我们了解所有祷告不都是一样的。「义人祷告所发的力量是大有功效的」是呼召委身及热情的祷告者,期盼上帝的回答!那个重点是说祷告没有方向和热情的,会表示我们不是公义的人。

我们教会,第一华人浸信会的弟兄姊妹们,需要上帝给我们的负担而联合一起。我们需要上帝的祝福。我们同行公义,委身侍奉主。我们从上帝期盼大的事情。我们很容易找寻其他比我们教会好的地方,但是如果我们集中力量,做上帝公义和期盼的同工团队,我们会得到更多祝福。