Effective Prayer Ministry Depends on the Power of God to Pray

Read James 5:16 in the various translations:

"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (NIV).
"The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much" (NASB).
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (KJV).
"The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results" (NLT).

The Greek seems to point to two aspects of power. One is the energy put forth in praying and the other is the effect of those prayers.

What gives us power in prayer is that we make our petition in the authority of Jesus Christ. Even the righteousness referenced in this verse is that of Christ's. Scripture is clear that no one is righteous in oneself (Rom. 3:10-12). Praying "in Jesus' name" means more than tacking the phrase on to the end of the prayer. When we pray in Jesus' name, we are claiming His identity, His righteousness, and His authority. Therein is power in prayer. This kind of prayer can't help but to have power.

When We Depend on God's Power in Prayer We'll Attribute Results to Him

The results are powerful in the sense that something will happen. Be careful not to be discouraged or disillusioned if the results are not manifested in big ways ... obvious miraculous power. When God answers prayer with peace, wisdom, or grace, you have power.

peace . . . . power to make it through the hard times
wisdom . . . . power to know what to do
grace . . . . power to be Christ-like in the midst of a dark, sinful world

Prayer is powerful because God is powerful. As the Almighty, omnipotent God, He has the ability to do what we ask. As the Sovereign Lord of all creation, He has the authority to do what He knows is best in a given situation.

Emphasize God as the One Who Gives us the Power to Pray

One way to emphasize the Power Source is to begin times of prayer with praise and thanksgiving acknowledging His Lordship and might.

  • Incorporate praise for answered prayer.
  • Build follow-up into your structure. One possibility is to have people journal prayer requests and answers they have seen. Brief sections of what they wrote could be read or compiled and then distributed.
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Order the Prayer Ministry Manual for a brief exegesis of Ephesians 3:20 regarding God's power and a look at the example of Elijah's prayer for how "the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16-18).

For More on what will help you develop and maintain an effective Prayer Ministry:

For More About Praying: Resources for Prayer Ministry