KJV Sermon Outlines
Text: James 5:16
Prayer does not equip you for greater works.
Prayer is the greater work. ---- Oswald Chambers
As mature Christians we are naive to ignore or deny the reality of
spiritual conflicts between good and evil and our role in them as
believing saints. Our main weapon in a prayer offensive is a keen
knowledge and application of scripture "declared verbally" in the same
way Jesus fought the devil in his wilderness experience.
1. Prayer is a vital key that connects us with our heavenly Father.
2. Prayer is both an incredible privilege and an awesome
responsibility. It can move the hand of God in situations where there
is no other hope.
3. Biblical prayer is crying to God out of the depths; it is the
pouring out of the soul before God.
4. "Prayer is like the dove that Noah sent forth, which blessed him
not only when it returned with an olive-leaf in its mouth, but when it
never returned at all."
James 5:16 The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth
• When a person is RIGHT with God, the power of his sincere prayer is
• The conditions for that promise: "when a person is right with God
and prays sincerely".
• Effectual fervent prayer is the hardest kind of work there is to do.
Not only does it take more out of a person than any other kind of
work, we have to handle ourselves with a strong discipline to make
time for effectual fervent prayer.
I. Our natural tendency is to shrink back
when it comes to praying for the impossible.
A. The problem is that we rest the power of prayer too much upon
B. We think that we are the ones making things happen in prayer.
C. Instead we are to see ourselves as instruments in the Lord’s hands
for accomplishing his purposes through prayer.
D. Prayer is an act of obedience and privilege for the believer.
E. We are commanded to pray. But we are also invited to bring our
needs before the Lord.
F. We are to anchor ourselves in his faithfulness and promises.
G. We are to see that the very fact that God commands us to pray is a
foundation for effectiveness in our prayers
II. We hesitate to pray, thinking that it
will do no good, but James calls our attention once again to the means
God has established for doing his work among us—prayer. Do you believe
this? We are so accustomed to neglecting prayer that it is hard for us
to think of its power through God among us.
The Power of Fervent Prayer
A. Peter was in prison awaiting his execution. The Church had neither
human power nor influence to save him. There was no earthly help, but
there was help to be obtained by the way of Heaven. They gave
themselves to fervent, importunate prayer. God sent His angel, who
aroused Peter from sleep and led him out through the first and second
wards of the prison; and when they came to the iron gate, it opened to
them of its own accord, and Peter was free.
B. ‘Prayer has divided seas, rolled up flowing rivers, made rocks gush
into fountains, quenched flames of fire, muzzled lions, disarmed
vipers and poisons, marshaled the stars against the wicked, stopped
the course of the moon, arrested the sun in its rapid race, burst open
iron gates, released souls from eternity, conquered the strongest
devils, commanded legions of angels down from heaven. Prayer has
bridled and chained the raging passions of man and routed and
destroyed vast armies of proud, daring, blustering atheists. Prayer
has brought one man from the bottom of the sea and carried another in
a chariot of fire to heaven. What has prayer not done?’
What is it that makes our prayer effectual (or effective)?
1. Fervent prayer is putting your whole self---all of your attention,
your mind, your will, and your emotions---on that thing you’re praying
about. That means your mind is focused on prayer instead of drifting
off on other things. Fervent prayer will make a difference in the
lives of people, but we must understand that it takes an effort and a
sacrifice of our time.
2. In Matthew 15:22-28, the Canaanite woman would not take no for an
answer. She asked for her daughter’s healing, and three times she was
rejected. But she wouldn’t give up. She understood the heart and
character of the Lord Jesus. She not only received the healing of her
daughter, but was commended by Jesus: "Woman, you have great FAITH!"
3. James gives us Elijah as the example of effective prayer in action
(see verses 17-18). What gave Elijah the boldness to pray that the
rain would stop, and then, at his word, start again? (1 Kings 17:1;
• Elijah’s prayer was BASED ON THE WORD OF GOD!
All of Israel had turned away from the Lord to worship Baal, the
idol-god of a cruel heathen religion. Up stands one solitary man, a
total unknown, and boldly proclaims to the king that "there will be
neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word!’’ But
his authority was based on a promise and warning found in Deuteronomy
4. Daniel also Discovered the Secret
In Daniel 9:3-19. Daniel poured out his heart in prayer before God
that his people, who had been taken out of their homeland and held as
captives in Babylon, would return to their land. The basis of his
prayer can be seen in verse 2:
" . . . I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the
word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of
Jerusalem would last seventy years’’.
The Lord had spoken right at the time when Judah had gone into
captivity that they would be in Babylon for 70 years (Jeremiah
25:11-12). Daniel, reading the Scriptures one day, came across that
promise and realized that the 70-year period was almost completed.
However, he didn’t just sit back and wait for God to do it. Daniel
began to PRAY that what God had promised would be fulfilled. The Lord
has chosen to give us the privilege and responsibility of being
involved with Him in His purposes on earth. Daniel lived to see his
• Effectual prayer, then, is prayer that is based on God’s Word. When
we know the promises that He has given, and understand His character
and the principles by which He works as revealed in His Word, we can
pray with confidence and authority, knowing that our prayers will be
• Seek God’s Prayer Plan for Your Life!
There are many levels of prayer. God knows exactly where each of us
are in our prayer life and our knowledge and understanding of prayer.
He will honor even the most pitiful prayer a person offers in faith,
if that is all they know to do. But He will not let us stay at that
He wants us to move to greater levels of understanding, faith, and
And the best way to progress is to simply say, "Lord, teach me to pray
powerful and effective prayers."
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