“…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” – James 5:16b
Our theme scripture highlights a number of things. It teaches us about the power resident in the man in Christ, the effect of his prayer, the role his righteousness status plays in prayer etc.
But what we’ll like to focus on is the concept of prevailing prayer and the power thereof.
First, the word ‘availeth’ in our opening scripture is the Greek word ‘ischuō’ which means to prevail. It was the same word used in the popular Acts 19:20.
In explaining the power generated from prayer, the Apostle James draws a real life narrative from the life of Elijah.
“Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.”
Apostle James uses Elijah’s experience in 1 Kings 18 to teach us on prevailing prayer. However, there isn’t much detail in James 5:16, its pretext or post text that helps drive the concept of prevailing prayer.
As a student of the word, this should lead you to the old testament text that Apostle James referenced.
What communicates prevailing prayer by mere seeing that Elijah prayed and there was no rain, and he prayed again and there was rain? 1 Kings 18:42-43 might have the answer.
“So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,  And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, GO AGAIN SEVEN TIMES.”
1 Kings 18:42-43
Wow! Just wow! Elijah had prayed that there will be no rain and it didn’t rain for three and a half years. Now, it was time to call forth rain.
He prayed and the bible tells us that nothing happened, initially. He sent his servant to check for any sign of rain by looking toward the sea, and seven times, the response was in the negative.
This didn’t discourage Elijah. He maintained purpose and focus in spite of the contradicting evidences. This is what it means to prevail in prayer. You pray until the truth of God’s word beats the facts around you.
Verse 44 and 45 reveals what happened afterwards.
“And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a GREAT RAIN. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.”
1 Kings 18:44-45
This is what it means to prevail in prayer! You stick with what God has said until you see it manifest.
As you fast today, prevail in prayers.