James 5:16 - “The fervent and effective prayer of a righteous man availeth much”
(fervent) - our part
(effective) - Our understanding of God’s Will
(prayer) - our choice to do
(righteous) - God’s part
Righteous = innocent/holy/just/right
Availeth = overcome with a forceful tide
Many of us struggle with the ground issue of Righteousness.
· Issues related to this such as:
· Feelings and inner impressions - I am not good enough
· If you don’t do it this way you are a failure
Often when we come face to face with Righteousness we will never come up to the standard.
· Righteousness comes from God and is put into us.
· It is not something we earn or come in to by doing all the right things.
Fervent and effective prayer is based on what our God given abilities are, the rest is what God does in us to be able to work through us. It is his ability and power displayed around us.
Rom.4:11 - Even David described the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.
James 2:23; Rom.4:6
· God’s investment of the knowledge of righteousness builds confidence to exercise Authority.
· When you feel unclean you don’t feel like you have much authority.
· Righteousness is a gift.
If we haven’t prayed for weeks do you realise it does not effect our righteousness.
· What diminishes is the tangible evidence of the power of God in our lives.
· Often God is holding out to us the gift of righteousness and we say “no thanks”.
It is not the issue of righteousness that gets effected, because work is already done, it is the flow of life that comes from righteousness that gets affected.
Our feelings of unrighteousness affect our desire to draw near to God
· Intimacy with God is the place of exchange for our old life for his life giving power.
Righteousness gives us the ability to have authority but intimacy is the place of empowering to exercise authority.
· As far as God is concerned we stand righteous
· One of the greatest concerns in the body, that I see, is the striving to please man, performing to look good and the wearing of masks that are bound with what we have achieved that are based on fantasy.
· Much of this striving is based in our brokenness - we cannot make us good.
· Jesus “No man that is good”
HOW TO GET BACK
1. Identify issues where you try and earn your own righteousness - REPENT
2. Identify triggers that make us behave in familiar habit patterns that make us behave to please man.
3. In the place of corporate anointing - exchange that which is unclean for that which is clean.
4. Personal prayer time (empowering) building intimacy with God.
Many struggle with finding God. He is out there - not in me!
Deliverance and breaking of bondages go hand in hand with restoration and choices to change our habit patterns.
POINTS FOR DISCUSSION
Rom.4:16; James 2:23; Rom. 4:6
· What does being righteous really mean to you personally?
· How do your feelings relate to the effectiveness of righteousness in your life?
· If Righteousness is a gift how do we receive it?
“The fervent effective prayer of a righteous man availeth much”
How important is the understanding of righteousness to our Authority.
Fervent = our choice
Effective = our knowledge of God’s Word (to know about Him)
Prayer = our action (to know him personally)
Righteousness = God’s action in us
Availeth = God’s victory through us
Much = God’s completion around us.
· What type of things keep us in the place of fervency?
· How does this effect your prayer life?
· What effect does the Word of God have on you?
-When you read it, memorise and declare it.
· How does this effect your desire for a prayer life?
· What effect does prayer have on the atmosphere around you?
· How does this effect the atmosphere around you?
· What did you mean when you said …
· Relate an experience about what you were saying
· What do some of you others feel about this issue?
If righteousness is a gift what is the feeling we often have when we feel far away from God?
· Sense of loss, loneliness, unclean, horrible.
What did you do to come back to God?
Keys to round up
Prayer and intimacy with God is the place of empowering us to do the will, purpose of God and the place of fulfilling his destiny. Righteousness is not effected by the lack of power it is a gift that is put in us by God.