The Petition of a Righteous Man Availing Much in Its Working 


The Petition of a Righteous Man Availing Much in Its Working 

James 5:16b-18 The petition of a righteous man avails much in its working. Elijah was a man of like feeling with us, and he earnestly prayed that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth sprouted forth with its fruit.


The Petition of a Righteous Man Availing Much in Its Working

In 5:16b-18 James speaks of the operating petition of a righteous man. The prayer that Elijah prayed was great, for he prayed that it would not rain on earth for three years and six months. This is much greater than praying for the healing of a sick person. After three and a half years, Elijah prayed again, this time praying that heaven would give rain. The heaven gave rain, and the earth sprouted forth with its fruit. (Life-study of James, msg. 12)

A prayer from the Lord was given to Elijah in which he prayed. He prayed in the prayer and with the prayer given him by the Lord for the accomplishing of God’s will. Within our prayer there must be a prayer of Christ. Andrew Murray said that the best prayer is one in which Christ prays within us to the Christ in the heavens. By this kind of prayer, He has a way to flow out from within us. First, we will be watered, and then this water will flow out to others. (CWWL, 1965, vol. 2, “The Tree of Life,” ch. 12)

If We Pray for the Needs of Others,
God Taking Care of Our Needs

Abimelech needed Abraham’s intercession. If I had been Abraham, I might have said, “Abimelech, you ask me to pray for you. I have been praying for my wife for years without receiving an answer. Because of this, I’m not sure that God will answer my prayer for you and I don’t have the boldness to pray.” We need to forget about our unanswered prayers and pray for others. If we would not pray for others, God will probably not answer our prayers for our own needs. Do not say that since your own need has not been met, you cannot pray for others. When Abraham forgot his need and interceded for Abimelech and his house, not only were their needs met but also his. If you forget your need and pray for the needs of others, God will not only answer your prayer for them but also your prayer for yourself. He will take care of your needs. (Life-study of Genesis, msg. 55)

Being Stirred Up to Pray for the Churches
throughout the Earth and for All the Saints

We need a praying life. The real praying life is always a life of interceding. Genuine prayer is not mainly to pray for ourselves; it is continually to pray for others. We need to pray for the churches throughout the earth and for all the saints. We need to pray for the older ones, the younger ones, and the opposers. Day by day we need to pray not mainly for ourselves, but for others. We need such an interceding life. The intercession offered at the incense altar should daily be increasing.

May we all be stirred up to seek such an interceding life. When the churches and the saints pray with Christ, the life-giving Spirit will carry out whatever we pray, bringing Christ’s intercession to every place on earth related to God’s interests. (Life-study of Exodus, msg. 148)



Lord Jesus, give me the burden of prayer, so that I can pray earnestly. Reveal your will to me, and let me pray according to your will. Lord, I am willing to be a man of prayer, praying for the churches and for all the saints. Keep every brother and sister by your great power. Fulfill your will through my prayer.