Whether your ministry is taking off, or just starting, it’s important for you to know if you’re heading in the right direction. You have been given an awesome responsibility and opportunity to lead your ministry. You should be intentional in your prayers, as to your ministry being led in the direction of righteousness. It is up to you to be prayerfully ready for whatever things that might develop. Consider the scripture that addresses intentional prayer.
King James Bible, James 5:16b
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
The wording of the King James Bible translation, “effectual,” as rendered by Barnes’ Notes On The Bible, is very compelling.
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
The effectual fervent prayer – The word effectual is not the most happy translation here, since it seems to do little more than to state a truism – that a prayer which is effectual is availing – that is, that it is effectual. The Greek word (ἐνεργουμένη energoumenē) would be better rendered by the word energetic, which indeed is derived from it. The word properly refers to that which has power; which in its own nature is fitted to produce an effect. It is not so much that it actually does produce an effect, as that it is fitted to do it. This is the kind of prayer referred to here. It is not listless, indifferent, cold, lifeless, as if there were no vitality in it, or power, but that which is adapted to be efficient – earnest, sincere, hearty, persevering. There is but a single word in the original to answer to the translation effectual fervent. Macknight and Doddridge suppose that the reference is to a kind of prayer “inwrought by the Spirit,” or the “inwrought prayer;” but the whole force of the original is expressed by the word energetic, or earnest.
I think that you will find that “effectual and fervent prayer” must be a an indispensable part of any ministry, and must be ingrained in the mind of every ministry leader. Consider the following ideas that relate to disciplines of prayer that should be embraced by ministry leaders.
A few years ago, I went to the home and ministry quarters a of well-known personality whose family was also known for its ministry accomplishments. The property is located in the southeastern part of the United States Of America, and is about sixty miles away from the Atlantic Ocean. As I walked from building to building, and from room to room, I noticed a room that was not used by anybody, except for the ministry leader. That particular room was located on the upper level of a ministry building. It was used only for the personal prayer times of that ministry leader, who went there daily for uninterrupted prayer; no one was allowed to interrupt. The room was a safe place for prayer. It had no tv sets, radios, or any other types of media devices. There were only Bibles and other Christian resource materials in the room, other than furnishings. The purpose of the room was prayer, and nothing else but prayer.
It is my belief that if you are leading a ministry, or if you are considering whether you should, or should not, lead a ministry, you should consider setting aside a time and place for your regular and uninterrupted prayer. You should make it a discipline that can not be, and will not be, interrupted. You may have been reading my discussions that deal with the value and respect for the Lord’s Sabbath. I think that you should take that Sabbath time away from the prayer discipline and allow yourself to be refreshed from your prayer vigils. Prayer can be exhausting, so it should not be something that could take away from your freshness of intimacy with God. I think that you should use Friday’s Day of Preparation (John 19:14, Friday morning until Friday sunset), to prayerfully prepare for the Lord’s Sabbath (Friday sundown until Saturday sundown). I also think that you should use Sunday, the Lord’s Day, as a time of soul rest away from your prayer discipline. The type of prayer that I am suggesting, can be very fatiguing, and may become exhaustive spiritual warfare. But, I think that you will be able to realize a vast harvest of spiritual fruit if you continue in your prayer disciplines. Please consider the following prayer verses, and prayers of Jesus. The result of such prayer disciplines should be for you to become totally sold out to the intimate words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:10, “that I may know Him … and the power of His resurrection … and the fellowship of His sufferings … being conformed to His death.” You might consider using my writing of “Knowing God”(050214), as being a refresher for this verse (Philippians 3:10).
As it relates to “effectual and fervent prayer,” let’s consider corresponding prayers of Jesus. As you read the Lord’s prayers, read them as if you have never read them before. Look for pearls of wisdom from our Lord’s words. Don’t use cross references. Ask for God to lead you into an intimate relationship of understanding in each of the prayers. There are fourteen prayer scriptures that I am suggesting; read one of them each day over a two week period. Repeat them until you are fully aware of the spiritual meaning of each passage. The longest of the prayers is that of John 17:1-26. That passage contains many pearls of wisdom, so don’t rush through it. Examine and inspect each verse of the text. Especially in John 17:1-26, assume that you know nothing of the Lord’s teaching. Allow His Spirit to lead you as you prayerfully consider the truths of the passage deeply into your soul. John 17:3 should be a verse for you to commit to memory. It contains a Biblical text book definition of eternal salvation.
John 17:3, New American Standard Bible
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Now, let’s go to our Lord Jesus in worship and praise.
Revelation 4:11 – New International Version
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”