TABERNACLE TEACHING SERIES
PRAYERS OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN”
James 5:16, “Confess
your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The
effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
is a very important Scripture in connection with having our prayers answered,
and answered prayer is one of the foremost goals in a Christian’s life. It is
one thing to pray, and multitudes do so, but it is quite another thing to pray
an EFFECTUAL prayer. That is, to pray a prayer that is EFFECTIVE, one that God
hears and answers. According to our Scripture, the first step toward praying
such a prayer is to humble ourselves by confessing our faults one to another. We
often feel quite comfortable confessing another person’s faults, but this is
not the command! We are told to confess OUR OWN FAULTS, and this can be a very
The next part of our Scripture admonishes us to pray one for another.
Usually, we waste no time praying for ourselves when adversity strikes,
but here we are told to be concerned and have compassion, for those around us
who are in a time of trouble.
Now, we are down to the part of our text Scripture that I would like to
base the sermon on. “The effectual, fervent prayer of a RIGHTEOUS MAN availeth much.” Very
few people that I have ever talked with like to open their mouth and confess,
“I am as RIGHTEOUS as God.” In fact, I have learned by experience that to
make such a confession brings about wrinkled brows and an embarrassing silence.
You can almost see the wheels turning beneath those brows as the thought crosses
their mind, “Who does this man think he is, do we have another man who
supposes he is Jesus Christ?”
No Friends, far be it from any man to think such a thing as that! Yet,
our text says that God listens to the prayers of a RIGHTEOUS MAN! And in Matt.
read, “But seek ye first the
But, we have no need to fear, Bride of Christ, for we read in Rom.
has offered us a free “Gift of Righteousness.” “For
if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive
abundance of Grace, and OF THE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS shall reign in life by One,
Jesus Christ.” We often say this Gift is free, and it is in one sense, yet
in another real sense, it will cost you your life in the world. Those people
with one foot in the Church and the other foot in the world will find it
impossible to believe they have been made as Righteous as God! The Revelation is
to the obedient, (John
One of the main Scriptures on which we base this teaching is II Cor.
He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, THAT WE MIGHT BE MADE THE
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM.” All Scriptures are powerful, but none in all
the bible is more powerful than this! To have been made as righteous as God,
Himself, while still here on Earth in flesh bodies, contains a powerful,
breath-taking truth! It means we are ready to be caught up in a Rapture, and
spend Eternity with our God! And this is true in spite of our failures in the
Now, if the task of making ourselves as Righteous as God had been
left up to us, and if God proclaimed all guilty and lost who failed in His Law,
then would all men be lost, and that without remedy. But thanks be to God, we
were not left to try and make ourselves Righteous; our God provided the remedy.
Before the world was ever formed, our Father knew that once we were sent into
the world and “Made subject to
vanity” (Rom. 8:20), that we would have “A
law in our members, warring against the Law of our mind, and bringing us into
captivity to the Law of sin which is in our members,” (Rom. 7:23)
(Rendered incapable of keeping the Law perfectly).
Our God, knowing that He would allow His Bride to be made “Partakers
of flesh and blood also, Himself likewise took part of the same; that through
death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” (Heb.
2:14) This was the remedy. Our God, whose Name is Jesus Christ, came down and
took part in the same kind of a flesh body you and I have, living in it for
thirty-three years, yet without sin. In God’s mind, it was perfectly LEGAL for
the One who made the Law of Sin and Death, to fulfill it in any way He chose.
God is free to form His own council, and make His own Laws, and who will accuse
Him of doing wrong? If God chose to live a perfect life in flesh such as ours,
then make us to benefit from it by offering us His Righteousness, who is the
man, or devil, who will set aside what He has done? Who can change “Thus
saith the Lord?”
QUOTE: THE FIRST SEAL, PAGE 129, “How can a man say that the
Bride of Christ goes into the Tribulation? I can’t understand it! She’s took
away from the Tribulation. If the Church has been judged, and they have judged
themselves and have accepted the Blood, how can God judge a man that is
perfectly, totally sinless? You say, ‘There is no such a person.’ Every
Born-Again Believer, true Believer, is perfectly, absolutely sinless before God.
He is not trusting in his works, but the Blood of Jesus that his confession’s
dropped into….The Bible says so. See?”
CONT. QUOTE: “I John 3:9, ‘He
that is born of God does not commit sin for he cannot sin.’ How can you
make a man a sinner when the bleach of the Blood of Jesus Christ is between him
and God? That would scatter sin ‘til there be nothing left of it. How can that
pure Blood of Christ ever let a sin pass there? He cannot.
Jesus said, ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.’
And how could we even start the thought of being perfect, but Jesus required
it. And if Jesus required it, he has got to make a way for it - and He has –
His Own Blood.” (End quote)
Were these only the thoughts of the man, William Branham, or did he
receive them from the Scriptures? He was quoting the Word of our God!
Rom.8:31-39, 31 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be
32 He spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how
shall He not with him also freely give us all things?”
33 Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s Elect? It is
God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather,
that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh
intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or
36 As it is written, for Thy sake we are killed all the day long;
we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through
him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels,
nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to
separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
notice particularly verses 38 and 39. “For
I am persuaded that neither death nor LIFE, nor angels, nor principalities, nor
powers, nor things present, nor things to come” Verse 39, “Nor
height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the
Love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Notice that Paul said our
LIFE cannot separate us from the Love of God! Do you see it friends? Our life in
these flesh bodies, with all our sins and failures, cannot separate us from the
Love of God! It was Himself that “MADE
US SUBJECT TO VANITY,” but it was also Him who set us free from it! Did He
fail in His Plan of Redemption? When we put on His Robe of Righteousness, is it
not enough? Has the Blood of His Cross lost its Power in this modern, evil day?
Has “Thus Saith the Lord” failed?
How dare the enemy bring such vile thoughts to a Born-Again Christian! As
the Scripture says, “Who does he think he is, trying to bring charges against
the Elect of God? God has justified us, and no devil, or group of devils, can
change it! We are not speaking of the plan of weak, frail man, but of the
Creator, who holds all of His Creation in the palm of His hand. Hear what He
said in Heb. 9:12, “Neither by
the blood of goats and calves, but BY HIS OWN BLOOD He entered ONCE into the
are ETERNALLY REDEEMED, safe under His Wings, on the way to Eternal Life, guilty
but innocent, washed in His Blood, made Holy and without blame before Him in
Love, as Righteous as God is, because He has made us so! Rejoice, Little Bride,
give glory unto the Eternal One, shout His praises for all ears to hear, lift
Him up that others may be drawn to His bleeding side. We haven’t much more
time to work, gross darkness covers the earth, work while there is a shaft of
light still left.
Back to the title of our sermon, “The Prayers of a Righteous Man.”
What a powerful revelation to understand that in the eyes of our Lord, we have
been made totally Righteous, Holy, and without blame before Him in Love! From
the platform of this mighty revelation, we are to pray, understanding that our
prayers have now become EFFECTIVE, and that they are availing MUCH with God.
There is no man that can understand “God’s Much”. It is too high for us,
but it is safe to say that His “MUCH” will be enough, as we pray “Thy
will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven.” (Matt. 6:10)
I have heard it said that to pray “Thy
will be done” shows a lack of faith on our part. There is no plan, or
thought of our own, that can improve on the perfect Will of God. We have been
taught that the first thought God had about any subject was the right one and
never needs to be changed. With a revelation in our hearts concerning the
Perfect Character of our Lord, we lose all fear of His will being done in any
situation. This is true because we know that His decision was made from His
storehouse of perfect wisdom, knowledge, and love. His love for us is perfect,
and therefore, His plan for us is perfect and is always for our spiritual good.
The Bride Revival that is now in progress is the result of the Bride
laying aside her own thoughts and plans and praying to be shown God’s perfect
will in every situation. That is to say, they are praying, “Lord,
Thy will be done.” Even the Lord Jesus, in His flesh body, did the same.
He said, “I only do what I see the
Father do.” Again He said, “My
meat is to do the will of the Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.”
Please note that I am not teaching that an individual who believes the
teaching of the Scriptures about healing should wonder whether or not God wants
to heal him. The Scriptures are very clear on this point. But, when it comes to
praying for another person, it is wise to be sure there is nothing in their life
to hinder God keeping His Word. In other words, there are times when God cannot
afford to heal, until certain things are moved out of the way, or made right!
The Lord never violates His own Word, and healing is for those who desire to
serve and obey Him. Otherwise, even if we are healed we will lose it! “Go
and sin no more lest a worse thing come unto thee.” (John 5:14)
A Christian who is walking in all the light God has given him, and who
constantly desires more Truth, with all his sins repented of and under the
Blood, does not have to wonder whether or not it’s God’s will to heal him.
To such a person our merciful Lord says, “Bless
the Lord, O my Soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgiveth all thine
iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases.” (Ps. 103:2-3)
Luke 11:1, “And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place, when
He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John
also taught his disciples.” In verse two Jesus said, “When ye pray, say Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy
Name, Thy Kingdom come, THY WILL BE DONE, AS IN HEAVEN, SO IN EARTH.”
wonder if we are aware of the depth of commitment it takes to pray such a
prayer? Do we understand that without a revelation of the perfect character of
our Lord, we will not, and cannot, turn all circumstances of our lives over to
Him? When our financial future seems to depend on a certain business venture
going well, can we give it to Him, and say, “Lord,
Thy Will be done?” When our theology
applecart has been turned upside down, and years of denominational church
teaching has been proven wrong, can we leave it all and say, “Lord,
Thy Will be done?” When a loved one is lying on a sick bed with a
dangerous disease, can we, with complete trust, turn them over to the One who
created them, and say, “Lord, you know the end from the beginning, you
therefore know what would be for the spiritual good of my loved one.” And
though we know that healing is the Children’s Bread, if more days of suffering
come, can we trust Him to have done the right thing? And what if He takes our
loved one on to their eternal reward, what then?
This has happened in this writer’s life several times, and I have been
left to ponder the situation with a very heavy heart. Dare we question the fact
that God’s will was done? If so, we question His Sovereignty, and can only
conclude that the enemy overruled Him! This we cannot do and retain our perfect
faith in our perfect God! Do we dare suppose that we can improve on the will of
God in ANY SITUATION? Born-Again people will surely answer, “Not so!”
Does it strike fear into our hearts to pray, “Lord, Thy Will be done in
my life, and in the lives of all those I pray for, including my own family?”
Surely, the flesh will draw back from anything that would cause it suffering,
yet from the depths of the New Soul there comes forth faith-knowledge that
cries, “He will do thee no harm.” (Gen. 18:25, “…….shall
not the Judge of all the earth do right?) He cannot do wrong, and though He
breaks our bones and our heart, He has done so in love, and for the good of all
And what good will it do us to pray for anything different than His Will?
For it is written, “……He worketh all things after the council of HIS OWN WILL.” (Eph.
1:11) Our God had an eternal purpose, which He purposed in Christ Jesus, our
Lord. (Eph. 3:11) therefore, as our Prophet declared, we do not pray to change
God’s mind. His mind does not need changing. His first thought (plan) was
perfect. We pray and study His Word until we can submit ourselves, our plans,
our loved ones, and all other things we pray about, into His all-knowing,
all-loving hands. It is then that, “The
prayers of a Righteous Man availeth much.”
There is a warning that must be heeded concerning the prayers of
Righteous People. Although, Mark
says, “Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray,
believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them,” we must not isolate
Scripture from other Scripture. True understanding of the Bible takes in all
that it says on a subject. For example the Scripture says in Rom.
the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities, for we know not what we should pray for
as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning
which cannot be uttered.”
the true teaching of Scripture is that our desires are granted to us by a loving
God only when they are in agreement with God’s desires, for He never gives us
what would be harmful to the Spiritual Man just to pacify our carnal desires. I
John 5:14, “And this is the
confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will,
He heareth us; Verse 15,
“And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the
petitions that we desired of Him.”
does not take away from the powerful fact that “The
effectual, fervent prayers of a Righteous man availeth much with God.” It
is only a safeguard in God’s Word that protects us from ourselves. Somewhere
around 35 years ago, this writer was preaching a meeting in
The situation turned rather comical when the Sister replied, “Brother
Wood, don’t you pray for us to get a mule, we want a new car.” I replied
that I could not pray with any faith for a new Oldsmobile, but if they would
agree, I could pray that the Lord meet their transportation need, and believe it
with all my heart. Finally, they agreed, and we prayed. I never knew what kind
of transportation the Lord furnished them, but I based my faith on His promise
to “Supply all your needs according to
His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)
When a RIGHTEOUS MAN prays and leaves it up to God to answer in His own
way, there will be no unanswered prayers. This is called “Commitment in its
final stage.” Amen!