James 5:16 is one of the greatest promises in Scripture that seeking God in prayer is never in vain: “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” The word “effective” conveys the idea that true prayer must be earnest and fervent. That does not come naturally to human nature. In order to pray in a manner acceptable to God is no easy thing. We must use much diligence to prepare and stir up our hearts to the duty of prayer. David tells us how he prepared his heart: “To you O Lord, I lift up my soul” (Psalm 25:1). Our affections must be lifted up above the ordinary concerns of life, to fervently desire to be in God’s presence. The best preparation for that is filling our hearts with His promises. Our faith is weak, we will not persevere in prayer without much labor. The Bible compares effective prayer with wrestling. We must also be assured that prayer is not in vain. This is the means God has appointed for receiving the greatest blessings. Just consider what the Scripture ascribes to faith and prayer! Prayer seeks wonderful blessings from the throne of grace, and faith receives them. The example of Elijah follows in James 5:17-18. The point is that if Elijah, a man with the same weak nature we all have, obtained such great answers to his prayers, so may we. There may be less of the miraculous in our answers, but there will be as much of grace.