By Bailey Jarnagin

CLEVELAND, Ga (TMNews) – Jim Holmes, senior pastor of Helen First Baptist Church in Helen, Ga., encouraged students to embrace the power of prayer at Truett-McConnell College’s weekly chapel service on March 11.

A righteous man’s prayer

Holmes began his sermon by opening to James 5:13-18 to read what the Word of God says about the power of a righteous man’s prayer.

“When I find myself reminded that I have absolutely no ability to change a heart, or to change circumstance, or to change what’s been done, or to heal someone I love from the consequences that will surely unfold, I find myself over and over again thinking of James 5:16,” shared Homes.

He explained, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can indeed accomplish much in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Holmes pointed out that Christians tend to pray for bottom-shelf blessings instead of calling out to God for His best. “The Lord is calling us to pray for things that are literally in the realm of the apostle,” stated Holmes.

Jesus, the teacher

The book of James is a practical epistle, and the inclusion of prayer should thereby signify its usefulness. “Do you realize the only thing the disciples ever asked Jesus to teach them to do was pray?” questioned Holmes.

“In an academic institution there are lofty things to study. We study Christology and we study atonement and we study soteriology. There are all kinds of theologies that will captivate us, but I wonder if we ever think about Jesus being the one who prayed.”

Holmes continued, “If I really want to be like Christ, I have to back up and say aside from all the academics, I need to become like Christ in the sense that I will pray.”

Holmes listed some of the passions that make up a person’s life. “In all the passions of your life, where is prayer?” inquired Holmes.

Faith in the impossible

When considering this passage in James, it is important to note that effective prayer comes from a righteous man. Holmes explained, “Confession is what I do; righteousness is what God does.”

“It would only make sense when I’m overwhelmed with the reality of the imputed righteousness of God in my life that I would want to be as clean and close and pure as I possibly can be,” declared Holmes.

“Stay clean and close and pure because that is what makes prayer powerful. It is the position that we have been imputed to possess.”

As James 5:16 teaches about how much prayer can accomplish, Holmes asked his audience if they had experienced the great potential of prayer.

“I think James is trying to cast our vision outward and upward,” elaborated Holmes. “If you and I believe that the Lord conquered sin and death and the grave, is there anything on the table that Jesus Christ can’t do?”

Holmes concluded by issuing an altar call for those desiring to enter the throne room of the Lord in prayer: “The effective prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much. Nothing is impossible with God.”


Bailey is a senior English major and a freelance writer for the college.


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