Prayer Walking for Your City

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

This is a phrase that originates in the King James version of James 5:16.

The two words, “effectual” and “fervent,” are actually translated from a single Greek word, energeo (ἐνεργέω), a cousin to our word for “energy.” Generally speaking, it conveys the idea of “energizing,” similar to an electrical current that brings energy to a circuit.

When applied to the passage, this suggests a type of prayer that is “passionate, heartfelt, heated, persistent” and so forth. The Amplified Bible, renders it another way that’s especially illuminating: “The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]” (James 5:16 TAB).

This is the type of prayer that changes cultures. Heartfelt persistent praying will transform and change our culture.

I’m reminded of two incidents that have made a dramatic difference in our state and community.

A few years ago, SEAPC Pray Americas focused on our state capitals. There were just a few of us who made the trek down I-71 to Columbus to pray for our state. We released our faith in fervent prayer that things would change in Ohio, we stood on God’s promises, and believed that our State would began to change for the better. Now, two years later, Ohio’s government has passed laws that are pointing the state towards a culture of life. Effectual, fervent prayer was the difference.

My second recollection was an Attack Lambs Seminar in Youngstown led by Matt Geppert that caused us to hit the streets of Youngstown and ask for the rebuilding of the ancient ruins. We have seen Youngstown’s transformation begin at the University and we’re believing that this transformation will continue throughout the region.

Yes, prayer is the answer for societal transformation. Be fervent about your prayer life.

About the Author

Jeff Swogger

Pastor Jeff Swogger is a longtime friend of SEAPC from Youngstown, OH where he pastors the Wisdom Center of Greater Youngstown.