James makes an amazing statement about prayer.
“The prayer of a righteous man is effective and accomplishes much.”
He illustrates that power by reminding us of Elijah who prayed and it stopped raining. For three years.
James also makes it clear however that not all prayers are effective.
He identifies three kinds of prayers that God will not answer.
1. The prayers of a double-minded man.
“Let not that man expect that he will receiving anything from the Lord.” 1:7
2. The prayers of a self-willed man.
“You ask and you do not receive because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your own pleasures.” 4:3
3. The prayers of an unrepentant wicked man.
Note the qualifier in the following verse,
“The prayers of a righteous man are effective . . .” 5:16