The bible teaches us that:
James 5: 16 “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” NIV or “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” NKJ
Righteous means “in right standing with God”. We are only righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ because “without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin” Hebrews 9:22 “so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many” v 28 “ For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” 10:14
Amen and praise God for the righteousness we have through Christ.
2 Chronicles 7: 14/15” if My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place”.
Psalm 24: 3 & 4 “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord. Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false”
Before we start to pray – let the Holy Spirit give us a spiritual MOT so that we can be confident that God will hear us.
Step 1: Take a step nearer to God: Confess and repent over any obvious sin in our lives which we know is displeasing to God.
James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to You. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded”
Step 2: Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to search us and reveal anything (i.e. hidden sin/wrongful attitudes/things which take the place of God in our lives (idols)) which may be a barrier between us and God. The Word says that we can deceive ourselves into thinking everything is ok which is why we have to humble ourselves under God’s hand and allow the Holy Spirit to search us.
Psalm 139:23 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Step 3: Don’t rush – Be Still and Listen to His still small voice – Take time over this – Don’t be surprised if when you start developing your prayer life you spend a lot of time initially in these stages – It’s all about preparation and softening our heart before God and developing our relationship with Him. That is REVIVAL.
Psalm 51v10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me”
Step 4: Repent over any other sins which the Holy Spirit has revealed in this quiet time. Repentance is when we:
a) Renounce the sin and decide to turn away from it; and
b) Submit that area of weakness to God. Allow God to let you grow in obedience in that area according to His Word (be teachable).
Step 5: Receive – RECEIVE HIS FORGIVENESS through Christ our High Priest. Jesus said “Ask and you will receive” – We know God’s nature is merciful and he is just waiting to pour out His forgiveness on us.
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days say the Lord “ I will put my Laws into their hearts and in their minds I will write them then He adds “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” Hebrews 10: 16/17
Step 6: Ask God to refresh and refill you and pour out His Holy Spirit upon you.
Remember the Holy Spirit brings conviction of sin not condemnation. Condemnation is not from God – it is from satan. Conviction is to help us become more Christ like. We are a work in progress and God knows our weaknesses but that it is not an excuse to do what we please and blame our flesh. Christ has given us every thing we need to overcome temptation and the flesh.
Christ said “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jn 16:33
1 John 5:4 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God”
Jesus through his death on the cross and resurrection has equipped us to overcome our flesh and weaknesses through submission to him.
Once our hearts are ready then we can know that “if our hearts do not condemn us then we have confidence before God ” 1 John 3: 21 and “this is the confidence we have in Him, if we ask anything according to His Will then he hears us”. 1 John 5:14. Hallelujah and Praise God.
We’re ready to pray according to His will…..Prayer – Prayerful Confession part 2