If I regard iniquity in my heart,The Lord will not hear.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
God will hear, and afflict them,Even He who abides from of old. Selah Because they do not change, Therefore they do not fear God.
Last night I was writing about listening. I used this scripture from James. Everyone who has every taught, preached, ranted, written or studied about prayer has quoted “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” We always talk about how our prayers need to be fervent. And they should. Our prayers should be passionate and from the heart. No matter how effective and fervent our prayers are, if we are not righteous (in right standing with God) then those prayers will not be heard.
To take it a step farther, many of us (most people have done this at least once) will get ourselves right but then we don’t really change. It is a temporary change so our prayers will be heard but once the prayers are answered we go right back to what we were doing in the past.
If you truly want God to hear your prayers, you must pursue righteousness as a lifestyle. We must become as passionate about being righteous as we are about praying fervently.