(Ricky Scaparo) James 5:16-17 – 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. Elijah was a man with nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

The book of James gives us a key in the verse above on unlocking answered prayer. The bible says that “effectual” “fervent” prayer will avail much! Let’s dig deeper and see what these words mean. First off the word “Effectual” means it must be a pouring out of the heart to God, and it must proceed from a faith unfeigned and unwavering. Secondly, the word “Fervent in this passage actually means “Red Hot”. In other words, together we are talking about exhibiting prayer that is pouring from the heart and not rolling from the lips. One that is empowered by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

In my own prayer life I have experienced times of prayer and times of “Effectual” prayer, and I can tell you by experiencing that there is a vast difference when one is just praying with general prayers compared to when the anointing is present and the heart is bursting forth through “Red Hot” or fervent words that almost come flowing off of your tongue like hot embers before heaven.

Jeremiah 20:9 – Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not.

Another key to answered prayer is our standing with the Lord and if were in his will. The bible says the effectual prayer of the “Righteous” man avails much. This means our relationship with the lord. Check out the next verses below:

1 John 3:19-21 – And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.

1 John 5:14-15 – Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Notice from these verses that we must have a confidence in our walk with the Lord and our sins under the Blood of Jesus. Notice John said that our hearts should be “assured” before him and if it is, We will have confidence in our prayer life and walk in expectancy. However if we have unconfessed sin in our lives we will not have confidence in our own prayers thus they will not be “Effectual” and “Fervent”  by any means. This is why the Devil would love to keep believers under a heavy blanket of condemnation to keep them from having confidence in their own prayer life. However, we must be able to discern between condemnation and conviction.

If your sins have been confessed and are under the Blood of Jesus than you have moved from conviction to the area of condemnation. Remember the Holy Spirit leads us to conviction but Satan accuses us before the throne of God by continually condemning us of our past. Don’t mistake the difference between the two. Once you have been set free from sin you must continually be on guard because the enemy will attempt to try to pull you back into that old bondage again. Romans 8:2 – For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Galatians 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

And finally, James leaves us with an example of a man who possessed a lifestyle of an effective and fervent prayer life. He tells us that Elijah was a man with nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. Could you imagine having such a prayer life that you could release authoritative words into the Heavens that it actually manipulated the weather?

This is exactly the case with Elijah the Prophet. He intercedes and travailed in such effectual and fervent prayer that it shut the heavens from raining upon the earth for 42 months and then released it at this command. Do you believe we have this same capability with our prayer life? Remember even James said that Elijah was a man who had a “Nature” like ours but yet was able to possess such authoritative prayer. It’s time to stir ourselves up get back in our prayer closets and release something from our hearts and mouths that transform and change our circumstances around us!