“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. James 5:16b AMP
When a righteous man prays a continued, earnest, heartfelt, prayer, there is a tremendous power that is released – a dynamic active power that effectively goes to work – producing the desired result. If you want your prayers to be answered, there are a few things that you must do to ensure the desired result – you must walk righteously before the Lord, you must pray sincerely and fervently and you must pray according to God’s will.
1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 when you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:1-3 NIV
James tells you that you don’t have the things that you want, because you have not asked God for them. Many times, people do terrible things to each other, because instead of looking to the Father as their source and supply, they look to get things from other people. They are jealous over their neighbor’s stuff and they covet it. They see it, they want it and they go to help themselves to it – instead of working for their own stuff or asking for it from the Lord. Christians, especially have no business coveting and fighting over their neighbor’s stuff – they should know where to go to get it – from God. And when you do ask for stuff, make sure that you ask with the right motive. Your heart must be yielded to the Lord – He is not your servant, but He is your Master! Don’t ask for selfish things that only gratify your own flesh. God will bless you, but He expects you to be a blessing to others, too.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 NIV
Don’t worry! Ask your Father! In everything by prayer and petition and supplication – let God know what it is you want. When you get to heaven, you cannot go to God to complain about all the things that He never gave you that you never asked for! If you ask correctly, then He will answer. He will give you the things that you ask for in faith. You must persist in your faith and your asking as if you expect an answer and you will get one.
7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. Matthew 6:7-8 NKJV
Being persistent in your heart and your faith and your prayers is not the same as praying the same thing over and over and over and over. Jesus tells you not to use vain repetitions like the heathen do – saying the same words over and over. The heathen think that God will hear them and answer them if they say the same thing enough times, but whether they realize it or not, they are trying to manipulate God and He doesn’t respond to manipulation. God responds to our faith and our obedience. Most of the time people try to get God to do things for them, but they don’t want a relationship with Him. However, God wants us to build a relationship with Him first and foremost. He knows what you need before you ask and the moment you ask Him correctly, He moves to bring the answer to your prayer to you.
18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. 1 John 3:18-24 NIV
How do you know if God is listening to your prayers? If your heart is right with God, then His Word says that He hears your prayers. If you have a relationship with God and His Spirit lives in you, then your heart will keep you in line and make sure that you have a good attitude and that you stay willing and obedient. Sin negatively affects your relationship with the Father. If your heart convicts you of sin, then you know that it is time to repent before you come to God to ask for anything. If your heart is at peace with God, then you can boldly come into His presence to ask for what you need. First you obey, then you ask and then you receive.