Our Prayers Will Not Avail Much Until We’re In Right Standing With God!

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New Heart English Bible).

The focus on prayer as the key to unlocking divine blessings and securing God’s favour has never been more intense among Christians than now. Prayer chains abound that are aimed at promoting the interest of the church and subduing the powers of darkness. There’s no doubt prayer is an effective tool for getting supernatural help from the omnipotent God. However, it appears that the volume and intensity of our prayers are not being matched with commensurate results. Why do a lot of prayers go unanswered? Why do we struggle in securing heaven’s powers and support towards our cause, though we pray fervently and ceaselessly? We shall examine the Scriptures to understand an important reason why many prayers do not receive answers from God.

James 5:13 Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praises.

James 5:14 Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord,

James 5:15 and the prayer of faith will heal him who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.

James 5:17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.

James 5:18 He prayed again, and the sky gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit.

The Apostle James made the point clear that prayer can only be effectual when it’s offered by a righteous person. Only the insistent prayer of a righteous man is powerfully effective. The corollary is true—the prayer of an unrighteous man, even if fervent and insistent, can never be effective. No wonder the apostle took time to instruct us to confess our sins first before we embark on communicating with God in prayers, as sin is a powerful obstacle to prayer. Sin readily blocks access to God and shuts his ears to our prayers and restrains his powers from working for us. Sin makes us enemies of God, for God is holy and cannot behold iniquity. Iniquity creates a chasm between us and God and hinders communion and fellowship with him. If we’re not right with God, we cannot expect God to be right by us in our hour of need. Two cannot walk together except they agree, like the Prophet Amos told us. That’s exactly the view of the Prophet Isaiah when he observed how the people had turned prayer into a fruitless ritual by their hypocrisy and wickedness. They were praying much and intensely, but weren’t making any headway with God. The prayer of an unrighteous man is simply a waste of time, because God is not moved in any way by it!

Amos 3:3 Do two walk together, unless they have agreed?

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it can’t save; neither his ear heavy, that it can’t hear:

Isaiah 59:2 but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

Isaiah 59:3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue mutters wickedness.

Isaiah 59:4 None sues in righteousness, and none pleads in truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.

Isaiah 59:5 They hatch adders’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he who eats of their eggs dies; and that which is crushed breaks out into a viper.

Isaiah 59:6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.

Isaiah 59:7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their paths.

Isaiah 59:8 The way of peace they do not know; and there is no justice in their goings: they have made them crooked paths; whoever goes therein does not know peace.

Isaiah 59:9 Therefore is justice far from us, neither does righteousness overtake us: we look for light, but, behold, darkness; for brightness, but we walk in obscurity.

Isaiah 59:10 We grope for the wall like the blind; yes, we grope as those who have no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the twilight; among those who are lusty we are as dead men.

Isaiah 59:11 We roar all like bears, and moan bitterly like doves: we look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.

Isaiah 59:12 For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and as for our iniquities, we know them:

Isaiah 59:13 transgressing and denying the LORD, and turning away from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.

Isaiah 59:14 Justice is turned away backward, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and uprightness can’t enter.

Isaiah 59:15 Yes, truth is lacking; and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.

Isaiah 59:16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his own arm brought salvation to him; and his righteousness, it upheld him.

Isaiah 59:17 He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; and he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a mantle.

Isaiah 59:18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, wrath to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompense.

Isaiah 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come as a rushing stream, which the breath of the LORD drives.

James 4:1 Where do wars and fightings among you come from? Do not they come from your pleasures that war in your members?

James 4:2 You lust, and do not have. You kill, covet, and cannot obtain. You fight and make war. You do not have, because you do not ask.

James 4:3 You ask, and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it for your pleasures.

James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

James 4:5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit which He made to dwell in us yearns jealously”?

James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:7 Be subject therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

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.

James 4:9 Lament, mourn, and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you.

The Bible teaches that righteousness exalts a nation, while sin brings disgrace to people. Thus, to access God’s presence and find help in time of need, we must be in right standing with God. First and foremost, only faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice at Calvary can usher us into God’s presence, for only his blood sanctifies and confers on us the righteousness of God. Next, while in Christ, we must continually renounce sin and pursue after righteousness and godliness, as God enables us by his grace. The grace of God is to prevent us from sinning, but if we do sin, we should readily confess our sins and ask for forgiveness, applying the blood of Christ for cleansing, in order to maintain our right standing with God and access into his presence. It’s as we confess our sins and pray for one another that we receive God’s healing. That’s when our insistent prayers become powerfully effective.

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.

Romans 5:1 Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;

Romans 5:2 through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, new things have come.

2 Corinthians 5:18 But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation;

2 Corinthians 5:19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:20 We are therefore ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,

Titus 2:12 instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world;

Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ;

Titus 2:14 who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works.

1 John 1:5 This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not tell the truth.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.

In conclusion, prayer is a means of communicating with God and supplicating his help in our times of need. However, our prayers can be in vain and fruitless, if we approach God the wrong way. For prayer to be effective, we must be in right standing with God, for only the insistent prayers of a righteous man are guaranteed to be effective. Therefore, as we run to God for help in times of need, we must take care to ensure our prayers are not in vain. God is not moved by how much we shout or repeat ourselves in prayer, for he’s not deaf. His hands are not shortened that he cannot save us. Only our unrighteousness can hinder him from undertaking for us. But the blood of Jesus Christ is available to grant us access into God’s presence and secure his favour. Let’s then sanctify our hearts with the blood of Christ and keep ourselves free from iniquity, so that our prayers can be effective. We should not only pray long and ceaselessly, but more importantly, we should pray aright, in right standing with God.

Happy new year and many thanks for visiting the blog. We hope you were blessed by the message. We’d love to have your feedback on this and other articles on the blog. You can also follow us to have new posts sent directly to your inbox. God bless you!

Published by Dr. Ndubuisi Emmanuel Ojo

Dr Ojo is a Biblical scholar and teacher who believes firmly in the original Apostolic faith as the only authentic version of Christianity, and the only legitimate basis for Christian doctrine and conduct.

3 thoughts on “Our Prayers Will Not Avail Much Until We’re In Right Standing With God!

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