James 5:16: Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
I believe we have three problems with getting our prayers answered. The first one is confessing our sins one to another. We all know that if we have unconfessed and unforgiven sin our prayers are not answered.
Psalm 66:18: If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
I am blessed to have some people in my life that I can confess to but it is more important that I confess my sins to the Lord.
1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The second problem with getting our prayers answered is that word fervent. In my prayers I often get stuck without fervency. I believe the passage indicates fervency is helpful in getting the answers to prayer. Several dictionaries were unhelpful in defining that word. To me it means hot, excited, eager, anxious, urgent, sincere, whole-hearted. never-quit praying.
We are promised the Holy Spirit*s help in what we pray.
Romans 8:26: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
I believe the word groanings would show there is fervency in what the Holy Spirit prays. I believe He will also help us to be fervent about the right things. I believe Jesus* prayers and the Holy Spirit*s prayers were and are always fervent. Ours are not always fervent.
As I get older I don*t want to be fervent about anything. Especially not things that others want me to be fervent about. It is probably true that most things that other people want us to get excited about are not worth getting excited about. We want to pick and choose what we get excited about. We don*t want to waste energy on other people*s causes. We believe other people make mountains out of mole-hills. We all have our little pet things that we do get excited about.
Are we fervent about what the Lord wants us to be fervent about?
The third problem with getting our prayers answered is a simpler one -- we don*t pray.
Have You Prayed Today? By Clyde Fleming
Prayers can*t be answered unless they are prayed: