“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him” (Ephesians 3:12). These verses speak of coming to God boldly with our pressing needs, which pleases him.

When God tells us to come to his throne boldly, with confidence, it is not a suggestion. It’s his preference, and it is to be heeded. So, where do we obtain this boldness, this access-with-confidence, for prayer?

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). The word “effectual” here comes from a Greek root word that means “a fixed position.” It suggests an unmovable, unshakeable mindset. Likewise, “fervency” speaks of a boldness built on solid evidence, absolute proof that supports your petition. Together these two words—effectual fervency”—mean coming into God’s court fully convinced that you have a well-prepared case. It is beyond emotions, loudness, pumped-up enthusiasm.

Such prayer can only come from a servant who searches God’s Word and is fully persuaded that the Lord is bound to honor it. Indeed, it is important that none of us goes into God’s presence without bringing his Word with us. The Lord wants us to bring his promises, remind him of them, bind him to them and stand on them.

We see this demonstrated in Acts 10, when Peter was given a vision. God told the apostle, “Some men are coming to your door, and they will ask you to go with them. I have sent these men, Peter, so I want you to go with them, doubting nothing.”

What does this passage tell us? It says that when God has declared something to be true, we are to believe and stand on it, without consulting our flesh. We simply cannot measure the reliability of God’s Word by examining our situation or our worthiness. If we do, we’ll end up only seeing that we’re unworthy. And we’ll talk ourselves out of claiming his Word and appropriating it.

Moreover, we have been given help to approach God’s throne of grace. The Bible says we are petitioners at his throne, and that Christ is there as our intercessor or advocate. We also have the Holy Ghost standing beside us in the Father’s court. The Spirit is our “paraclete,” one who serves as our advisor. He stands by to remind us of the eternal decrees and divine constitution that make up God’s Word.

And so we have these incredible, promises—of an advocate and an advisor, standing beside us—to give us boldness and assurance in coming to God’s throne.