Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
– James 5:16 (ESV)
I did a little bit of research on the word translated “righteous” in James 5:16b. The word is “dikaiou” (Î´Î¹ÎºÎ±Î¯Î¿Ï…) and it is an adjective. I found out that it means . . . righteous.
It also is sometimes translated “just”, meaning “without prejudice or partiality”.
Digression question: have I spent a waking moment of my lifetime without prejudice or partiality?
But, bottom line, it means what it says. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
I feel like I’ve been praying with more fervency lately – but still not nearly enough as I need to. I’m not sure I’m praying well; vain repetition is my wont. Yet there are so many people, starting with my family, that come to mind and my prayers multiple times a day these days.
Prayer, frankly, is a scary thing. We don’t know what is unleashed when we pray. James 5:16 says that the prayer of a righteous person has great power. And yet tonight my mind finds itself set on earthly things and my internal motivations seem laid bare. I wonder where I stand in the righteousness spectrum; in the scarlet darkness of false righteousness or in the dazzling, clear light of Jesus. Somewhere closer to the former is my guess. And my shame.
But I am commanded to pray. The context in James 5:16 holds the promise of healing when we pray, and of resulting righteousness, and resulting power. God is so good! I believe that heaven moves at times when we pray, and that mountains are flung into the sea and that powers and principalities and people and things are bound and loosed. And so I will pray, as my day goes and I move about in this world. And may God restore and revive and hold safe these precious ones on my heart, and may we all one day see the hand of God moving and energizing our prayers; may we see the grace that was endowed on others as we lifted them up, and – humbling and blessed sight! – may we someday, when we’re home, see the prayers of those dear souls, best of friends even if unknown to us, who lifted us up to God. And may we see the resulting flood of grace that covered us.