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Power in Prayer

16 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).

A few days ago we learned that God hates it when we try and use him as a big vending machine
in the sky. He doesn’t like it when we try and barter with him or buy him off. He is not a
businessman with whom we can exchange goods and services. He is God. So if we think we
can use him to get sinful things, we will be sorely mistaken.

For example, example if you prayed that God would provide you with money so that you
could go and buy drugs, he’s not going to be very pleased about that (to say the least). That
prayer would not be according to his will. It would solely be according to your will. And where
our wills and God’s will don’t line up, he doesn’t hear our prayers.

But the kind of prayer that God loves to hear is the prayer of the righteousness. This does
not mean that you have to be perfectly righteous in order to pray. If that was the case you’d
never get started in prayer! What James means is that righteous person is one who has God’s
will in mind when they are praying. God loves to answer prayers that are full of his truth and his

For example, if we prayed that his name would be known in all the earth, God loves that
kind of prayer because it is perfectly aligned with his will according to his word. If you pray for
more boldness in sharing your faith, God loves that kind of prayer because it is perfectly aligned
with his will according to his word. You get the idea.

This is the sense in which our prayers have power.

We are also righteous because Jesus has been righteous for us. Because Christians are
“In Christ”, all that is Jesus’ is ours. So when we pray it’s as if God hears Jesus praying. We
come with that much of a welcome from him! Isn’t that great news!

Read 1 John 1:9
• How do we get cleansed of our unrighteousness?
• If one would like to be righteous, how does that happen?

Our Father, thank you that you have made us righteous in Christ and that you promise to hear the
prayers of the righteous. It is so good to know that we are not left alone there in the universe.
We have the God of all with us! May we continually rejoice in this reality. In Jesus’ name,