A good friend of mine recently asked me to pray for something important in his life. He followed up his request by citing James 5:16, “the prayer of a righteous man has great power”. My first thought was, “Crap, I hoped he asked more people than just me.”
To give a little context: A while ago I asked another friend of mine (let’s call him Tim) to pray for me, citing the same passage. My thought was, “I know I’m not righteous, but my friend seems strong in his faith, I’ll ask him to pray for me.” And now, it appears that someone else is asking me the same thing. I’ll pray for him, of course, but I don’t know if I qualify.
And if I don’t think I qualify, I wonder what Tim thought when I asked him so long ago.
Apparently someone thinks I’m righteous (and, yes, I know that –through-the-work-of-Christ- God sees me as righteous, but that’s not what I mean). But I know what I do, and what I think, and what I feel when no one is watching. I know that sometimes I thirst for God, and a lot of times I just plain don’t.
If I want something from God I’ll ask him, but I’ll also ask someone who hangs out with him a little more than I do.
So what does it mean to be righteous? And how do we know?
Is Tim a righteous man? (I think, yes)
Am I? (my friend thinks so, I’m not convinced)
Is my friend?
Sometimes the Bible says that no one is righteous, sometimes it says that we are righteous because of Christ.
Does James just mean that anyone’s prayer is powerful?
Who do you ask to pray for you?
Who do you consider a righteous person?
What is your reaction when someone else alleges you to be righteous?