The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results, but what do we expect wonderful results to be? And are we willing to let God prune, correct, and challenge us into becoming a righteous person and trust him to develop our prayer lives so that they are earnest?
Other translations express the same thought as
- The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
- The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
- The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.
We get focused on the results of the phrase instead of the process.
Earnest and righteous are essential components of the process. And the prayer portion itself is active. It seems obvious, but we actually have to develop the relationship and talk with God.
Even the sentence before sets the tone: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
Well, guess what that means? It’s not just about us. We need to be humbly positioned to do life well with others. We need to live authentically.
The point isn’t the “wonderful results.” The point is our focus. Who are you becoming? With whom are you doing life? How are you approaching (or ignoring) God?
Your answers and your choices matter.