James 5:16 NIV
A whole book could be written on these two sentences. Since I don’t have that kind of time and space we’ll focus on the second part of this verse. There are three aspects to this second half. First there is prayer, second there is the origin of the prayer (a righteous person), and third there is the impact of the prayer (powerful and effective). Prayer itself is the proper subject here.
There is an assumption by James that people pray. There is an assumption that prayer is a part of a believer’s life. This prayer that James is referring to is simply a communication with God. Make no mistake, it is a two-way conversation. We speak to God, but we also need to be listening to God. In our culture we are taught that the loudest person is the best communicator. Through the Bible we are taught that those who are quiet and still and listen to God are the ones who are the best “communicators.” We need to listen as well as we speak.
A lot of us (I bet most of us) are really good at talking to God. We are good at sharing our concerns, wants, and needs with God. But are we good at listening to God? Listening is the second half of prayer - without if we are not praying. We are doing something, but it is not properly called prayer. It is talking AT God; it is not having a conversation with Him.
Today - let’s have conversation with God. Let’s listen as well as we talk. Let’s make sure our prayers are “powerful and effective!” I’ll be praying for you - please be praying for me . . .