The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Among the many stories about Alexander the Great, there is one about a philosopher who served in Alexander’s court. The philosopher possessed outstanding ability but he had very little money. He turned to Alexander for help. He soon received word to draw whatever he needed from the imperial treasury. And so off to the imperial treasurer he went.
However, when the philosopher submitted his request, the treasurer hesitated. He hesitated because the size of the philosopher’s request was about $100,000. Such a large request, the treasurer felt, had to go directly to Alexander for his approval. When it did, Alexander the Great delivered a memorable reply. “Pay the money at once,” he said. And then he gave the reason why. “The philosopher has done me a singular honor. By the largeness of his request, he shows that he has understood both my wealth and generosity.”
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective,” the Bible says. In other words, that person whom God has declared forgiven through faith in Christ—that person’s prayer to the Lord is powerful and effective. The power and effectiveness, however, do not come from the person doing the praying. Rather, the power and effectiveness come from the One who hears the prayer.
In Jesus, you and I stand forgiven of our every sin—including all the times we have dishonored our God with prayers that are milquetoast, perfunctory, timid. In Jesus, God covers us in the righteous life our Savior has lived on our behalf. And now, in this new and vibrant relationship we have with God, the Lord urges us to call on him in our day-to-day lives. He urges us to ask. He urges us to ask boldly. He urges us to ask big.
For when we do, we do him a singular honor. We demonstrate that we understand both his wealth and his generosity.
Lord God, you possess all things. Your generosity overflows. Move me to ask much from you. Amen.