Brothers | Every Season | Being Righteous
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)
Do you cringe every time you read the word “righteous” in the Bible? When we think of “righteous,” we might picture a holy man on a hilltop who has never even swatted a bug. Or we imagine Jesus: pure, strong, and pleasing God in everything He did. Then we read verses like the one above and remember that last fight with our spouse, our crummy attitude at work, or the secret sin we hope no one ever finds out about. If we have to be righteous for our prayers to have power, we’re all in trouble.
So we’d better define “righteous” before we give up on praying. In God’s book, righteousness is a posture of the heart, not a record of our deeds. David was called “righteous” even though he sinned big time (think: Bathsheba, adultery, murder). But he also repented big time. We become righteous the moment we bow before the cross and repent of our sin. When we accept Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, God erases our sin and puts the righteousness of Jesus on us. With a freshly-scrubbed heart, we learn to live in an ongoing state of repentance. The righteous are determined to obey God, even though we mess up a lot. When we keep our sins confessed, our hearts humble, and our compass set toward following Jesus, we rest comfortably in the knowledge that God calls us “righteous.” We can pray bold prayers knowing that they are powerful and effective.
Final Thought: God considers you righteous when the posture of your heart is toward obedience.
Prayer: Father, I can’t come to you because of my own righteousness. It counts for nothing. Your Son did it all for me and I come to you dressed in His righteousness. Keep my heart in a posture of obedience so my prayers are powerful. Amen.