But that aside, after studying the passage some, I've come to the
conclusion that prayer, in James's view, is not infinitely powerful,
but merely powerful enough so that it can succeed in doing quite a bit.
Moreover, he seems to conditionalize that by saying that a person
who lives an upright (traditionally "righteous") life style has more
suasion with the Almighty than does a person of characterized by
less uprightness. And finally, that prayer -- viewed as an appeal
to God -- has its effect by working inwardly, on the inside of people
and/or events, rather than by a kind of "deus ex machina" descending
from the rafters.
And from Don Wilkins:
> ... The literal Greek is something like "the prayer of
> a righteous man (or person), being effective (set into action), is able (or
> powerful) in respect to much". The word "much" is loosely covered in the
> NIV's "powerful and effective", though the translation does not really ac-
> count for it (e.g. the NIV's version probably wouldn't be different if "much"
> were not it the Greek). The Greek "being effective" is more of an adverbial
> idea--when (if) the prayer is put into action--than an adjective.
I am away from my Greek text, but isn't "being effective" a present
participle, implying continuing (or at least simultaneous) action?
This was my thought when I inserted the "[as it keeps] working inwardly"
-- the idea being that the effect of the prayer is ongoing on
an unseen level.
So Brent, less literally, but how about
A prayer of an upright person can accomplish quite a bit as
it keeps working on an unseen level.
James H. Vellenga | email@example.com
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