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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Effectual Prayer

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is the rendering of an expression which occurs James 5:16 : "The effectual fervent (ἐνεργουμένη) prayer of a righteous man availeth much." The verb ᾿ενεργέω (the root of the English energy), thus translated, signifies to work in, produce, effect (intransitively, Matthew 14:2; Mark 6:15; or transitively, 1 Corinthians 12:6; Galatians 3:5; Ephesians 1:11; Philippians 2:13; or in the "middle voice," Romans 7:5; 2 Corinthians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 4:12; Galatians 5:6; Ephesians 3:20; Colossians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 2:13;. 2 Thessalonians 2:7). The participle here, if regarded as used in a neuter sense, adjectively, would signify operative, effective, and such is the interpretation of most commentators (see Wolffi Curei, in loc., for the views and discussions of the older writers); but this produces a tautology with the context (πολὺἰσχύει, availeth much"), which all efforts have failed to remove (such as that of Meyer, who renders adverbially, "The prayer of a righteous man avails much, in that it works [indem es wirkt]," i.e., in its efficiency (so Alford, in loc.). It is better (with Vatablus, Hammond, Whitby, Macknight. Doddridge, and Clarke, to regard it as passive, in its literal sense, inwrought, implying both earnest unction and divine influence, not full inspiration (although the example of Elijah adduced in the following verse would almost warrant that), but such an afflatus as accompanies the supplications of the believing suppliant. (See PRAYER).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Effectual Prayer'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/e/effectual-prayer.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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