"The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much."
As a new Christian I read this scripture, closed my Bible and walked away believing there was no hope that my prayers would ever reach God. James said a righteous person's prayers are effective and I was far from that. But as I grew in the Lord I came to understand that it is not my righteousness James is talking about. It's the righteousness of Jesus Christ. I've been justified before a holy God by faith, and now stand before Him with a righteousness that is not my own. This is true of all who have come to Christ through faith. The door to God's throne room is open. It's as if Jesus is standing there holding open the massive door Himself and beckoning us to come in and ask the Father for what we need. In our own righteousness, prayers are futile. But in the righteousness of Christ they can accomplish much.