The Memory Page Online Study Bible added footnote (supplementing The New Defenders Study Bible footnotes)


nothing wavering

James 1:6


If someone is wavering -- i.e., doubting -- then what is it that the person is doubting that would make his/her prayers ineffective? Interestingly, reading the different paraphrase-type translations of the verse yields different answers:
  • Doubting whether God exists and listens (Good News Translation)
  • Doubting God's willingness to help (AMP)
  • Doubting whether God answers prayers (MSG)
  • Doubting whether one wants/needs God's help (Phillips, Voice)
  • Doubting whether the request is in God's will (Worldwide English NT)
Which one is correct? The verse says "nothing wavering," implying that you should not doubt for ANY of the above reasons.

In Bibletrack, Pastor Wayne D. Turner takes it a step further by suggesting that asking for wisdom is a prerequisite for an effective prayer. In other words, it isn't necessarily that verse 6 refers to the prayer for wisdom from verse 5, but that it's for any prayer and thus you need to ask for wisdom first, otherwise you will doubt if the request is God's will and thus the prayer will be ineffective. The original Greek seems to allow for this interpretation, and it makes sense because any doubt at all has the potential to make the prayer ineffective.

Also, it should be noted that we shouldn't merely ask for wisdom. The primary way God gives us wisdom is through His Word (scripture). As we get to know Him better and what His purposes are for his Creation, and his great love, then our will gets aligned with His and we better know what He wants. (His Word will also show us and remind us that, YES, God does exist, He DOES listen, He DOES want to help, and he DOES answer prayer!) So, make it a daily habit to read the Bible! While you do, ask God to give you wisdom to understand what you are reading and perhaps even show you some new spritual insights. Then, armed with a better understanding of God's will, pray. Pray in faith and confidence, without doubting, and, in His time and in His way, he WILL answer!


   This Page Last Updated: 2023/11/12