Prayer is a powerful tool. That being said, are tools more powerful when in the hands of someone who knows how to best use them?

My question is does there exist an inequality in prayer power. Does a Mi Shebeirach have more power when said by a Tzadik rather than the average Jew or does Hashem look at all prayer as equal and based on the genuineness of how they are spoken?

If it's true that some individuals are believed to have a stronger prayer impact over others, is this gain based purely on observance of Mitzvot or does it come from other practices related to perfecting one's prayer style?

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    Bavli Megillah 15a – Double AA Feb 9 '18 at 15:07
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    @DoubleAA Further on Berachos 7a. More to the point though is Yevamos 64a, which seems to prove just the opposite. – DonielF Feb 9 '18 at 15:23
  • There is a Hasidic legend that claims the prayers of those who cannot even read or say a prayer are more meaningful to God than those of the righteous – JJLL Feb 9 '18 at 22:27

The Talmud (Berachos 34b) indicates that the prayer of certain individuals is more efficacious than the prayer of others.

תנו רבנן מעשה שחלה בנו של רבן גמליאל שגר שני תלמידי חכמים אצל רבי חנינא בן דוסא לבקש עליו רחמים כיון שראה אותם עלה לעלייה ובקש עליו רחמים בירידתו אמר להם לכו שחלצתו חמה אמרו לו וכי נביא אתה אמר להן לא נביא אנכי ולא בן נביא אנכי אלא כך מקבלני אם שגורה תפלתי בפי יודע אני שהוא מקובל ואם לאו יודע אני שהוא מטורף ישבו וכתבו וכוונו אותה שעה וכשבאו אצל רבן גמליאל אמר להן העבודה לא חסרתם ולא הותרתם אלא כך היה מעשה באותה שעה חלצתו חמה ושאל לנו מים לשתות ושוב מעשה ברבי חנינא בן דוסא שהלך ללמוד תורה אצל רבי יוחנן בן זכאי וחלה בנו של רבי יוחנן בן זכאי אמר לו חנינא בני בקש עליו רחמים ויחיה הניח ראשו בין ברכיו ובקש עליו רחמים וחיה אמר רבי יוחנן בן זכאי אלמלי הטיח בן זכאי את ראשו בין ברכיו כל היום כולו לא היו משגיחים עליו אמרה לו אשתו וכי חנינא גדול ממך אמר לה לאו אלא הוא דומה כעבד לפני המלך ואני דומה כשר לפני המלך

Our Rabbis taught: Once the son of R. Gamaliel fell ill. He sent two scholars to R. Hanina b. Dosa to ask him to pray for him. When he saw them he went up to an upper chamber and prayed for him. When he came down he said to them: Go, the fever has left him; They said to him: Are you a prophet? He replied: I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I learnt this from experience. If my prayer is fluent in my mouth, I know that he is accepted: but if not, I know that he is rejected. They sat down and made a note of the exact moment. When they came to R. Gamaliel, he said to them: By the temple service! You have not been a moment too soon or too late, but so it happened: at that very moment the fever left him and he asked for water to drink.

On another occasion it happened that R . Hanina b. Dosa went to study Torah with R. Johanan ben Zakkai. The son of R. Johanan ben Zakkai fell ill. He said to him: Hanina my son, pray for him that he may live. He put his head between his knees and prayed for him and he lived. Said R. Johanan ben Zakkai: If Ben Zakkai had stuck his head between his knees for the whole day, no notice would have been taken of him. Said his wife to him: Is Hanina greater than you are? He replied to her: No; but he is like a servant before the king, and I am like a nobleman before a king. (Soncino translation.)

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