James 5:16 NIV
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
We see throughout the bible that every human sins. Romans 3:23 says it plainly: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. So, knowing that we all sin, we can apply James 5:16 directly to our lives. This verse gives simple instructions on confession and prayer, thus resulting in healing.
First, it says that we are to confess our sins to each other. Confessing to others is easier said than done. But why? Why is confessing our sins so hard? I believe it is this: part shame, part pride. The shame is the embarrassment, the self-centeredness, the “what would they think of me if they knew how sinful my heart is?”, the mortifying feeling that we want to avoid when confessing our sin. Then we have pride. Pride is viewed as a rebellion against God. It presumes that we have the excellence and glory that only God Himself possesses. Many times, I have allowed shame and pride get in the way of confession. I have found that prayer beforehand for the Spirit to move in my heart and allow me the courage to do what the Lord has called me to do has been very helpful.
Then it says to pray for each other. This is a powerful gift. When we pray for another, it draws us closer in relationships, while also drawing us closer to God. This selfless act is something we see Jesus doing time and time again during His life.
We have confessed our sins to one another, we have prayed for each other, and now we are washed clean. Now, we are righteous. We are rid of the barrier of sin that blocks the relationship between us and our Father.
Prayer: Gracious Father, thank you for your Word. Thank you for showing us Your love for us and for others. Thank you for the gift of relationship. We ask that You move in our hearts today. Give us the strength to confess to one another the sin that separates us from you. Give us the encouragement to pray for each other. Draw us closer to each other as we draw closer to you. Lord, we love you and we praise you.
In your Son’s holy name, Amen.