Confess and Pray

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” (James 5:16 HCSB)

This is one of those verses that is extremely beneficial to us Christians, but our selfishness and pride causes us to ignore it.  Many of us seem to believe we are without sin and have nothing to confess.  We hardly ever confess our sins to God, much less to one another.  God reminds us that just because we are Christians doesn’t mean that we do not sin:

 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8 HCSB).” 

Whether we want to believe it or not, the church is full of sin.  We tend to gossip about each other, hold grudges against each other, stab each other in the back, we are judgmental about each other, we’re envious of one another, jealous of one another, hateful towards one another, and mean to one another.  In today’s verse, God, through James commands us to do some things that, if we do them, will be extremely beneficial to us all.

  1. “confess your sins to one another” – This is what we have the most trouble with because our pride gets in our way.  But this is a command, not a mere suggestion because the spiritual, emotional, and physical benefits of confessing and forgiving one another’s sins far outweigh the benefits of sin.  When we confess and forgive each other’s sins, God cleanses us, and we become righteous in His eyes.
  2. “pray for one another” – When we confess and forgive one another, God forgives us and is able to hear our prayers.  We are, then, to lift each others’ needs and struggles up to the Lord in prayer.
  3. “so that you may be healed.” – Here’s the benefit.  When we are right with each other, and God, God hears our prayers and is able to heal our spiritual, emotional, and physical wounds, and illnesses.
  4. “The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” – There is power in the prayers of those who have been cleansed of all sin.

We must remember, though, that we must forgive those who have sinned against us the same way we want them to forgive us.  God will not forgive our sin if we do not forgive those who sin against us:

 But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing (Matthew 6:15 HCSB).”

Is there anyone you need to confess to?  Is there anyone you need to forgive?  Let’s do what God has commanded us to do. Let’s confess to one another, forgive one another, and pray for one another with all our hearts.

So, then,

  • how will you obey today’s Scriptures?
  • With whom will you share today’s Scriptures?
  • With whom will you share the story of your salvation and the story of what Jesus has done for you?

Let me know how it goes!

P.S. – Remember that you’re only responsible for your obedience to God’s commands, not for what others do, or don’t do, with God’s commands.


In christ’s love,