Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness. James 5.16
Confession of sins is not practiced often where we live though I am not exactly sure why that is so. Perhaps it is seen as a negative thing, showing weakness. Yet James seems to indicate that it should be an ongoing activity. Perhaps we do not provide an appropriate time where it can be done in love and not in judgment.
What are the advantages of confessing your sins? It opens others’ eyes to the sins with which you are struggling. If people are aware of my struggles, they are better equipped to pray for me and encourage me. Instead of continuing to fight the battle alone, the prayers of others can help me heal. It can also serve as an encouragement to the one who is fighting that same battle and thought that they were alone in their struggle.
James 3.2 says that we all stumble in many ways. He is speaking to teachers, but the principle would apply to all. When you think about it, we should all be teaching on some level. So often our tongue is where we stumble! We say things we should not say. Or we do not say things that we should say! Isn’t it a comfort to know that the prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness? Another translation of the verse is that the fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. May we learn to take advantage of the prayers of others that brings healing.