POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
James 5:16 NLT
I want to begin with the last part of this passage. The goal of this passage is to have a prayer life that “has great power and produces wonderful results.” Look at that again—God wants our prayer life to be effective and powerful. He wants to answer our prayers. He wants us to see miracles taking place in our lives and the lives of others because we have been praying.
But there is a secret given about how to have effective prayers—our lives must be in alignment with God. We must be living righteous lives if we want to have powerful prayers. I do not believe this means we are perfect—if that were the case none of us would be able to have powerful prayer lives.
Living a righteous life requires confession and repentance. We confess our sins to God to find forgiveness. We then confess our sins to each other to find freedom. We choose not to repress but to confess. Not to conceal but to reveal.
I do not believe God intends for us to stand in front a congregation and share all our intimate struggles with sin. I also do not believe this passage intends to be an instruction to go to a priest for confession—even though there are times that is appropriate.
The application of this passage for me is to live our lives within a local church and small group where we have authentic relationships with other believers. Within the context of meaningful relationships, we commit to pray for each other out of genuine care and love. This foundation of authentic relationships opens the door for honesty about our struggles, habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Within these safe relationships we can confess our sins with those who love us and are committed to pray for us and with us. They will hold us accountable.
When we are living our lives with confession and repentance we can pray with confidence. We know that we are working to keep our lives in alignment with God so we can know that He is listening to our prayers because our prayers are in alignment with His will.
When we commit to live in authentic relationships with other believers, we can discover the righteousness that is God’s gift to us through Jesus. God made Jesus bare our sin so that we could be made righteous. On the cross there was a divine exchange—our sins for His righteousness. God’s grace makes me righteous, not my actions.
My confidence is in God’s grace. His grace motivates me to live in authentic community where I discover the freedom of grace. The forgiveness is from God—the freedom comes through relationships and accountability. When I am living in freedom, I have a new level of faith for my prayers.
Do you want to have powerful prayers? Get in authentic relationships within the body of Christ.
Holy Spirit help direct me to the relationships You have for me. Help me to live in authentic relationships so my prayers will be powerful and effective.
“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”