Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.James 5:16 (ESV)
I was a little shocked the other day when I was reading through the book of James and stumbled upon this verse. You see, I have grown really familiar with the second half—that the prayer of a righteous person is effective. That part of the verse is everywhere—in books, in sermons, on social media.The prayer of a righteous person has great power, but that's not all… Click To Tweet
You see, we really like that part of the verse because it can be applied to the individual. In Jesus, I am the righteousness of God, which means that my prayers are powerful and effective. That’s really cool!
But we neglect the first half of the verse because it’s less comfortable. The idea of sharing struggles with another person can be unpleasant. Asking for prayer can be really awkward. And praying for that person in need can be even more awkward. But that’s what this verse is all about. There is a healing that comes when we bring our struggles out of the hidden place and into the light of loving relationship.
Of course, our individual prayers are powerful and effective, it’s right there in the text! But James is reminding us that their prayers are also powerful and effective.
This verse is a call for connection and community. It’s an opportunity to see God’s amazing power through another Christian. So I encourage you to take a step toward loving community today. Courageously bring something into the light of relationship and see the power of God working through a fellow believer—because their prayers, just like yours, are powerful and effective.