James 5:16 NASB
confess your sins to one another,
and pray for one another
so that you may be healed.
The effective prayer of a righteous man
can accomplish much.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt [and] persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) is able to accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God – it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].
Young’s Literal Translation
Be confessing to one another the trespasses, and be praying for one another, that ye may be healed; very strong is a working supplication of a righteous man;
Confess your faults one to another …
Better, with the old manuscripts “Therefore confess”; and “transgressions” instead of “faults”.
The noun includes sins against God as well as against men: the words refer the rule of this mutual confession to the promise of forgiveness as its ground.
In details the precept is singularly wide.
The confession is not to be made by the layman to the elder, more than by the elder to the layman.
In either case the question whether it was to be public or private, spontaneous or carried on by questions, is left open.
Examples such as those of Matthew 3:6; or Acts 19:18-19, suggest the thought of the public confession of individual sins, which was, indeed, the practice of the Church of the third and fourth centuries, as it was afterwards that of many Monastic orders.
A later revival of the custom is found in the “class-meetings” of the followers of John Wesley.
The closing words, “that ye may be healed”, have been thought to limit the counsel thus given to times of sickness.
It may be admitted that the words are to be taken primarily of bodily healing, but on the other hand, the tense of the imperatives implies continuous action.
The writer urges the habit of mutual prayer and intercession, that when sickness comes, there may be a quicker work of healing in the absence of spiritual impediments to the exercise of supernatural powers working through natural media.
“Do not break,” said the Bow to the String one day, putting a stretch upon its power.
“I will do my utmost,” answered the String; and with a twanging sound the arrow shot forth, pierced the air, went straight to the mark, and gained the prize.
The arrow which is shot from a loose cord drops powerless to the ground,
but from the tightly-drawn bow-string it springs forward and reaches the object to which it is directed.
A very learned man once said, The three hardest words in the English language are, “I was mistaken!”
Frederick the Great once wrote to the Senate: “I have lost a great battle, and it was entirely my own fault.”
Goldsmith says, “This confession displayed more greatness than all his victories.”
Do not be afraid to acknowledge your mistakes, else you will never correct them; and you are really showing how much wiser you are than when you went astray.
There are so many hearts, hopes, and homes broken by sin.
This brokenness infects our culture and invades our lives.
God has provided both a deterrent to sin and a means of forgiveness for its guilt: honest and genuine confession of our sin.
At the heart of confession is a passion to see sin for what it is in the eyes of God and to be anguished for our participation in it.
▪︎No wonder confession is so healing (cf. 1 John 1:5-2:2).
▪︎No wonder God wants us to confess our sin to each other and then come to him for each other’s healing from sin and its damage.
▪︎No wonder God grants such power to the prayer of a righteous person interceding for one led to confess.
Let’s confess our sin and leave it behind.
- Ask God to forgive you for your sins … (list specific sins you need to confess before God).
- Ask God to lead you to the group of His children with whom you can lay down your burden of sin in confession, and know that they will pray for your forgiveness, and lead you to greater confidence in the power of His grace and the might of His Spirit to help me overcome the sin in your life.
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