James 5: 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed [physically or spiritually]. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
When members of Christ’s body sin against each other, the whole body of the Church suffers. The act of confession requires genuine humility. “To one another ” probably means for the confession to be made to God and to those specifically hurt by the sin. However, when the sin affects everyone in the church, confession may need to be made publicly.
Confession to “one another” provides a better understanding of how to pray for “one another”. Sin exposes a person’s weakness and when we admit our weaknesses, it provides the way for other believers to intercede for us and for healing. The word for “healed” in this verse can mean physical or spiritual healing. James ended with,
16c The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
James here moved beyond the praying done by the elders in v.14 to the opportunity for all Disciples to pray. Prayer is powerful because the God who hears our prayers is powerful–He is:
- Omnipresent- God is always present everywhere and is present in every Disciple worldwide at the same time.
- Omniscient- God has complete knowledge of everything; past, present, and future.
- Omnisapient- God is all-wise and always knows what is best, but does not force us to do His perfect will.
- Omnipotent- God is all-powerful
- Omniattendant- God is constantly attentive to His children.
- Creator and Sustainer of the universe– How many stars did God make on Creation Day Four ” 16 He made the stars also” A ? A 2010 estimate reported 300 sextillion = 3 × 1023 = 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the observable universe. Only God knows how many stars are in the unobservable universe. Even now man cannot count the stars, just as the Bible says. Sources: God’s Revelation of Himself in Creation! and 14 Attributes of All-Powerful & All-Caring God!.
All-Powerful and all-wise God always works in our best interest in response to prayer.
Notes: A- Genesis 1:16