DAY 18 | 08.21

 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 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 5:13-16 

This passage beautifully depicts our necessity for prayer in all circumstances -- for suffering, for healing, for forgiveness. The verse I think we know but too often glance over is verse 16.

“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.”

When we see this verse, we think of the “big” sins. Adultery, murder, theft, cheating… Now those things may be sins that we have committed. And they surely need to be confessed to others. But I think too often we forget about the daily gunk we commit in our hearts without even thinking about it. Gossip, slander, bitterness, lying, disrespect, unforgiveness, selfishness, etc… These have somehow become the sins the Church is okay with when in reality these are the sins that sneak into our hearts and keep us separated from God. 

Discussion Questions

•  Often there are things that we think or feel in our lives that feel so natural to us that we don’t even question whether or not they are honoring to God. Are there things in your heart that you have ignored because they have become normal to you?

• Do you have someone in your life whom you can be honest with about these things?

• The “you” in verse 16 is actually a plural “you.” Meaning “you all.” Confessing our sins and praying for one another doesn’t only heal ourselves, but it heals the Church as a whole. Is it possible that the sin in our own lives is preventing others from their healing as well?

Prayer Focus

Pray this Scripture over yourself today: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalm 139:23-24

Father, place people in my life whom I can trust and rely on. People who will love me at my worst, yet push me to walk in freedom. Thank You for the forgiveness You have already given me. And thank You for Your desire for healing to take place in my life. Search my heart and show me the way. Thank You, Jesus. I love You.

Next Steps

Jesus has already given us forgiveness. There is no condemnation for those who know Him (Rom 8:1). But confession brings healing and freedom. It draws us nearer to God and gives Him the opportunity to continue to transform us more into the image of Christ. Let this be an encouragement to us today that God loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to stay where we are, but desires us to walk fully in who He has created us to be.