Read: James 5:16
The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Reflect: The earnest or effective prayer, literally the prayer that works, that comes from a person who is right with God or more literally innocent, has great power. For many of us that would seem to leave us out. We look at our lives, our thoughts and some of our actions and we immediately think, “My prayers most likely go nowhere.” In actuality this verse says they cannot only be effective but powerful, and they can produce “wonderful results.” How? The verse begins by saying, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James is telling us to begin our prayers with confession, to God and others. If we hide our sin our prayers lack power because hell is watching all of us and always tempting us to stumble so we cannot partner with God powerfully and effectively. If Satan can keep us hiding our sin in darkness, we go through life powerless to make a difference. But if we decide to bring what is hidden into the light, God takes our failures and heals us. He uses what was meant for evil for His good. This takes transparency and honesty with someone you trust, who loves God and wants His best for you. When you confess your sin to your Father you are forgiven, but when you bring your sin into the light by sharing it with another person you get healed, restored and redeemed anew. Once that happens the verse goes on to tell us to “pray for each other.” Together we pray for the healing we need and then we intercede for others with powerful effectiveness. It is no accident these two concepts are so closely tied together in this one verse. We have to confess our sin in order to become righteous or innocent. Our confession opens us up to the blood of Jesus washing us clean and making us as Isaiah said, “White as snow,” totally clean before God and repowered by the Holy Spirit to intercede with great power that produces wonderful results. If you are finding your prayers seem weak and not effective, ask the Holy Spirit for revelation. Ask Him to show you if there is hidden sin in your heart that needs cleansing before you can be effective in prayer. If He shows you clearly that you have an issue, find a brother or sister, a pastor or leader and get it taken care of so the Holy Spirit can refresh and empower you as you pray.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, search me and know my heart. Please show me if there is anything that keeps my life from being all you desire it to be. If there is, please cleanse me and renew your power in me.