SOAPing the New Testament–James 5

Scripture:

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.

Observation:

This is a challenging scripture for me to understand. On initial reading it seems that it is a simple exhortation to confess our sins to each other and pray for each other. In context, James is talking about what to do when people are physically sick. I am left wondering is James talking about confessing to one another only when a sick person is aware of some un-confessed sin or does this verse speak to a need for deeper intimacy in the fellowship of the believers. In my spirit when I read this I immediately want to challenge myself to be more transparent about my shortcomings with those around me so that they can pray for me. Ultimately, God wants to us to make much of Him and often times He challenges us to humility about our own falleness less we boast that anything good we do is by our own power and not His. Maybe confessing our sins to each other and prayer to God for each other is part of the humility process?

Application:

I think that application of this scripture is to confess our sins to other believers and have them pray for us. I think there can be abuse here also. I don’t we should make a show about our sins and confess to everyone in a self-serving, “look at me” kind of way, but I do think this verse challenges us to find someone we can trust to be transparent with and to allow them to minister to us in prayer.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for the fellowship of believers. Thank you that you have not left me alone on this journey in the Kingdom. Father, give me wisdom to recognize those you have put in my life for me to minister to and those to be ministered by. Thank you for this day. In Jesus name, Amen.

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