While thinking about James 5:16 (below) I wrote down some thoughts:
There are significant benefits to
- Group prayer, and
- The prayer of an honest person.
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (NIV).
Notice the progression,
- This first,
- Then this and
- Finally this.
First: confess your sins to each other.
Second: pray for each other.
Third: [do this] so that you may be healed. [Because] the prayer of a righteous man (person) is powerful and effective.
This is gratifying spiritual food.
Confession means being honest and vulnerable about me.
(Not necessarily easy).
This can be painful and humiliating.
[Because] others become aware of my hidden faults, (those sins I didn’t want to expose to anyone).
Done properly (without the glorification of the wrongdoing) confession can provide a truthful humility and a longed for deliverance that will spill into every area of my life (spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically).
Confession done improperly is an empty exercise.
- Tell the truth and don’t whitewash it.
- Tell the truth and don’t exaggerate it.
- Tell the truth with sincere sorrow seeking the Lord’s healing.
Motives matter in confession.
Personal confession is one thing but
Holy Spirit generated confession brings about relief, happiness and freedom beyond compare (benefits without comparison).
- Relief … think of getting over a cold and being able to breathe again.
- Happiness … think of the joy of being picked and having a job.
- Freedom … think of liberty to make your own choices.
In conclusion let me add, as a Jewish maxim states: the prayers [and confessions] of the righteous are short.
Did you enjoy lunch?