The Power of Prayer
Prayer is powerful because it enables us to interact with & encounter the True & Living God.
It is a wonderful privilege for every believer that carries inherent benefits & rewards.
We have been working through 5 S’s that James outlines as areas for regular prayer.
We have looked at prayer in times of suffering, success & sickness.
Today we will think about how we are to pray when we find ourselves caught up in Sin.
Prayers of confession & the forgiveness available in, & through, Christ the saviour will be our theme & focus.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16 NKJV
The fourth S that James outlines for prayer is prayer in times of moral failure when we are struggling with sin.
James, like Jesus (Matthew 6:12), encourages the prayer of confession. Acknowledging our ongoing need for God’s forgiveness.
Jesus has freed us from the penalty of sin through His sacrificial death.
He is freeing us from the power of sin through the Spirit’s work of sanctification.
There is coming a day, when Christ returns, when He will free us from the very presence of sin. Hallelujah!!
As we await that day we live in a sin saturated world & there are times when we will all stumble & fall into sins of thought, word or deed.
When we do it is time for the prayer of confession.
The good news for us is that if we confess our sins the Lord is faithful & just to forgive us (1 John 1:9).
Forgiveness, healing & restoration will flow freely from the Lord when we seek Him in this way.
There is a therefore a place for individual confession & we all need to be alert & attentive in this area.
There are 2 other possible renderings we could understand from this verse.
Firstly, if we have sinned against another Christian, or any other person, we should seek their forgiveness.
Second, there is also a place & time for confidentially seeking out the help of trusted others.
If we are continually struggling with an issue, & repeatedly falling into sin, then approaching others to confess can be helpful.
This is a spiritual practice that is more popular in certain streams of Christianity or Christian denominations.
In either scenario above, there is forgiveness & healing that flows from genuine repentance. SELAH
James is pointing out that healing, forgiveness & restoration is available when Christians fall into sin, moral failure or error.
All it takes is a genuine prayer of repentance via confession. Looking unto the Lord who forgives & heals.
In a sin saturated world, we will all at times need the Lord’s repeated cleansing. Jesus highlighted this in His Model Prayer.
In such times prayer, as in so many other areas of life, holds the key to unlock the problem.
They say, through an old English proverb, that confession is good for the soul. They were on the right track.
When that confession is unto the Lord it leads to healing & restoration. Hallelujah!!
The Lord is so gracious, so generous & so, so good to us. Just awesome!!
- Reflect upon a time when you confessed your sin/s, & the forgiveness & freedom you experienced?
- How confident am I to approach someone with a confession about sin in my life?
- Meditate upon the place & power of appropriate confession.
A song related to this theme:
Thank you that You are the Lord who forgives,
That you were in Christ reconciling & redeeming Your people upon Calvary’s tree.
Jesus, thank you that through Your sacrifice upon the cross I am forgiven,
And that you are faithful to forgive & cleanse me afresh when I stumble back into sin.
Holy Spirit give me courage & confidence to confess my sins,
And keep me ever grateful & thankful for the healing & restoration I experience ‘In Christ’.
This I ask in the mighty Name of Jesus.
Written by Gareth Jones