Saturday, February 22, 2020

Effective: It works!

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

I've been quoting James 5:16 for years. It's like a go-to scripture whenever talking about healing prayer. So much contained in one small verse!

This scripture is all about doing life in community. Let's break it down:

We are to confess our faults to one another. Does this mean getting up in the middle of church and say, "I got mad at my boss the other day and thought unkind words about him?" Probably not a good idea - especially if your boss is in the crowd! Instead, at prayer time, go up front and tell Pastor and/or the team of prayer warriors you are having problems with being easily provoked, or you notice how impatient you've been lately. Ask them to pray for healing of your temper and strength to be kind.

But you might think the boss deserved those unkind thoughts. We are only responsible for how we respond; the Boss has to answer for his actions.

There is a host of things we need people to help us pray about in our lives. It takes humility to confess them and willingness to be vulnerable to speak up. God exalts the humble and promises to lift them up. You can't go wrong asking for help from your brothers and sisters!

James tells us pray for one another. I didn't notice any exemptions listed; so I'm thinking praying for one another is the duty of every believer.

James also says we are to do this so that we may be healed. Sometimes our illnesses can be because of sin; but not always are we talking about physical healing. Spiritual healing may be needed. The word trespasses in the New King James is translated "faults," in the KJV and other translations even say "sins," in the place of trespasses. The point is, we are a flawed, broken, people - every one of us - and healing physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally is needed.

The last half of this verse is what I've focused on so much over the years: The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

I love to skip over to "the fervent prayer," and talk about how this means praying with passion - fervent means "white hot," and not just some little namby-pamby mumbling of words.

But this time, I saw, really saw, the word, "effective." What is James trying to say here? 

Effective means successful in producing a desired or intended result.

In other words, confessing, getting prayer support from people who will passionately pray WORKS.

I think it works because the Lord loves unity and wants us involved and engaged working together.

We are made to do life together. As much as I love introverted activities, the truth is life is better when lived with family and friends.

No use hiding our problems - confess it and get set free!

What about you? Do you have a group of people you can go to for prayer support and encouragement? I pray if not, you'll start searching. I'm positive He has a group in mind for you.

This is post #18 of my "Walk the Walk Christian Living Series," written from the perspective of a recovering perfectionist. You can go here to see the links of each post as they go live.

I'm linking this post to the community at Inspire Me Monday and #TellHisStory.


  1. Yes, I do have some people who will pray for me. And who I can go to and ask for prayer. Such a comforting feeling when I need prayer. Community is part of God's plan.

  2. Great post! I love the sword fervent too. When I want people to pray for me I want them to pray fervently. There is power in prayer.


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