Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.James 5:16(NASB)
As James draws his epistle to a close, we are called to confess our trespasses to one another and to pray for each other, knowing that the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
This call to confession is not a summons to the confessional box where a 'priest' becomes a middleman between us and God - for there is one God and one Mediator between God and mankind, the Man Christ Jesus. He alone is the one to Whom we confess our sins. This is not a call to expose our secret sins to the whole wide world - we are to confess our sins to God - and He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When we have wronged another person we are called to go to them quickly and admit our sin and seek their forgiveness, for this is the will of God for us. We are also called to willingly, graciously, and fervently pray for each other, for as we lift up those who may have wronged us to the Lord in prayer, the fellowship of His love will stream into our hearts and minds, removing any nagging bitterness or residue of unforgiveness.
We are called to be holy for God is holy, but it is only as we confess our sins to one another and to our Father in heaven, that fellowship is renewed and our prayers become effective.
It is only as we abide in Him and walk godly in Christ Jesus that we are enabled to pray in spirit and truth: "And the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much."
Heavenly Father, I desire to maintain sweet fellowship with You and to walk godly in Christ Jesus. Help me to recognise my faults and quickly seek Your forgiveness. Help me also to confess my faults to those I have wronged, and I pray that I may maintain an attitude of prayer and learn to pray fervently in spirit and truth so that in Christ my prayers may be effective and avail much, to Your honour and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.