“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.” – James 5:16a
James, the brother of Jesus, has quite the resumé: Jesus’ brother, the leader of the church in Jerusalem, the author of the book of James in the New Testament, and an incredible man of prayer. In chapter 5, James was speaking to church elders about praying for those needing healing. The first and most important step in prayer is confession. It’s getting ourselves right with God. How do we do that?
- Silently: Just between you and God, confess where you’ve fallen short in action, thoughts and even heart towards others.
- Privately: Go directly to the person whom you’ve wronged and ask for their forgiveness.
- Publicly: Public confession is only for rare occasions, often when spiritual leaders of the church fall into a public sin where it’s known throughout the community. In that case, they are to publically confess their sin and ask for forgiveness.
So how does confession and prayer life relate? Sin blocks our prayers. Any undealt with sin will hinder our prayers and our connection to God. Once we confess that sin, however, there is immediate cleansing and forgiveness from God. What past sin is keeping you from connecting with God through prayer? Confess it today and experience the instant freedom and forgiveness of God.