Text: James 5:16
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].”
The real question is what makes your prayer carry great power or produce desirable results? Most times we ignore the first part of our text (James 5:16) which is very important when we want to pray. ”Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored”
There are two important principles to making one’s prayer effectual (producing desirable results)
- Pure heart and clean hands.
Psalms 24:4 says,
“Who may ascend onto the mountain of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted his soul to what is false, Nor has sworn [oaths] deceitfully”.
So, you can’t go before God when you know you’ve done something wrong, offended someone, or are holding a grudge against someone. The Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:12) is so clear on forgiving those who have wronged so God can forgive our sins too. So forgiveness is a vital key to effectual prayer. (Matthew 5:23-24)
- Pray for one another
As seen in Job 42:10:
“The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before”.
Job prayed even for his friend who spoke evil and disrespected his integrity concerning God and God had to honor that dimension of selflessness in him by restoring all he had lost in multiple folds.
Praying for others can produce much more effective results than praying for oneself. When you pray for others, you are demonstrating a selfless dimension of God’s nature and by doing so, you are opening yourself to God’s reward.
Effectual results do not begin with just prayer. Most times, we need to look within and when we do that, we will know to seek forgiveness (for our wrong deeds) from God and man and our prayers wouldn’t just be about ourselves but for others.