Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. James 5:16-18 (NIV)
Powerful And Effective
That is what I want. What do you want? I want my prayers to be powerful and effective. I want to pray prayers that you will hear and answer. I don’t want anything to hinder my prayers. What will hinder your prayers? Sin will hinder my prayers from being heard and answered. Why do you suppose that Is? Well, first of all, if I am living in sin, it is certain that I will be far less likely to pray. Is this the voice of some of your past experience? Yes, it is. Nothing is more likely to keep from drawing near to you in prayer than living a sinful life that is not good and right and pleasing to you. That’s true. What else? If I am not living a life that is vitally connected to you, it is very unlikely that I will be able to pray prayers that are according to your will. Why is that? Living a life that is not vitally connected to you will definitely dull my ability to hear your voice speaking to me. It is almost impossible for me to know and do your will when I am not living in an intimate relationship with you. In this condition, I or anyone else are much more likely to be listening to voices other than yours. That’s not good. No, it’s not.
What will you do if you want me to hear and answer your prayers? I will draw near to you. I will confess my sins to you. I will also confess my sins to anyone that I have hurt or harmed in anyway. I will make sure that no sin of any kind is hindering my prayers and my relationship with you. I will receive your forgiveness and cleansing. That will be very good. What else? I will live in an ongoing relationship and dialogue of prayer with you. I know that you want me to live in an intimate relationship with you. Yes, I do. In the context of our intimate relationship you will both give and grant me prayers to pray. What does that mean? You will give me prayers to pray that you will hear and answer. You will teach me to pray according to your will. Yes, I will do that for you, as you live in an intimate relationship with me. Living in an intimate relationship, vitally connected to you, will help also me to live a life that is good and right and pleasing to you. This is the righteous life that I will live with all your help and power and strength. You will have all you need from me. You will be praying powerful and effective prayers. For that I am thankful beyond words. That is very good.
Lord, you have forgiven my sin and cleansed my unrighteousness. You have made me righteous in the eyes of God. The position I have in you, does not release me from living a life that is good and right and pleasing to you. That is how I will live before you Amen
Key Question… Why must you make it your regular practice to confess your sins to God and others?
Living It Out… Live a life before God that is good and right and pleasing to Him in all you think, say and do.
Seeing It Happen… Have faith that the Lord will hear and answer your prayers as a life that is pleasing to Him.
Get Ready To Share… Share with another person or your small group how the Lord has been hearing and answering your prayers.
Prayer To Bless Others… May you confess your sins to each other as you pray for one another.
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