Confession and Intercession

July 3, 2022

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.

James 5:16

Better Alone?

Some things in life are just easier to do alone…like when you find yourself on a mission to get things done quickly and efficiently. This could mean a day of running errands or time spent organizing your home. When you have a one-track mind and know exactly how to get to where you’re going, you can simply rely on yourself to get to your achieved goal.

But not many more examples of this solitude-driven success exist—because life is so much richer in community. And James reminds us of this in two ways here in today’s verse: confession and intercession.

Solitude ≠ The Solution

When it comes to enduring suffering, sickness, or the struggle against sin, solitude isn’t the solution. James tells us the answer to each of these ails. We are to take it all to Jesus in prayer and to not attempt or endeavor to do it alone. He instructs us to call upon the elders of the church and to pray in faith for others’ healing and forgiveness.

James tells us to let others in through confession and intercession, that we would be able to live, move, and care for others powerfully, that Christ’s name would be magnified in relationship. The context of community is able to push us further in the faith. This is accomplished in ways that our solo strivings could never serve to propel us towards Jesus.

Love that Endures

It’s through relationship that we’re able to give and receive Christ’s love and to experience the kinds of healing and forgiveness that endure through the ages. We’re invited into this love for the purpose of extending it to others in need.

And here in the last verse of this passage, we see a great commendation that’s ours for the taking: “whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:20). Don’t we want to be the kinds of brothers and sisters who see this life transformation take place? Don’t we want to take part in the confession and intercession that endures? We have what it takes: Christ’s power within us.

Now What?

Are you trying to follow Jesus alone? Are you taking it upon yourself to fight your sin, struggles, and suffering by your own might? Consider how you can left this burden for yourself and others in the context of community. Take steps towards life lived with others, for Jesus, today.

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