Monday, January 22, 2018
James 5:16 reads: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” A more modern bible version (NLT) ends the verse this way: “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
There are two basic eternal truths in this verse. The first concerns the great benefit of having someone in our lives with whom we can share our burdens, trials, and weaknesses. There is a lot of truth in the old adage “confession is good for the soul.” Secondly, we are reminded of certain folks we know that, for obvious reasons, seem to have their special prayer petitions answered on a regular basis. The inference here is that there will be times when it will be wise to ask these folks to pray for us. This reminded me of the following funny illustration I once heard concerning a pastor and his great faith. He was known in his community as a man who visited sick folks in their homes and in the hospital. Well, one day his church van ran out of gas in downtown traffic. He had no gas can in the van, the only kind of container he could find was a bed pan someone had left behind. He took the bed pan and filled it with as much gas as it would hold, thinking it would be enough to get the van to a gas pump. When he came back, he began to pour out the gas from the bed pan into the tank. A couple, stopped at a nearby red light, spotted him and the lady told her husband: “look, talk about having a lot of faith!” The husband saw it too and remarked: “Get the name and address of that church; if this fellow gets this van going, I want to go talk to him about our prayer petitions.”
Whether that illustration actually happened or not, the truths in this verse remain. It just may be that one or more of you have something you need to get off your chest. If you can find someone in your life you can share this burden with, someone you are convinced is a true friend, by all means do so. Also, if you know of some child of God that seems to have a knack for getting his or her prayer petitions answered, you may want to keep that in mind. The day may come when you’ll be happy you know them.
God’s word for today: (Hebrews 11:1) “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”