Mutual Confession and Prayer Feb 25 07
Mutual Confession and Prayer
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Introduction: Turn to one other person today and hold hands with that person as you each pray one for another for a need in your life. Also I want you to confess a short coming—something that bothers you about yourself in how you deal with other people—example: easily angered, impatient, and quick to talk instead of listen. Ask the other person to pray that the Lord will change you in this area—so that you will be more productive for the kingdom!
Open your Bibles to James Chapter 5 and let’s begin in verse “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 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. My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins." (James 5:13-20, NIV)
Are you in trouble? Pray! Are you happy? Sing Songs of Praise! (The context here because of what has gone before—James has continued to talk about trials, tribulation, and suffering. These things over time will cause anyone of us to become spiritually weak, weary, or exhausted. So this verse’s concern is with healing spiritual weakness, spiritual weariness, spiritual exhaustion, and spiritual depression through prayer, as well as dealing with the suffering and sin that accompanies it.)
Are you weak and unproductive—physically, emotionally, spiritually? Call for the Elders of the Church to pray and anoint you with oil! And the prayer of faith will heal (the word is sodezo which means to save, to keep safe, to rescue from danger, to make whole, to restore to health)
If he has sinned, (hamartia—to miss or wander from the path of righteousness, to miss the mark, to be without a share in) he will be forgiven (to be released, to be pardoned, to give up a debt).
Therefore (these things being so, consequently) confess (to acknowledge openly and joyfully, to profess) your sin (hamartia—to miss or wander from the path of righteousness, to miss the mark, to be without a share in) to one another (mutually or reciprocally) and pray for one another that you may be healed (to make whole).
The prayer of a righteous person (a person who is in a right relationship with God through the blood of Jesus) has great ( much, large) power (the power to overcome, to be serviceable, to be strong) as it is working( to be operative, to be effectual). We need to see that James is concerned with dead faith—faith that cannot accomplish the will of God. The whole context of James is come against such faith and prays that those who are unproductive in the kingdom become productive.