Do I confess my sins to those I have sinned against?

Do I have others to pray with?


We began to LOOKED @ the prayer of faith?


We want to understand how confessing our sins fits into the picture.

Open GODcha to the Book of James.

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Let’s Pray

O LORD, we humbly bow before You because we need Your help. We want to engage with You today. You have given us Your Word to know You better, and see how we can be right with You. We come wanting to see and understand. Give us ears to hear, not merely hear, but to do what You tell us. Thank you!


LOOK at What God Says

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READ God’s Word

Read James 5:13-18 again.  

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Let’s focus on verse 16 asking the 5W’s and H.


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Turn the Dial Up!

Therefore in verse 16,

What does James conclude?

Thereforeconfess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.


1. What is the therefore, there for?

Because of all James has said.

What has he said?

First, those who are suffering are to pray for themselves.

Then, those who are so sick, too weak to pray, they are to call upon the elders for prayer.

And now, he is urging everyone to go to one another to confess and pray.


Is James suggesting that we need an intermediary to reach God’s throne?

Let’s do some digging.

What does confess and pray mean?

Confessexomologéō; to acknowledge or agree fully: (I) To concede, to acknowledge, to confess fully (. . . Jas 5:16)

Understand: When we confess, we are agreeing with God about our sin.

Grammar: This is a Present Imperative Active, pim.

This is a command!


Prayproseúchomai; to pray to God, i.e. supplicate, worship:—pray (5 earnestly, for), make prayer. (I) In the NT, proseúchomai is always directed toward God, whether stated or implied (Mt 6:5‒7; 14:23; Mk 1:35; Lk 3:21; Ac 6:6; 1Co 11:4; 1Th 5:17; 1Ti 2:8; Jas 5:13, 18).

Grammar: This is a Present Imperative Active, pim.

This also is a command!

We commune with God, pleading with Him on behalf of others, for His will to be done!


“Thereforeconfess (agree with God about your sin; acknowledge) your sins to one another, and pray (pray to God) for one another.”


Let’s do some Cross Referencing.

1. Who do we confess our sins to? And why?

Mat 5:23-24

Col 3:13

We must acknowledge our sin to those:

Who have been affected by our sins; 

We have hurt and/or wronged(Mat 5:23-24); (Col 3:13)

Do you see how healing this can be for relationships?


Let’s Stop a Minute!

2. What if we are the ones who have been wronged?

What are we to do?

a. Mat 6:12

b. Eph 4:32

We see: If we are the one wronged, we are to forgive those who sin against us. (Mat 6:12); (Eph 4:32)

For Example:

If a man looks with lust at a woman, he should immediately confess the sin to the Lord. It would NOT be needed or appropriate to confess that sin to the woman. That sin is between the man and the Lord.


If a man breaks a promise, or does something that directly impacts the woman, he must confess to her and seek her forgiveness.


3. Why else do we confess to others?

Ecc 4:9-10

We may confess to others, when we need someone to pray with/for us. Two are better than one; they lift each other up and are able to resist being overpowered. It is difficult to tear apart a cord of three strands. (Ecc 4:9-10)


UNDERSTAND: James is NOT saying we need an  intermediary to reach God’s throne.


According to James,

Why do you confess and pray for one another? 

So that you may be healed.


What does healed mean?

Healediáomai; to cure (literal or figurative):—heal, make whole. Verb meaning to heal, cure, restore to bodily health (Mt 8:8, 13; Lk 5:17; 6:19; 9:2, 11, 42; 14:4; 22:51; Jn 4:47; 5:13; Ac 10:38; 28:8; Jas 5:16).


Let’s do some more  Cross Referencing.

What kinds of healing are there?

a. Mat 15:29-31

~Physical healing. (Mat 15:29-31)


b. Luke 6:6-11

~Physical and spiritual healing. (Luke 6:6-11)


c. Mat 15:21-28

~Healing of demon possessed girl. (Mat 15:21-28)


d. Mat 13:10-17;  1Pe 2:24-25

~Spiritual healing from sin. (Mat 13:10-17); (1Pe 2:24-25)

UNDERSTAND: James is saying the Lord has healed and the Lord does heal!


According to verse 16,

Why do you go to the elders, to others, for prayer?

Because the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.


Check out some more meanings.

Effectiveenergéō; to be active, efficient: effectual (fervent), to be mighty in.

We see: Our word energy is derived from this word.

Understand: This means to pray with power, not lethargic, half hearted prayers.

THINK: So this shows us there must be such a thing as ineffective prayers, powerless prayers, that don’t accomplish much.


Righteousdíkaios; right, just. Righteous, just. In the NT those that are called righteous (díkaioi) are those who have conditioned their lives by the standard which is not theirs, but God’s. They are the people related to God and who, as a result of this relationship, walk with God (. . .James 5:6;. . .).

TIP: Remember to insert the meanings back into the text.

“The effective (efficient, powerful) prayer of a righteous man (one who is in a right relationship w/God; walks w/God) can accomplish much.

NOTE: 1 righteous person’s prayer can be ever so powerful.


Let’s LOOK at  other Truths.

1. What hinders prayer?

Psa 66:18

The Lord does not hear those who regard wickedness in their heart. (Psa 66:18)


2. Who does the Lord hear?

Pro 15:29

The Lord hears the prayer of the righteous. (Pro 15:29)


What Did We LEARN

Sum It Up!


Pray When Suffering and/or Cheerful



Pray When Sick

Sickness can be due to sin.

Elders pray in faith according to God’s will.

Help to recognize and confess sin.

Confess our sins to God. 

God is the only One who can grant forgiveness.

Forgiveness is automatic.

Confess our sins to others affected by our sin.



Confession and prayer brings healing.

The healing can be physical and/or spiritual.


Soak It In!

I have learned so much!

What about you?


Reflect on all God is teaching you!

Let these powerful Truths sink down deep.


How has God corrected your thinking when it comes to these verses?

Talk to God!

He is listening!


Journal Your Discovery

As we bring this day to a close, journal your discovery, thoughts and communion with the Lord in your Notes. 

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You might want to put these Cross References in your hard bound Bible next to these verses.

Turn What We LEARNED into Prayer

Perhaps. . .