We can pile up knowledge and even understanding about the Bible. We can read sermons and commentaries, listen to podcasts, and go through daily blogs. Yet unless we are doing what the Word says, we are fooling ourselves.
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. – James 5:16 Do you want your prayers to be powerful and effective? Then pray as a righteous person. But how do we become righteous? If we read the verses before this one, Paul is writing about being healed from sickness. We are told to pray, and the verses after this one speak more about this power of prayer and also loving and restoring each other. It all starts with one thing — believing that God listens and lovingly answers our prayers. We are to make sure He is part of the conversation as we do the other things in this verse. We are to confess and acknowledge our wrongdoings to each other. This is not some ritual we follow, but a relationship with one another that allows us to be open. We do not even hesitate, but we honestly come to each other with our failings because we know we will be loved. Each of us needs to make sure we are the kind of person who is both open like this and also able to embrace and love others. We are told not only to confess, but to pray for the one confessing. We are a family, and a family is concerned with each other’s spiritual well-being and physical needs. God has made us righteous through the death and resurrection of Jesus. We show that righteousness by being aware of and acknowledging our sins, by trusting each other and caring for one another. We love one another with the love that Jesus has shown us — we pray for each other.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical. And the fruit that consists of righteousness is planted in peace among those who make peace. – James 3:17-18