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Powerful and Effective Prayer

James 5:16

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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 NIV

This is really a quite remarkable verse. Many of us have the attitude toward prayer that it is a good thing for us to do, and we pray periodically or maybe even regularly. But do we really expect it to make a difference? James tells us that prayer is powerful and effective. And he follows that with the example of Elijah praying for the rain to quit and later to return; and it did.

But before getting too carried away with what prayer can do for you, take note of a couple of things. Within the context of this passage, the prayer talked about is prayer offered for others, not self. And the prayer is coming from a righteous person, not just from anyone. But if I am striving for personal holiness (1 Pet 1:16), and I am praying for others, I should expect that my prayer will be effective and that it will make a real difference in people’s lives. What a privilege God has granted us. To be an active part of his activity on the earth.

But this is not just about praying for others. It is a call for me to confess my shortcomings and sins to fellow believers I can trust to pray for me. Confession is hard. But, in the right context, it can have a great benefit. The prayer offered up for me can be powerful and effective. It can help me to overcome the sin in my life, restoring me to fellowship with God and with his church.

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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