Confess Your Sins And Pray

“Confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16).  A seemingly simple statement that is not so simple to do.  Why is it so hard to confess your sins?  I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself, and I think it applies to others as well:  PRIDE.

Why does pride keep me from confessing my sins?  I wear a mask, metaphorically speaking.  I don’t like dressing up and wearing a mask for a costume, I really don’t like wearing costumes at all.  The metaphorical mask I wear is that I want others to think I have everything under control, make no mistakes, and can handle everything myself.  Spoiler alert:  I don’t have everything under control, I make plenty of mistakes, and I can’t handle everything myself.  I try to do this because I want others to think highly of me.  Is that a helpful attitude to have, most definitely not.  Actually, it’s a very harmful attitude to have.  Due to the fact that I couldn’t swallow my pride, open up and seek help, I nearly lost all that I held dear in life.  I had an issue with sin in my life, it was something I tried to keep a secret from everyone, and when the issue came to light, my world came crashing down.  Fortunately, there were those in my life there to lift me up and help me through.  It was something I could not overcome on my own, but with the help of others, I was able to overcome.

That is why the simple statement to confess our sins to one another is made.  God knows we need each other to make it through this life.  In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, the Preacher tells us how two are better than one; if one falls, the other is there to lift up and while one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand.  A companion can offer assistance, comfort and defense.  What better companions should we have in life than our fellow laborers in the Lord’s work.  We are striving for the same goal, dealing with similar difficulties.

By confessing our sins and weaknesses to a brother or sister we are doing two things:

Building intimacy

Making ourselves accountable to another.

These are two very important things we need in our lives.  How do relationships grow, through intimacy.  Think about the closest relationships you have in your life. Why is there closeness?  It’s because you know each other, share things with others that no one else knows.  There’s also a great deal of trust in the closest relationships we have as well.  When someone trusts us enough to confess to us, we need to be careful with that information.  We don’t share the issues someone has in their life with everyone else, we use that information to help our brother or sister, hold them accountable and pray for them.

By praying for one another, it causes our prayers to not be self-centered.  Instead of focusing on ourselves and our wants/needs, we focus on others and their needs. In order to know how to pray for one another, it requires us getting to know one another so we know others’ struggles and needs.  As James writes in James 5:16, “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

As we strive in our lives to live as Christ, let us grow as One by confessing our sins to another, being trustworthy and helpful when someone confesses to us, and praying for one another because in the body of our Lord, WE ARE ONE.

-Brent Powers

Southside Church of Christ