#MeditationMonday – Out of the abundance of a man’s heart, his mouth speaks.
Welcome, dearly beloved. I pray the mercies of God over you throughout this week. I hope to encourage and build you up in the Lord. Today’s passage is James 5:16. I pray you gain a deeper understanding of these verses. As you grow in knowledge may you be empowered to share your convictions with others.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offences], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].
— James 5:16 [AMP]
Although confession to a “priest” is not required by Scripture, these verses demonstrate that confession to God and to one another is very important in the life of a believer. How often do we confess our mistakes to God? We should learn to keep short accounts with God. Don’t let your mistakes pile up before going to seek His mercy.
Now it’s one thing to spill our secrets and mistakes to God, but how often do we confess our mistakes to others? Do we have someone we are accountable to? Accountability is an important method of dealing with the struggle of sin.
Talking about sin, hurt and pain is a faster route to healing than bottling it all up inside. Whenever we slip up, it is important to confess to those who will encourage and admonish us rather than judge us and push us away.
It is a tricky thing finding someone who will serve as an accountability partner. It is best to partner with someone who is mature and patient. Someone who has experienced something similar to your struggle. I find that those who have not been through your struggle will have a hard time relating, find it difficult to offer comfort and most of all end up being judgmental about your situation.
It is important to pray before making a decision about approaching someone to be your accountability partner. Don’t just ask anybody that looks good to you on the outside. Pray, pray and pray and let the Holy Spirit guide you.
This scripture also points to another mystery: that sickness caused by sin can be healed through confession and prayer. This includes both physical and spiritual sickness. Spiritual sickness as a result of our sins, e.g. perverse mind, depression or other mental illness can be healed through prayer.
On the other hand, the consequences of our sin can appear in form of bodily illness and distress. Personally, I find that my sin (often disobedience) has a direct link to sudden headaches or stomach aches. I believe these appear as an important warning not to grieve the Holy Spirit in that moment.
In such situations, we must immediately repent (confess to God and others) and then pray for healing and restoration. The person who we confess to (accountability partner) can also pray for our healing and restoration! This means our accountability partners aren’t just there to be mere listening ears, they can also be strong pillars in our walk with Christ who provide prayer for us when we mosy desperately need it.
The latter part of verse 16, goes into what an accountability partner should look like. They should be a righteous believer. A righteous believer is one who is committed to doing God’s will and to cultivating a relationship with God. The prayers of this kind of person can have noticeable consequences on a person whose sickness is the result of sin, as long as (or especially if) the sin has been confessed.
Today, meditate on this scripture and ask God to lead you to someone who can be your accountability partner. Someone you can confess your frustrations and struggles to. Someone who can encourage and build you up in the Lord.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for this scripture which gives me hope that you will forgive my sins when I confess and pray. Please help me never to be shy to admit my mistakes to you and guide me carefully to a righteous believer who I can confess and pray with. In Jesus name, Amen.