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).
During America’s Great Awakening, Pastor Jonathan Edwards gathered eight hundred men together to pray. During this meeting, a woman sent a message to the men, asking them to pray for her husband. The note described a man whose spiritual pride had made him unloving, prideful, and difficult to live with.
Edwards read the message aloud, hoping that the unidentified man would raise his hand to acknowledge his need and accept the prayers of the assembly. But, when Edwards asked for the man whose spiritual pride had made him so unloving to raise his hand, three hundred men raised their hands.
When the Holy Spirit is active among us, he not only convicts our hearts of sin, but makes us willing to confess our sin to God and to one another. Such mutual confession encourages believers that they are not alone in their sin and not alone in fighting it.
God powerfully works among his people to heal and to accomplish his purposes when we are transparent about our need of him and about our gratitude for his grace. In church communities where people find safety and acceptance for the confession of their sin to one another, pride withers, humility grows, and the gospel spreads.
Lord, I confess that I sin against you daily in thought, word, and deed. If I believed I were alone in this, I would hide my faults from others, perhaps from myself, and even from you. Thank you for fellow Christians who help me grow in your grace by confessing they need it, too.