The Prayer of a Righteous Man

James 5:16

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

In the previous devotion we saw how sin in relationships, especially marriage, can hinder one’s prayers.  On the other side of that, those who are righteous can expect that God will hear and answer their prayers.

There are different kinds of righteousness in the Bible.  Every Christian is considered righteous because they are forgiven.  But righteousness is unobtainable by following the law.  Even as Christians, we continue to do sinful, unrighteous things.

The key to righteousness in regard to this verse is found in the first half.  Confession is necessary for righteousness.  At salvation we confess our sins but this is in relation to daily confession.  In order to maintain a good relationship with God, we should confess our sins regularly.

We are not going to live a perfect, righteous life.  Our sin hurts our relationship with God.  Praying to God in the midst of a damaged relationship may not be effective.  But in a healthy relationship we can expect God to respond quickly and powerfully.

Confession shouldn’t be used as a ploy to get God to answer our prayers.  God knows our heart and knows when we are truly sorry for our sins.  Those who have a genuine relationship with God are going to confess regularly and see their prayers unhindered.

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