Together in Christ: 'Real People with Real People' — James 5:16

Monday, June 5, 2023

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

— James 5:16 NLT

Key Thought

When we've blown it, and Satan has taken us down with sin, our first inclination — an inclination of the flesh fueled by fear inflamed by pride — is to HIDE! [1] This is why three things are essential about the confession of sin as James describes it in our passage and its context:

  1. Genuine confession means more than admitting privately to God that we have sinned. Being sorrowful about our sin with God is essential for repentance, but we must also realize it is not full repentance. Being sorry and grieved because we have sinned is "godly sorrow" that "leads to repentance." [2] Genuine repentance must always includes changes in our behavior. Repentance is a heart change that triggers a turnaround in our behavior to live for God. [3]
  2. Genuine confession also involves confessing to another person. Satan loves to attack us when we are alone and deceive us with lies he puts into our thinking. [4] We need another person or two who will walk beside us, encourage us, and challenge us when we are going astray in our thinking or living. [5] We need the spiritual input of a Spirit-led person to help us learn to challenge the deceitful lies of the evil one who wants to destroy. So many of us assume we have to believe what we think. However, when our lives move away from God, the devil can convince us of his lies, and without help, we often don't challenge and defeat those lies. [6]
  3. Genuine repentance depends upon the "earnest prayer" of a faithful follower of Jesus. [7] This kind of prayer is powerful. It is encouraging. And it reinforces God's forgiveness of our sins and reminds us that our sins are not just forgiven, but they are cleansed [8] and we are in fellowship with other believers who support us. [9]

Satan wants us to think confession is embarrassing and demeaning. God wants us to know it is liberating. Genuine confession frees us from guilt. It restores our relationship with the Father. We are brought into closer fellowship with other loving believers. We are strengthened in our walk with Jesus and empowered by the Spirit to live for Jesus. [10] Let's not let Satan rob us of the full blessing of godly sorrow, honest confession, and genuine repentance!

[1] Genesis 3:8.
[2] 2 Corinthians 7:10-11.
[3] This is the basic meaning of the Greek word — μετάνοιαν (metanoian) — a change of heart/mind that leads to behavior change.
[4] Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. Notice that Jesus did not send out His apostles alone — Luke 5:2, 10:1.
[5] Matthew 18:10-20; James 5:19-20.
[6] John 8:44; Acts 13:10; 2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:10-11; .
[7] James 5:16.
[8] 1 John 1:5-10, 2:1-2.
[9] Hebrews 3:10-12, 10:19-25.
[10] .

Today's Prayer

Father, thank You for the gift of confession and repentance that unleashes the power of Your grace and forgiveness in my life. I hate that I sin, but I am so thankful that You have provided me with Your way of restoration, renewal, and return to full fellowship with You and my brothers and sisters. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 18:10-20
  • James 5:13-20


Archived Facebook Comments

Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Monday, June 5, 2023

A one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts.
"[Cornelius' messengers and Peter] arrived in Caesarea the following day. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and..."
A daily passage of Scripture emphasizing praise to our God.
"God, the LORD, created the heavens and stretched them out. He created the earth and everything in it. He gives breath to everyone, life to everyone..."
The classic twice-daily devotional from Charles H. Spurgeon.
"The distinguishing mark of a Christian is his confidence in the love of Christ, and the yielding of his affections to Christ in return. First, faith....."
A daily devotional featuring wise counsel found in Scripture.
"Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture."


Illustration of James 5:16 NLT — Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.