Occasionally, I will read a text in scripture and a word that I’ve read more times than I can count will jump out – and I immediately receive new revelation of that text. Such is the case with James 5:16 and the word is “You”. For most of us, we find ourselves reciting the first part of this verse “Therefore confess your sins to each other”. As well, many of us have memorized the last part of this same verse that reads, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Or “the prayer of the righteous availeth much” (KJV).
But I believe that sometimes what we need is found hidden in the middle of something that’s actually quite sufficient when presented on its own.
I can think of so many examples of situations where that which is in the middle gives us the most satisfaction or is of the greatest significance. Try eating a cream filled cookie without the cream, or a cake without the icing or a sandwich without the meat and cheese. Of course, what’s on the ends can certainly sustain on its own. But there’s something about what gets placed in the middle. And I believe that every once in a while, we get so excited about how the story begins or how it ends that we miss an incredibly vital point by skipping over what’s placed in the middle. I wonder if James had specific intentions in this 16th verse of his 5th chapter that caused me to pause and say “Where did that come from?”
James 5:16 reads: “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.”
Does that say, “Pray for each other so that YOU may be healed? Where did that come from? Do you mean that our healing is possible not just through our fervent prayers or by our belief that we have been healed or by daily proclaiming and speaking words of healing? Did this just say that we must pray for each other so that WE may be healed? Am I the only one who never noticed this word in the middle?
According to James there is a direct correlation between our personal healing and our willingness to intercede for others. Yes, the word says that we pray for others that we might receive healing.
Saints, all I’m going to say is that only praying for ourselves and those who are attached to us might just be what’s hindering our breakthrough and deliverance.
Perhaps praying for someone else has been the missing link to some of our prayers “availing much”. I believe the word; and the word says that healing can be attached to an unselfish attitude of prayer and petition for someone else.
This week, I challenge you to take God at His word and watch the Word of God work.
If you’re physically sick, pray for someone else who is experiencing sickness.
If you are dealing with mental turmoil, lift up someone else who is struggling as well.
If you need a job, pray for someone else who is unemployed.
If you’re having a hard time at work, pray that someone else’s day might be productive.
If your child is lost, pray for someone else’s child to be saved.
Remember, the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective but it’s no mistake that it directly follows very specific instructions to pray for someone else.