Day 33 – Prayer Focus – “Fervent Prayers”

James 5:16 – “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Christians desire for their prayers to be answered. This scriptures sets forth a pattern for effective prayers.  First, James urged believers to confess their “trespasses” to each other. This word is translated “faults” in the King James Version. The Greek word is G3900    παράπτωμα which means to side-slip (lapse or deviation), i.e. (unintentional) error or (wilful) transgression:–fall, fault, offence, sin, trespass.

We are instructed to confess our sins to one another “so that you can live together whole and healed.” (James 5:16, MSG)
It is important that we are open about our weaknesses with one another. We are to Confess and Pray for one another regarding our trespasses. We cannot leave this step out because it will have an influence on how effective our prayer life will be.

James teaches us to pray for ourselves, seek the prayers of the elders and to have private times with friends to pray.
Matthew Henry Commentary says this: “Those who make confession of their faults one to another should thereupon pray with and for one another. James 5:13 directs persons to pray for themselves: “Is any afflicted let him pray”; James 5:14 directs persons to seek for the prayers of ministers/elders; and the James 5:16 directs private Christians to pray one for another; so that here we have all sorts of prayer (ministerial, social, and secret) recommended.”

What is “fervent prayer”? The Greek word G1754 for “fervent” is ἐνεργέω; Pronounced en-erg-eh’-o, which means to be active, efficient:–do, (be) effectual (fervent), be mighty in, shew forth self, work (effectually in). The dictionary definition is; “having or showing great warmth or intensity of spirit, feeling, enthusiasm etc.”

James is making the point that praying with passion and intensity is an important part of seeing our prayers answered. The other important part is that the prayers are prayed by a righteous person. These two elements make our prayers effective.
It is a blessing to have righteous friends whose fervent prayers are effective, powerful and acceptable to God. I thank the Lord for all of you!!

Dr. Janet Cook