SOAP Devotional 2014-03-19
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
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. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops. (James 5:16-18 NLT)
There is power in confession and prayer that can heal those who go to one another. A true believer's sincere prayers have great power and produce amazing results. Just look at Elijah, who was no better than any of us true believers, and he was able to pray both that the rain would stop and three and a half years later pray that it would start and God honored his prayer. We have that ability.
It should be noted that this passage is all about the power of prayer, but it also deals with confessing our faults to one another and prayer. It does not say take it to the priest although you may at times feel more comfortable with clergy. But when our faults are actions or words that offend another brother, I think confessing our faults to them is appropriate to bring about not only physical healing, but spiritual and relational healing, too. The part about Elijah is merely to illustrate that this was not the answered prayer of a super saint, but of a believer just like us who was obedient to the leading of God to pray. There is equal power in the prayer of every believer whether they are clergy or just a lay believer.
Lord, don't let me forget the amazing power of prayer that you have given to each of us as believers. You are the source of that power and all we have to do is be obedient to pray according to your leading. And Lord, if I offend someone, please allow me to confess my faults to them so that our relationship can be healed if possible. And finally, let me become a man of prayer.