“Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” vs. 16
In the estimation of James there was a strong connection between forgiveness and healing. Therefore the prayers of the community would deal with both sin and illness…the two really couldn’t be separated. Most of us probably wouldn’t agree that there is a direct correlation between sin and sickness…we don’t believe that people get diseases because they are sinners. But it is true that our physical bodies are deeply affected by the health of our spirits or souls…we’ve all known people who have suffered great trauma because of things that they’ve seen or heard. And wrong actions can lead to guilt and depression and then to physical illness. We are complicated beings and we can’t simply assign sickness to a virus or cancer without considering the whole person. That’s one of the reasons prayer for one another and confession of sins are both appropriate in our faith communities. Some congregations even identify particular persons as “Prayer Warriors” and assign them responsibility for regularly lifting up the sick and hurting. They seem to have a special connection to God’s healing power…as James puts it, “their prayer is powerful and effective.” We can’t explain this…we just know it to be true!
Thought for the Day: Prayer warriors that I have known!