James 5:16 is a favorite children’s Bible memory verse, but how many know the story behind this verse?
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
James wanted to encourage a group of Hebrew Christians who were undergoing trials and as a result had grown discouraged and their faith was sick and weak.
James wrote to the readers about how an active faith works. In chapter 5 he described how faith meets the needs of others. First by faith they were to expose their needs to God and others and then pray for that need to be met.
In James 5:16 the readers are told to confess their sins to someone else and pray together with that person. Apparently many were sick because they had unconfessed sin and needed spiritual and physical healing.
The resulting fervent prayers to God were powerful and could bring about the necessary healing.
In our culture today, this seems to be a lost blessing. We don’t see confession to each other modeled very often. We can do that with our children. Parents confessing their bad attitudes and mistakes to their children and then praying together about it. Try it and see how God brings healing in you and an incredible example for your children.
Now you know the story behind James 5:16.
If you like what you read, check out our children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It provides the Big Story behind all 66 books in the Bible including colorful illustrations, rhymes and a surprise on every page.