James 5:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
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.

English Standard Version
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

New American Standard Bible
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

King James Bible
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.

International Standard Version
Therefore, make it your habit to confess your sins to one another and to pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

NET Bible
So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But be confessing your offenses one to another, and pray one for another to be healed, for the power of the prayer which a righteous person prays is great.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So admit your sins to each other, and pray for each other so that you will be healed. Prayers offered by those who have God's approval are effective.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another that ye may be whole. The effectual prayer of the righteous is very powerful.

King James 2000 Bible
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

American King James Version
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

American Standard Version
Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Confess therefore your sins one to another: and pray one for another, that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much.

Darby Bible Translation
Confess therefore your offences to one another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. [The] fervent supplication of the righteous [man] has much power.

English Revised Version
Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working.

Webster's Bible Translation
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much.

Weymouth New Testament
Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be cured. The heartfelt supplication of a righteous man exerts a mighty influence.

World English Bible
Confess your offenses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.

Young's Literal Translation
Be confessing to one another the trespasses, and be praying for one another, that ye may be healed; very strong is a working supplication of a righteous man;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:12-18 The sin of swearing is condemned; but how many make light of common profane swearing! Such swearing expressly throws contempt upon God's name and authority. This sin brings neither gain, nor pleasure, nor reputation, but is showing enmity to God without occasion and without advantage It shows a man to be an enemy to God, however he pretends to call himself by his name, or sometimes joins in acts of worship. But the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. In a day of affliction nothing is more seasonable than prayer. The spirit is then most humble, and the heart is broken and tender. It is necessary to exercise faith and hope under afflictions; and prayer is the appointed means for obtaining and increasing these graces. Observe, that the saving of the sick is not ascribed to the anointing with oil, but to prayer. In a time of sickness it is not cold and formal prayer that is effectual, but the prayer of faith. The great thing we should beg of God for ourselves and others in the time of sickness is, the pardon of sin. Let nothing be done to encourage any to delay, under the mistaken fancy that a confession, a prayer, a minister's absolution and exhortation, or the sacrament, will set all right at last, where the duties of a godly life have been disregarded. To acknowledge our faults to each other, will tend greatly to peace and brotherly love. And when a righteous person, a true believer, justified in Christ, and by his grace walking before God in holy obedience, presents an effectual fervent prayer, wrought in his heart by the power of the Holy Spirit, raising holy affections and believing expectations and so leading earnestly to plead the promises of God at his mercy-seat, it avails much. The power of prayer is proved from the history of Elijah. In prayer we must not look to the merit of man, but to the grace of God. It is not enough to say a prayer, but we must pray in prayer. Thoughts must be fixed, desires must be firm and ardent, and graces exercised. This instance of the power of prayer, encourages every Christian to be earnest in prayer. God never says to any of the seed of Jacob, Seek my face in vain. Where there may not be so much of miracle in God's answering our prayers, yet there may be as much of grace.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 16. - Confess therefore your sins, etc. The authority for the insertion of οῦν (omitted in the Received Text) is overwhelming (א, A, B, K, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic), as is also that for the substitution of τὰς ἁμαρτίας for τὰ παραπτώματα, which includes the three oldest manuscripts, א, A, B, the two latter of which also read προσεύχεσθε for εὔχεσθε. It is difficult to know exactly what to make of this injunction to confess "one to another," which is stated in the form of an inference from the preceding. The form of the expression, "one to another," and the perfectly general term, "a righteous man," forbid us to see in it a direct injunction to confess to the clergy, and to the clergy only. But on the other hand, it is unfair to lose sight of the fact that it is directly connected with the charge to send for the elders of the Church. Marshall, in his' Penitential Discipline,' is perfectly justified in saying that St. James "hath plainly supposed the presence of the elders of the Church, and their intercession to God for the sick penitent, and then recommended the confession of his faults in that presence, where two or three assembled together in the Name of Christ might constitute a Church for that purpose" ('Penit. Discipline,' p. 80). We may, perhaps, be content with saying, with Bishop Jeremy Taylor, "When St. James exhorts all Christians to confess their sins one to another, certainly it is more agreeable to all spiritual ends that this be done rather to the curate of souls than to the ordinary brethren" ('Dissuasive from Popery,' II. 1:11; cf. Hooker, 'Eccl. Pol.,' 6. 4:5, 7). The effectual fervent prayer, etc.; rather, the petition of a righteous man availeth much in its working. On the distinction between δέησις the narrower, and προσευχή the wider word, see Trench on ' Synonyms,' p. 179.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Confess your faults one to another,.... Which must be understood of sins committed against one another; which should be acknowledged, and repentance for them declared, in order to mutual forgiveness and reconciliation; and this is necessary at all times, and especially on beds of affliction, and when death and eternity seem near approaching: wherefore this makes nothing for auricular confession, used by the Papists; which is of all sins, whereas this is only of such by which men offend one another; that is made to priests, but this is made by the saints to one another, by the offending party to him that is offended, for reconciliation, whereby a good end is answered; whereas there is none by the other, and very often bad consequences follow.

And pray for one another, that ye may be healed; both corporeally and spiritually:

the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Not any man's prayer; not the prayer of a profane sinner, for God heareth not sinners; nor of hypocrites and formal professors: but of the righteous man, who is justified by the righteousness of Christ, and has the truth of grace in him, and lives soberly and righteously; for a righteous man often designs a good man, a gracious man, one that is sincere and upright, as Job, Joseph of Arimathea, and others; though not without sin, as the person instanced in the following verse shows; "Elias, who was a man of like passions", but a just man, and his prayer was prevalent: and not any prayer of a righteous man is of avail, but that which is "effectual, fervent"; that has power, and energy, and life in it; which is with the Spirit, and with the understanding, with the heart, even with a true heart, and in faith; and which is put up with fervency, and not in a cold, lukewarm, lifeless, formal, and customary way: it is but one word in the original text; and the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "daily"; that prayer which is constant and continual, and without ceasing, and is importunate; this prevails and succeeds, as the parable of the widow and the unjust judge shows. Some translate the word "inspired": the Spirit of God breathes into men the breath of spiritual life, and they live, and being quickened by him, they breathe; and prayer is the breath of the spiritual man, and is no other than the reverberation of the Spirit of God in him; and such prayer cannot fail of success: it may be rendered "inwrought"; true prayer is not what is written in a book, but what is wrought in the heart, by the Spirit of God; who is the enditer of prayer, who impresses the minds of his people with a sense of their wants, and fills their mouths with arguments, and puts strength into them to plead with God, and makes intercession for them according to the will of God; and such prayer is always heard, and regarded by him: this has great power with God; whatever is asked, believing, is received; God can deny nothing prayed for in this manner; it has great power with Christ, as Jacob had over the angel, when he wrestled with him; and as the woman of Canaan, when she importuned him, on account of her daughter, and would have no denial: such prayer has often been of much avail against Satan, who has been dispossessed by it; even the most stubborn kind of devils have been dislodged by fasting and prayer: it has often been the means of preserving kingdoms and nations, when invaded by enemies, as the instances of Jehoshaphat and Hezekiah show; and of removing judgments from a people, as was often done, through the prayers of Moses, as when fire and fiery serpents were sent among them; and of bringing down blessings as rain from heaven by Elijah; and of delivering particular persons from trouble, as Peter was delivered from prison, through the incessant prayer of the church for him: and this power, and efficacy, and prevalence of prayer, does not arise from any intrinsic worth and merit in it, but from the grace of the Spirit, who influences and endites it, directs to it, and assists in it; and from the powerful mediation, precious blood, and efficacious sacrifice of Christ; and from the promise of God and Christ, who have engaged, that whatever is asked according to the will of God, and in the name of Christ, shall be done. The Jews have had formerly a great notion of prayer: the power of prayer, they say (b), is strong; and extol it above all other services: they say (c), it is better than good works, or than offerings and sacrifices; and particularly, the prayer of righteous men: says R. Eliezar (d).

"to what is , "prayer of righteous men" like? it is like a shovel: the sense is, that as the shovel turns the corn on the floor, from one place to another, so prayer turns the holy blessed God from wrath to mercy.''

(b) Zohar in Exod. fol. 100. 1.((c) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 32. 2.((d) T. Bab. Succa, fol. 14. 1. & Yebamot, fol. 64. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

16. The oldest authorities read, "Confess, THEREFORE," &c. Not only in the particular case of sickness, but universally confess.

faults—your falls and offenses, in relation to one another. The word is not the same as sins. Mt 5:23, 24; Lu 17:4, illustrate the precept here.

one to another—not to the priest, as Rome insists. The Church of England recommends in certain cases. Rome compels confession in all cases. Confession is desirable in the case of (1) wrong done to a neighbor; (2) when under a troubled conscience we ask counsel of a godly minister or friend as to how we may obtain God's forgiveness and strength to sin no more, or when we desire their intercessory prayers for us ("Pray for one another"): "Confession may be made to anyone who can pray" [Bengel]; (3) open confession of sin before the Church and the world, in token of penitence. Not auricular confession.

that ye may be healed—of your bodily sicknesses. Also that, if your sickness be the punishment of sin, the latter being forgiven on intercessory prayer, "ye may be healed" of the former. Also, that ye may be healed spiritually.

effectual—intense and fervent, not "wavering" (Jas 1:6), [Beza]. "When energized" by the Spirit, as those were who performed miracles [Hammond]. This suits the collocation of the Greek words and the sense well. A righteous man's prayer is always heard generally, but his particular request for the healing of another was then likely to be granted when he was one possessing a special charism of the Spirit. Alford translates, "Availeth much in its working." The "righteous" is one himself careful to avoid "faults," and showing his faith by works (Jas 2:24).

James 5:16 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Prayer of Faith
15and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.…
Cross References
Genesis 18:23
Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?

Genesis 20:17
Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again,

1 Samuel 12:17
Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call on the LORD to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the LORD when you asked for a king."

1 Kings 13:6
Then the king said to the man of God, "Intercede with the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored." So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king's hand was restored and became as it was before.

2 Chronicles 30:20
And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people.

Job 42:8
So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has."

Jeremiah 42:2
Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, "Please hear our petition and pray to the LORD your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left.

Matthew 3:6
Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

Mark 1:5
The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

John 9:31
We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.

Acts 8:24
Then Simon answered, "Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me."

Acts 19:18
Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done.

Hebrews 12:13
"Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

1 Peter 2:24
"He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed."
Treasury of Scripture

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Confess.

Genesis 41:9,10 Then spoke the chief butler to Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my …

2 Samuel 19:19 And said to the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity to me…

Matthew 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

Matthew 18:15-17 Moreover if your brother shall trespass against you, go and tell …

Luke 7:3,4 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent to him the elders of the Jews, …

Acts 19:18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds.

pray.

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease …

1 Thessalonians 5:17,23,25 Pray without ceasing…

Hebrews 13:18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things …

that.

Genesis 20:17 So Abraham prayed to God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, …

2 Chronicles 30:20 And the LORD listened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.

Luke 9:6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, …

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: …

The effectual.

Genesis 18:23-32 And Abraham drew near, and said, Will you also destroy the righteous …

Genesis 19:29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, …

Genesis 20:7,17 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and …

Genesis 32:28 And he said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: …

Exodus 9:28,29,33 Entreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty …

Exodus 17:11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: …

Exodus 32:10-14 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, …

Numbers 11:2 And the people cried to Moses; and when Moses prayed to the LORD, …

Numbers 14:13-20 And Moses said to the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for …

Numbers 21:7-9 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for …

Deuteronomy 9:18-20 And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and …

Joshua 10:12 Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered …

1 Samuel 12:18 So Samuel called to the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain …

1 Kings 13:6 And the king answered and said to the man of God, Entreat now the …

1 Kings 17:18-24 And she said to Elijah, What have I to do with you, O you man of …

2 Kings 4:33-35 He went in therefore, and shut the door on them two, and prayed to the LORD…

2 Kings 19:15-20 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, …

2 Kings 20:2-5 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying…

2 Chronicles 14:11,12 And Asa cried to the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing …

2 Chronicles 32:20-22 And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the …

Job 42:8 Therefore take to you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to …

Psalm 10:17,18 LORD, you have heard the desire of the humble: you will prepare their …

Psalm 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.

Psalm 145:18,19 The LORD is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on …

Proverbs 15:8,29 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the …

Proverbs 28:9 He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer …

Jeremiah 15:1 Then said the LORD to me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, …

Jeremiah 29:12,13 Then shall you call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I …

Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty …

Daniel 2:18-23 That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret…

Daniel 9:20-22 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and …

Hosea 12:3,4 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength …

Matthew 7:7-11 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, …

Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.

Luke 11:11-13 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he …

Luke 18:1-8 And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always …

John 9:31 Now we know that God hears not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper …

Acts 4:24-31 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with …

Acts 12:5-11 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing …

1 John 3:22 And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, …

a righteous.

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the …

Hebrews 11:4,7 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, …

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