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.

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.

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.

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;

James 5:16 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Confess your faults one to another - This is a good general direction to Christians who endeavor to maintain among themselves the communion of saints. This social confession tends much to humble the soul, and to make it watchful. We naturally wish that our friends in general, and our religious friends in particular, should think well of us; and when we confess to them offenses which, without this confession, they could never have known, we feel humbled, are kept from self-applause, and induced to watch unto prayer, that we may not increase our offenses before God, or be obliged any more to undergo the painful humiliation of acknowledging our weakness, fickleness, or infidelity to our religious brethren.

It is not said, Confess your faults to the Elders that they may forgive them, or prescribe penance in order to forgive them. No; the members of the Church were to confess their faults to each other; therefore auricular confession to a priest, such as is prescribed by the Romish Church, has no foundation in this passage. Indeed, had it any foundation here it would prove more than they wish, for it would require the priest to confess his sins to the people, as well as the people to confess theirs to the priest.

And pray one for another - There is no instance in auricular confession where the penitent and the priest pray together for pardon; but here the people are commanded to pray for each other that they may be healed.

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much - The words δεησις ενεργουμενη signify energetic supplication, or such a prayer as is suggested to the soul and wrought in it by a Divine energy. When God designs to do some particular work in his Church he pours out on his followers the spirit of grace and supplication; and this he does sometimes when he is about to do some especial work for an individual. When such a power of prayer is granted, faith should be immediately called into exercise, that the blessing may be given: the spirit of prayer is the proof that the power of God is present to heal. Long prayers give no particular evidence of Divine inspiration: the following was a maxim among the ancient Jews, שתפלת צדיקים קצדה the prayers of the righteous are short. This is exemplified in almost every instance in the Old Testament.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Confess.

Genesis 41:9,10 Then spoke the chief butler to Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day...

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 him his fault between you and him alone: if he shall hear you...

Luke 7:3,4 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent to him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant...

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 to pray for you...

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 willing to live honestly.

that.

Genesis 20:17 So Abraham prayed to God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bore children.

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, and healing every where.

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good...

The effectual.

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

Genesis 19:29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham...

Genesis 20:7,17 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for you, and you shall live: and if you restore her not...

Genesis 32:28 And he said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince have you power with God and with men...

Exodus 9:28,29,33 Entreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunder and hail; and I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer...

Exodus 17:11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

Exodus 32:10-14 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of you a great nation...

Numbers 11:2 And the people cried to Moses; and when Moses prayed to the LORD, the fire was quenched.

Numbers 14:13-20 And Moses said to the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for you brought up this people in your might from among them;)...

Numbers 21:7-9 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against you; pray to the LORD...

Deuteronomy 9:18-20 And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water...

Joshua 10:12 Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel...

1 Samuel 12:18 So Samuel called to the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.

1 Kings 13:6 And the king answered and said to the man of God, Entreat now the face of the LORD your God, and pray for me...

1 Kings 17:18-24 And she said to Elijah, What have I to do with you, O you man of God? are you come to me to call my sin to remembrance...

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, which dwell between the cherubim, you are the God, even you alone...

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 with you to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power...

2 Chronicles 32:20-22 And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven...

Job 42:8 Therefore take to you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering...

Psalm 10:17,18 LORD, you have heard the desire of the humble: you will prepare their heart, you will cause your ear to hear...

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 him in truth...

Proverbs 15:8,29 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight...

Proverbs 28:9 He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

Jeremiah 15:1 Then said the LORD to me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people...

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

Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not.

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 the sin of my people Israel...

Hosea 12:3,4 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God...

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

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 give him a stone? or if he ask a fish...

Luke 18:1-8 And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint...

John 9:31 Now we know that God hears not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and does his will, him he hears.

Acts 4:24-31 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, you are God, which have made heaven...

Acts 12:5-11 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church to God for him...

1 John 3:22 And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

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 obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Hebrews 11:4,7 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous...

Library
June the Twenty-Ninth Effectual Prayers
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." --JAMES v. 13-20. Or, as Weymouth translates it, "The heartfelt supplication of a righteous man exerts a mighty influence." Prayer may be empty words, with no more power than those empty shells which have been foisted upon the Turks in their war with the Balkan States. Firing empty shells! That is what many professed prayers really are; they have nothing in them, and they accomplish nothing. They are just forged upon the lips, and
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

"Who Will Rise up with Me against the Wicked?"
Ps. 94:16. 1. In all ages, men who neither feared God nor regarded man have combined together, and formed confederacies, to carry on the works of darkness. And herein they have shown themselves wise in their generation; for by this means they more effectually promoted the kingdom of their father the devil, than otherwise they could I have done. On the other hand, men who did fear God, and desire the happiness of their fellow-creatures, have, in every age, found it needful to join together, in order
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

On the Whole, Since Scripture Places the Principal Part of Worship in the Invocation Of...
On the whole, since Scripture places the principal part of worship in the invocation of God (this being the office of piety which he requires of us in preference to all sacrifices), it is manifest sacrilege to offer prayer to others. Hence it is said in the psalm: "If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god, shall not God search this out?" (Ps. 44:20, 21). Again, since it is only in faith that God desires to be invoked, and he distinctly enjoins us to frame
John Calvin—Of Prayer--A Perpetual Exercise of Faith

But Some Seem to be Moved by the Fact...
But some seem to be moved by the fact, that the prayers of saints are often said to have been heard. Why? Because they prayed. "They cried unto thee" (says the Psalmist), "and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded" (Ps. 22:5). Let us also pray after their example, that like them we too may be heard. Those men, on the contrary, absurdly argue that none will be heard but those who have been heard already. How much better does James argue, "Elias was a man subject to like passions
John Calvin—Of Prayer--A Perpetual Exercise of Faith

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.

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