Attitude in PrayerSue Afutu
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. James 5:16 NLT
Some years ago, I watched a fifty years old woman on television give a testimony on how she conceived and had her child. In her account, she stated that she had spent a lot of years praying for herself that God would give her and her husband the gift of a child. But sometime after this, she decided to set some days aside to fast and pray that God would bless others with the fruit of the womb. In this extensive period of her prayer and fast, she did not pray for herself but only for others. It was shortly after this period that she conceived and delivered successfully.
There are many verses in the Bible that tell us that God would not answer our prayers unless we have the right attitude towards others. One of such verses is James 5:16 which we find above.
Isn’t it interesting that, receiving answers to our prayers has been tied to us confessing our sins to each other? This involves letting people know ways in which we have wronged them and then asking for their forgiveness.
Besides this, the verse above also admonishes us to pray for others. When we pray for others, we also benefit. According to this verse, we receive healing when we pray for others. This healing is not just physical healing but also inner healing. The healing of our souls. Indeed God wants us to be people-centred and not selfish.
Jesus taught his disciples that if you are going to the altar to present your sacrifice to God and you remember that your brother has something against you, you must leave the gift at the altar and go and make peace with your brother and only after that can you come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23).
Many of us have often quoted the latter part of James 5:16 unaware of what precedes it. Do you have some prayers which have gone unanswered? Perhaps it is time to seek forgiveness from that brother or sister for the wrong you caused them. Let’s also remember to bring the needs of others before God that we may be healed.