By Pastor Jomo Cousins, PhD
James 5:16, Amplified Bible (AMP):
Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].
This verse tells us that confession of sin leads to healing and restoration. Unconfessed sin creates barriers in our prayer lives with God. If you have unconfessed sin, this would be a great time to give it to God. 1 John 1:9 makes that clear.
1 John 1:9, Amplified Bible (AMP):
If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose].
But there is another side to this verse. Sin leads to sickness and disease, and sickness and disease leads to death. Therefore, you don’t want to harbor any negative feelings towards others. Negativity is the breeding ground for sickness and unforgiveness is the vehicle the enemy uses to keep you down.
Understand that God sees all and knows all. If someone has done you wrong, God will handle it in His time. God tells us this in Romans 12:19, as He says, “vengeance is mine.” A defeated person has two things in common—unforgiveness and a lack of repentance. Believers, get rid of anything that is getting in the way of God hearing your prayers.
James 5:16 also tells us that for the prayer to be powerful, it must have two ingredients: it must be persistent and heartfelt. This kind of prayer will be dynamic, meaning it has explosive power in it.
Heartfelt prayer is simple praying with your heart in it. Persistent prayer is continuous; persevering prayer availeth much. “Availeth much” means much power is available when we can press in prayer. The caveat to this verse is a righteous man. Our prayers will be limited by our lifestyles. God can’t bless a mess. I believe this verse is where people get the statement, “Much prayer, much power. Little prayer, little power.”
Except from: Prayer Life: The Conversation, Page 289.