I've often recalled moments in church meetings - whether large or small - where people regularly prayed together for needs or even confessing struggles or, dare I say... sins. These were some of the most impactful and impressionable moments in my life and continue to be today...
"...The prayer of a righteous person is powerful & effective."
There is great strength & health in heartfelt confession to others when we have sinned. If you remember anything from this little note, remember that.
When we acknowledge our sin to each other (when we humble ourselves and trust our family and friends in Christ) we open a powerful, relational door, full of humility and practical encouragement and support. Yes, this can be risky, but with wisdom there are incredible perks and advantages.
God is faithful when we come to him privately, but He has made us family. We are a community that is meant to do life together.
I remember the churches that our family was a part of when I was growing up. (Yes, there were a few as my dad's jobs had us moving a lot. :)
They were communities who had regular times at the end of Sunday meetings where we were invited to come for prayer if we wanting support. Others, then, would come and buddy up with each person, respectfully ask what they would like prayer for and... pray.
Sounds simple, but in hindsight, they were some of the most memorable moments in church gatherings for me personally. Sometimes I was the one needing prayer and other times I was the one listening and praying for. We became family in these sacred spaces. They were personal, earned trust, and grew humility. We realized, just as James goes on to say in verse 17, that we were all humans on a challenging journey with a supernatural God. We needed Jesus and each other.
Confession is a beautiful, risky, powerful thing that gives great gifts in return. Healing, wholeness, support, and a bond in trusted community, to name a few. I think the greatest gift that it brings though, is humility. For where humility is, judgement is not.
We are the family of God. Should we not be able to come to each other with our struggles to pray, encourage, cheer or cry with one another?
I believe in a church like that... the family of Jesus, full of mercy and patience as we bring our struggles to the Lord, supporting each other in love.
We can be that church for each other.
Please inquire for the word of the LORD today. 1 Kings 22:5