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. - James 5:16
When I became a Christian at the age of 16, I was part of a vibrant youth fellowship of about 30 young people. Many of the fellowship were new Christians like me and most came from a non-Christian background, again like me. One Sunday evening, we were studying James Chapter 5. The group was keen, genuinely wanting to grow as Christians and prepared to “do” God’s word. The leader of our group, who was also 16 years old but more mature in his journey with God, decided we should form groups of 3 and confess our sins to each other. This of course is youthful enthusiasm at its best.
Unfortunately, those listening to the confessions in each group forgot about humility, love and kindness and added their own views about each person’s confession. This caused a lot of hurt and several relationships required urgent reconciliation work!
You will be amazed then that I still think this verse is one of the most important for creating strong, loving, and caring fellowships. At Re:Hope we have seen huge numbers of prayers answered through prayer ministry, and we have a deep desire to pray for one another. We know prayer works.
Often, prayer requests are confidential confessions of sin and it is an honour to be trusted with these prayers. God wants us to be able to trust one another with anything that is holding us back from flourishing in our relationship with God. Our God is bringing into being a community in the highest sense. A community of reconciled people living within a renewed creation and enjoying the presence of our redeemer. A people who trust each other for prayer support so that we are healed, empowered, and fuelled by an intimate connection with our Father in heaven.
Also, note that this passage goes on to say our prayers, the prayers of the righteous (through Jesus) are powerful like Elijah’s prayers! Praying for each other is an act of love. Jesus prayed for us and we must do the same for each other.
Today as part of the 40 days of prayer, let us pray for:
Re:Hope to be renowned for our commitment to praying for one another.
Our relationships to grow in trust, love, and care for each other.
For each of us to listen to each other in humility and trust through the Holy Spirit.