Community Confession and Prayer

Text: James 5:16-18
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: December 11, 2011

When you hear, “confess your sins to one another” what comes into your mind. Those from certain backgrounds picture going into a small booth where they tell a priest about their sins with the hope of receiving absolution. Other might picture an AA/12 step meeting in which everyone takes turns describing their struggles with their addictions.

James is not telling us to confess our sins to a human priest, but to one another in the church community. The purpose is that we can help each other, especially by praying for one another.
For what James is describing to happen, the church community must consist of humble, loving people who are willing to be vulnerable with each other.
We also need to be careful to confess our sins to one another in appropriate ways and in proper settings.

We also are to pray for one another, realizing that our prayers are powerful. James teaches us that the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James uses Elijah as an example of a righteous man who prayed effectual prayers so that we will be encouraged to pray for one another.

Are you in the habit of confessing your sins to your brothers and sisters in Christ? Does anyone really know you?
Are you praying for us, especially in our spiritual struggles?

As we pray, we can trust God to do more than we could have imagined (Eph. 3:20-21).

Posted on December 11th, 2011 | Permalink