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Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 NIV

It's highly likely, we all carry some secrets. I say that because none of us is perfect. We have said and done things we keep hidden because bringing them into the light is embarrassing and painful. Of course, nothing is hidden from God, but we fear that we open ourselves to vulnerability in telling our secrets. However, when we tell the suitable someone our secret, we receive freedom in the telling. We also gain a partner to help us carry that burden—someone who can pray with us for our healing.

Does this mean we must stand in front of our congregations each time we gather and recount our sins? Not at all, there may be a time afterward when we can testify to God's healing, but in that first telling, I think James is saying it is more personal. The confession is to those brothers and sisters closest to us. Those we know won't be judgemental and care for our spiritual welfare. The role of the confessor is not limited to clergy but all Christians. We are to listen with empathy and compassion to each other. Then, in our love, we are to pray for each other for the healing created by the sickness of sin.

Gracious God, we give thanks for your forgiveness when we come in repentance. Grant us the courage to share those secrets we've kept hidden, those things weighing upon our souls. As your children, help us have the heart of Christ to listen with \compassion and forgiveness. Father, give us the understanding, wisdom, and words to provide comfort and encouragement. May the Holy Spirit be in our sharing and our prayers of healing. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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