“I could never put something so personal on Facebook. Can you imagine what people would say about me?” I asked.
My husband and I were having this conversation years ago, about someone who had posted a prayer request, and the request revealed a lot of personal things some might see as dirty laundry.
I felt sorry for the sweet girl, marveling in her bravery.
“We are supposed to confess our weaknesses to our brothers and sisters and ask them to pray for us….you know like the bible says in James 5:16?” he said.
“But sometimes I think we can be guilty of judging one another and praying at the same time,” I replied.
“Yea, I know…..I don’t think men struggle with that like women might,” he said nonchalantly.
I am ashamed I could relate to what he meant.
As sister’s in Christ, sometimes we can be pretty hard on each other.
Why are we women so apt to gaze into each others life and clearly see the wrong and reason out the circumstances, chalking it up to sin failure?
Does it make us feel better to see someone else struggle too?
Could it be a coping mechanism the devil has taught us to use in order to compare our sin? Maybe we feel better about our own sin when compared to others.
For years I missed the whole point of the scripture in James.
The reason behind confessing is to hold us to a standard of accountability.
Gosh its tough to admit we even need accountability isn’t it?
It was for me.
We don’t like to admit to ourselves much less another Christian our character flaws or sin. Heck, we have trouble confessing to GOD.
We are supposed to be Christians….not sinning Christians…..at least this is the world’s view of the church. It would be taboo if we admitted to each other we struggle with judging, gossip, jealousy or hate etc….yet James tells us to.
The plain and simple truth is I am a sinner. If we are breathing….we are all sinners.
The accountability I got from my brutally honest husband was the catalyst to help me face my sin. The pride and judging issues had nagged me for years.
God started convicting me about looking at the negative in a prayer request.
This sweet soul was hurting…..regardless of the why or how she ended up in the situation resulting in a prayer request….she was in pain.
GOD took me back to a time when my own decisions resulted in a time of pain.
Something inside me clicked.
I related to her anguish.
I am just like her…..messy enough to need prayer.
If we are honest….we all have areas in our life making us messy enough to need prayer.
When I judge another…I am putting myself in GOD’S place of authority.
I imagined GOD asking me point blank…..
“So you think you are HOLY enough to do my job?”
Now I ask him to help me focus on my own messes, and not my sister’s when entrusted to pray.
Since I have been praying this simple request over the last few years….there has been sort of a revolution in my heart.
GOD is making me more compassionate…..something I struggle with.
I’m finding my prayer life is more enjoyable….easier and sweeter.
I am experiencing real freedom through GOD’s grace and mercy.
And it feels good.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16
To be righteous means to be right with GOD.
I want to be right with GOD….everyday.
I long for my prayers to accomplish much in my own life as well as those who ask me to pray.
How about you?
GOD make us accountable, trustworthy, prayer warriors….and make our bonds of sisterhood stronger than any snare Satan can set.