Out of the Closet!!!

April 24, 2015

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.”  (James 5:16 NLT)

When Alcoholics Anonymous started it was called “The Saint James Fellowship” because it was founded on this verse. The founders later changed the name to include people of all faiths and those with no faith.  While millions of secular people in AA apply the truths of this Scripture and experience healing, it is a shame that many believers never make these healing applications.

When you meet with another believer do you keep your sins in the closet?  Do you give the impression that you don’t have a problem in the world?  Do they do the same?  That does not burden you to pray for each other.  But if you can trust them and share some of your sins with them they would be burdened to pray for you.  They would also more than likely have what I call “reality contact” with you by sharing their sins and that would burden you to pray for them. The result of these mutual prayers would be mutual healing.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who wrote extensively about spiritual community, put it this way: “Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous.  So they remain alone with their sins, living in lies and hypocrisy… He who is alone with his sins is utterly alone.”

A paraphrase of James 5:16 is that honest prayers explode with power!  It is a strategy of the evil one to isolate us into self imposed solitary confinement. Never let him isolate you into being a closet sinner; instead, find healing in confessing your sins and praying for one another.

Dick Woodward, 14 April 2013


Closet Sinners

April 14, 2013

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.”  (James 5:16 NLT)

When Alcoholics Anonymous started it was called “The Saint James Fellowship” because it was founded on this verse. The founders later changed the name to include people of all faiths and those with no faith.  While millions of secular people apply the truths of this Scripture and experience healing, it is a shame that many believers never make these healing applications.

When you meet with another believer do you keep your sins in the closet?  Do you give the impression that you don’t have a problem in the world?  Do they do the same?  That does not burden you to pray for each other.  But if you trust them and share some of your sins with them they would be burdened to pray for you.  They would also more than likely have what I call “reality contact” with you by sharing their sins and that would burden you to pray for them. The result of these mutual prayers would be mutual healing.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who wrote extensively about spiritual community, put it this way: “Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous.  So they remain alone with their sins, living in lies and hypocrisy… He who is alone with his sins is utterly alone.”

A paraphrase of James 5:16 is that honest prayers explode with power!  It is a strategy of the evil one to isolate us into self imposed solitary confinement. Never let him isolate you into being a closet sinner; instead, find healing in confessing your sins and praying for one another.


Reality Contact

November 1, 2011

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16)

A long time ago I lunched with a friend on Mondays.  I’d always ask him, “How are you, Skip?”

“Great, wonderful, marvelous and tremendous!” he’d answer.  Always!

On many Mondays I’d not had a good weekend, and life was not great, wonderful, marvelous, and tremendous for me.  But this guy was always emphatically optimistic. After this pattern continued for some time, one Monday I asked him, “Tell me something. If everything wasn’t great, wonderful, marvelous, and tremendous, how would you answer my question?”

“Oh, I’d probably lie to you,” he responded.

I then decided to rephrase my question.  I asked, “How are you, really, Skip?” He worked with a group of people who emphasized Scripture memory and they all memorized a verse of the week.  “Frankly, if you really want to know,” he said, “My verse of the week is, ‘Hang it on your beak, freak!'” We then had some really honest conversation, what I call “Reality Contact.”

What James had in mind is that if we are honest with each other we will be burdened to pray for each other.  Then as a result of our mutual prayers for one another we will be healed.  If when we meet together we are not honest, we will not pray for each other and the mutual healing will not happen.  One translation reads that our honest prayers will explode with power!

We should have this kind of relationship with a believer we trust, but we are missing something important if we do not have “Reality Contact” with someone.  Do you have that kind of relationship with anyone?