"Never underestimate the power of prayer." That's the response I'm guaranteed to get from my best friend Jenny when I'm at a loss over what to do in a situation. I don't dare utter the words, "I guess I'll just pray about it," in her presence anymore. "Just pray about it? Lauren, prayer isn't a last resort."
This week's verse is a great reminder that prayer should always be our first resort.
Therefore confess your sins to one another
This one doesn't always come easy, does it? In the age of Instagram and Twitter, it's easy to pick and choose the images of ourselves that we want others to see. But this verse tells us to confess our faults and our shortcomings to one another. No, this doesn't need to be done over social media, but it does need to be done with trustworthy believers who have our best interest at heart. Acknowledging our faults in the presence of other people provides accountability for our daily struggles and allows us to encourage one another.
And pray for one another, that you may be healed
Once we've confided in each other and confessed our faults, we're told to pray for each other. Earnest prayers. Bold prayers. Praying with the expectation that God will hear us and act. Praying for others gives us a heart for their concerns and deepens our love and affection for them.
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working
What an encouragement! We can pray with expectation because God hears the prayers of believers who are walking in obedience to Him. And not only does He hear them; James says that our prayers have great power as they are working. Our prayers accomplish much.
A word of encouragement
We can be open and honest with one another in our struggles. God uses our friendships to act in our circumstances through prayer. So instead of trying to cover up the ugly, let's hold each other accountable, lift one another up in prayer, and watch God work.
Each Tuesday I design a new iPhone background with a different verse and share it on the blog. Seeing scripture several times throughout my day is always an encouragement to me - it reminds me of truth and helps me memorize new verses. Feel free to download, pin, and share these backgrounds as many times as you would like!