When I first started going to my church, I was astonished to find that not only did the minister pray, and they had an official prayer team available, but that they actually had about a 10-15 minute time set aside smack in the middle of the service where they expected all of us to get together in groups and pray. I don’t mean generic prayer either. I’m talking about getting together in groups of 5 or 6 and sharing what is on your heart. Struggles, praises, pain, whatever. I hated it. It was not comfortable. Who were these people who wanted to be all up in my business? Why did they need to know my struggles? Typical church gossip would probably follow.
So, when that time came, I would suddenly need to go to the bathroom, or perhaps I realized I forgot something in my car, or I had a work phone call that was urgent. Anything to get me out of there. However, the rest of the church experience was wonderful, and this soon became our church home. So, my habit of “stepping out” continued.
“Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord.”
Well fine, I thought, if it is in the bible, I suppose I should do it. This was about 11 years ago. Since then, I grew to realize that not only had I been cheating myself out of support by not being involved, but I was also disobeying my savior and cheating others from an honest relationship with me. I have, for the past few years, not only looked forward to sharing and praying, but I had come to depend on it. My family in Christ knew what was going on in my life, and they, in turn would lift me up throughout the week. They even rejoiced with me when God would redeem situations. The good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly. But isn’t that what a unified body does? We feel when other parts hurt?
1 Cor. 12:18-20
“But now God has placed the parts, each one of them, in the body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body.”
And previously it states in these verses as a reminder – There is One Spirit. A unified Spirit of God.
“Carry one another's burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
I can’t carry something that you don’t bring forward. And likewise, I can’t get any assistance with something that I don’t admit exists. This is huge… and it is not pretty. In fact, sometimes it is downright messy. Yet it is what God requires we do as part of the body… His body. Honest? I don’t know that I have any stance to argue that.
So yes, I will share my ugly, and yes, you will share yours. And praise God, we are being molded and shaped, and all the better glorifiers of Him for it!
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful.”
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.
Niki is a wife and mother of 2 children. She lives in Charlotte, NC where she enjoys everyday moments that ignite her relationship with our Lord and Savior.