Daily Bible Reading – 10.7.2021
James 5:13-16, Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 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.
We can look at this passage from the vantage point of speaking appropriately to one another and to God in prayer. However, I want us to look at this from the perspective of the listener.
If anyone would be able to confess their sins to us, if anyone is able to bring their deepest and most painful prayer concerns to us, then they need to trust us. Trust is learned through relationships that over time have demonstrated confidential care for one another.
To let you in on a secret, if people are going to have confidence and share their hearts with you, they need to know you are an active listener who can be trusted. They need to have experience with you listening intently knowing that you will not broadcast their information to others.
Small groups can become closely connected friendships where we become that for one another. After a period of time where the members of the group carefully listen without judging or jumping in too quickly to offer advice, trust will be developed. Deeper relationships will form. A climate of openness and vulnerability will be created.
Out of this kind of atmosphere will naturally flow conversations where we confess our needs, our struggles, our temptations, and even our sins with one another. We know it is safe to do so because we have no fear of anyone spreading gossip but confident that others will sincerely pray for us in the midst of our painful struggles.
Healing does happen through God’s answer to prayer, but there is also healing in the safety of a faith-filled community who lovingly listen to each other.
Questions to Consider:
How have you opened up to someone whom you knew you could trust? How well do you listen to others?
Weekly Memory Verse:
James 1:19, My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,