Practicing confession and prayer will determine whether the sun is rising or setting in your story.
- How does whether we see the sun as rising or setting on the church and on our own life impact how we live?
- James invites us into the flow of God's love and power by inviting us to pray. What's the biggest challenge for you in prayer?
- The Prayer of Suffering - James first addresses the person who is suffering. When we suffer we are tempted to feel isolated and tempted to clench our fists in control. How does prayer impact our feelings of isolation and control?
- The Prayer of Celebration - James next addresses the person for whom things are going great. He says - praise God. When things are going great we are tempted to think it's because we're great. Praise gives God the glory and keeps us humble. How does praising God help you 'unclench your fists?'
- The Prayer for the Sick - James calls us to pray in faith for those struggling with sickness. We pray in faith and trust God with the results. How do you approach praying for the sick? How do you balance faith that God can do anything with trust in God's sovereignty?
- The Prayer for the Sinful - Now James addresses the most universal human struggle - sin. The picture here is of ordinary Christian community. Someone struggling with weakness or failure admits their need. Another believer/believers gather around them in prayer. God brings deep healing.
- Dallas Willard defines confession as letting trusted others know our deepest weaknesses and failures in order to nourish our faith in God's loving provision for our needs. - How does confession nourish our faith?
- Confession happens in relationships marked by trust, humility, and vulnerability. How can we cultivate these type of relationships?
- When you pray for someone who has confessed, you make a confession of your own - you confess that JESUS IS BIGGER than our sin. How can we remind one another of our true identity in Christ?
- Read Psalm 32:1-3. What does unconfessed sin do to us?
- How can practicing confession and prayer lead us to become a community where the sun is rising?