March 5, 2020

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. James 5:16

When I was in college, there was a lovely group of young women in our dorm who invited us on multiple occasions to come with them to Student Christian Association meetings. My friends and I always declined politely but asked if we could have any leftover brownies. I had a host of reasons for not wanting to go – I was too busy studying, I didn’t want to “hold hands and pray out loud”, I believed you didn’t need to gather with other Christians to be a Christian. Wouldn’t you know, they brought us the leftovers every week. I am certain they prayed long and hard over those brownies before delivering them to us. And let me assure you, I’m forever grateful.

At 20, I had everything figured out. It was only in my 30’s that things so drastically changed. Suddenly, I had a precocious daughter with a million questions, a strong-willed son with boundless energy, adult-sized problems, and a dawning realization that I had nothing figured out.

Then a friend invited me to join a prayer group called Moms In Touch. This group met weekly to pray for our children, their school, the teachers and administrators, and for one another. We focused on four steps of prayer: Praise, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Intercession. You can imagine this was not something that came naturally at first. There is something so humbling about confessing your sins to others and admitting your need for prayer. I saw the truth in the old adage that “the ground is level at the foot of the cross” as precious mothers I admired confessed their shortcomings and lifted up their children in prayer. In time, I felt safe enough (or maybe desperate enough?) to confess my own sins and to ask for specific prayers for something one of my children was dealing with. I remember how powerful it was to find myself in the company of women speaking my children’s names and praying for them, and for me. Through these women I learned that we are not meant to carry our burdens alone.

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for all the dear souls you have put in our path to point us to You. We know that your word tells us that “all have sinned and fallen short” of your glory (Romans 3:23) and that in your infinite mercy, you sent your One and Only Son to die on the cross as a substitute for our sin. Help us to confess our sins and to pray for each other, and to be found worthy of the cross of Christ. This we ask in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Carter Willard Smith

About the Contributor:
Carter Willard Smith is a lifelong member of First Pres Spartanburg, wife to Louis, mom to two grown children and caregiver to her beautiful mother. She loves family, food, flowers, travel, sunsets, and unruly dogs.