James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
I listened to a psychologist explaining the difference between one-on-one therapy versus group therapy. He explained that group therapy brought about better healing results, and a greater percentage of people becoming healed of the multiple mental illnesses and issues they were suffering from. He said that one-on-one therapy was harder to obtain good results because the people were much more prone to being self-centred during the therapy session than those in the group sessions. The therapist explained that in a group environment, there was empathy among those within the group toward the others needing help. They discovered there was genuine help for the mentally ill in the group because some of the people in that grouping had gone through the same problems. Plus there was a feeling of acceptance once people began to share the mental issues that needed healing within their lives.
I found the interview with the psychologist interesting because, in effect, the psychologist confirmed that the church was doing the same thing and had been doing it every week for centuries. The words explaining the group settings differed, but the results were similar. What we as Christians call fellowship, is in effect a form of spiritual group therapy. The Word of God admonishes us to remain faithful in coming together regularly and to keep our hearts ready to repent and change our minds when we receive anointed guidance from the holy Spirit. The result is that we can walk in the healing Word of God and be a blessing to those struggling in life. Heb. 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
It has been said that many are communicating but not many are connecting. Could it be that everyone is talking and no one is listening? I believe there is a worldwide need for people to connect on an emotional level because the loneliness that is prevalent among the youth and elderly has become a universal problem. Maybe it was not such a good idea to create a system where the elderly were housed in care homes, the young were planted in daycare, and never the two would meet. The Word of the Lord says to let the children come to Him and that the elderly would bear fruit in old age. Might God have been thinking that the elderly having a strong relationship with Him, could have ministered with patient love to the young who have thousands of questions that only the elderly would patiently answer, and might have fixed the loneliness problem?
We do need to come together in Godly support groups. The first church was a collection of home groups and a place where the new believers in Christ would meet and pray. Rom. 16:5a Likewise greet the church that is in their house. There is power when we pray together. When two or more are gathered together with Christ as the group’s center, we can bring our petitions to God the Father. Matt. 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. There is strength in numbers when brothers and sisters in the Lord, are believing God together for a united purpose that is God’s will. The power of a group of righteous men and women who believe God can become a formidable force and can create a unity that is hard to break. Eccl. 4:12b A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
The Lord has put within salvation the gift of healing for all people who accept God’s gift of forgiveness. The Lord encourages us to submit to one another in the faith and to be a blessing to each other. We become strengthened and encouraged in Christ by confessing our faults to one another and praying for one another. This congregational type of group involvement helps us take care of each other and also reminds us that we all require God’s help at all times. James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
For those who think that they can make it through this world without the nurturing of other fellow believers might want to look to the wild animal kingdom to see what happens when a predator separates a weakling or even a lone water buffalo from the group. Yes, the water buffalo is big and strong, but not strong enough when a pack of predators sets their mind to take it down. We have an evil enemy who goes around as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Satan looks for the ones who have become separated from fellowship and group prayer. Stay in touch with the believers in Christ, and the elders in the church, as well as the congregants who can help keep each other accountable to the Lord Jesus. Don’t be afraid to ask for prayer when going through difficult times, and be ready to pray and be a blessing when others ask you to cover their lives in anointed intercession. Keep showing up to God’s group therapy and grow mentally strong as well as spiritually strong in Him who first loved us.