Key Verse: “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.”
THE PRIMARY GOAL OF A footstep follower of Christ is the doing of God’s will. Jesus came to Earth and was born into this world that he might carry out the Father’s will concerning his creation—man. So fully in harmony with the divine will was our Lord that he said, “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30) He also testified, “I came … not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”—John 6:38
The will of God in sending his son Jesus into the world was that he might be the Redeemer of mankind, and as a result, the seed through whom all the families of the earth would be blessed, in fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham. (Gen. 12:3; 22:18; 28:14) The “little flock” has been called to association with Jesus in that loving purpose. Paul said, “As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. … And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”—Gal. 3:27-29
We learn from our Key Verse that humility and a willingness to confess that we have sins and weaknesses is very important. The Scriptures tell us that “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” (Ps. 34:18) The thought of these words is that we are to have a sincere sorrow for sin. The Rotherham Translation renders the last portion of our Key Verse: “Much availeth the supplication of a righteous man when it is energized.” The thought here is that if our prayers are energized and motivated toward producing the desired effect or outcome, they will avail much.
We all have much work to do in our Christian walk. One part of this work is that of self-examination. “Let a man examine himself.” (I Cor. 11:28; II Cor. 13:5) We should also be engaged in the work of studying to show ourselves “approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.” (II Tim. 2:15) We have the additional responsibility and privilege, as members of Christ’s body, to look out for all other members. Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”—John 15:13
It is of vital importance that we have an active prayer life, knowing that the Father hears our prayers, and will answer them according to his will. (I Pet. 3:12) Faith is a very important element in this matter, because it is the basis of our prayers to God. The Apostle John said, “This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”—I John 5:14,15
Faith also stimulates our mind and activates us toward loving obedience and good works, and to serve the cause of truth and righteousness. (James 2:14-26) To the footstep follower of Christ, faith is not based on credulity. Rather, it is founded on the “substance” and “evidence” contained in God’s Word and in God’s overruling providences in our lives. (Heb. 11:1) Let us be thankful and echo the words of the psalmist: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”—Ps. 46:1