Category Archives: Prayer

Gathered Together

Gathered Together

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”” (Matthew‬ ‭18:20‬ ‭HCSB‬‬)

This is a familiar verse of Scripture that is often taken out of context and misunderstood. As with all other Scriptures, it is important to know the context in which this verse was written before we try to interpret it.

First, we need to know that Jesus was teaching about church discipline and trying to restore a person who has sinned against another, in the church. Here’s what Jesus says:

““If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he won’t listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. If he pays no attention to them, tell the church. But if he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like an unbeliever and a tax collector to you (Matthew‬ ‭18:15-17‬ ‭HCSB‬‬).””

Jesus is teaching us that, if there is a person(s) within a body of believers that has sinned against another believer and refuses to ask for forgiveness, or repent, that person must be expelled from the group. He also says that the group must not hang around with the person who was being disciplined, outside the group. Is this extreme? Yes, it is, but it must be taken in Love, with the pure intent and purpose of restoring that person back to the church. The reason the person must be expelled from the church is best described this way, that if we leave a rotten apple in a basket of apples, the good apples will begin to rot as well.

However, this is not a decision that can be taken lightly. This is where today’s verse comes in, starting with verse nineteen:

“Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven (Matthew‬ ‭18:19‬ ‭HCSB‬‬).”

Here are two things that Jesus wants us to know before we make the decision to exile someone from the church.

1. The church must be in agreement – all the members of the body of believers (church) must be in complete agreement that something must be done about the unrepentant person.
2. The church must agree to pray before acting – we must agree to bring the matter before the Lord, before we act.
3. Only when we are in complete agreement will God answer our prayers. Jesus gives us that assurance.

Now we come to today’s verse and here’s what Jesus tells us:

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them (Matthew‬ ‭18:20‬ ‭HCSB‬‬).””

Here are three things Jesus wants us to know from this verse:

1. There must be unity – those two or three who gather together must be of one mind, and one spirit. There cannot be disagreement among those who gather.
2. The gathering must be done with the purpose of bringing honor to Christ, our Lord – there cannot be a personal agenda, by anyone involved in the decision making process.
3. Jesus will intervene – only when the conditions above are met, and we seek Jesus’ decision, will Jesus be with those who are gathered, and will help them make the right decision.

Although this passage is about church discipline and restoration, it is my humble opinion that this same process can be used in our homes, among friends, at work, and even at school. Every decision we make must be Christ’s decision, lest we be wrong and have a devastating, negative effect on others.

In Christ’s love,



” if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

I’ve heard so many Christians grumble, gripe, snort, and complain about our country and  how we want it to change for the good.  We’re frustrated and angry, and blame everything and everyone, including our government, for the woes we face every day in our country.  Some us even live in fear of the direction in which our country is going.

The sad reality is that we Christians play a major role in the spiritual and moral decay in the United States of America.  Yes, I said it because if we take a good, honest look at ourselves, we can see that we have become weak, cowardly Christians who choose to put blinders on and hide within the four walls of our man-made temples, and/or homes.  We refuse to go out and introduce the world to the only One who can change the world, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

Do we Christians really want our country to change?  We must do what our God says we must do:

  1. Humble ourselves before God – we must recognize and acknowledge that God is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent, and we are not.  God reminds us of why we should never trust ourselves: “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV Bold and italics mine).” 
  2. Pray – many of us have a minimal, or non-existent prayer life.  Prayer is one of the ways in which God and man can communicate with one another.  Expectant, fervent prayer demonstrates faith in our Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent God.
  3. Seek God’s face, His wise counsel – if we acknowledge and believe what God says about us (“our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked”), then it stands to reason that we must seek God and His perfect, wise counsel in all things.
  4. Repent – as a nation, we must repent of our ongoing sin.  We must ask God to forgive us for our idolatry as we try to replace our Creator with ourselves, and worship ourselves and all things created (Romans 1:18-32).  We must, as a nation, surrender to His Lordship.  We must become a nation that loves God above all else (Matthew 22:37), and love others (Christians and non-Christians alike) as we do our own selves (Matthew 22:39).

If we do these things, God promises to do three things,

  1. To hear our prayers for forgiveness and repentance from His throne in heaven-  if we cry out to Him with a humble, sincere, and contrite heart, He will hear our prayers (Psalms 51:17).
  2. To forgive our sins – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).”
  3. To heal our land – if we do what He has asked us to do, God will change the social and spiritual climate of our country and make us into the real, greatest country in the world as He intended us to be from the very beginning.

But none of this is going to happen as long as Christians continue to be isolationists and stay hidden from the world within the four walls of our temples.  If we want peace in our country, we must introduce it to the prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

“No Jesus, no peace; know Jesus, know peace.”

So, Christians, we must get up, get out, and go to work!!!!

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20).”

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends[a] of the earth (Acts 1:8).”

See you out there!

In Christ’s love,


Confess and Pray

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” (James 5:16 HCSB)

This is one of those verses that is extremely beneficial to us Christians, but our selfishness and pride causes us to ignore it.  Many of us seem to believe we are without sin and have nothing to confess.  We hardly ever confess our sins to God, much less to one another.  God reminds us that just because we are Christians doesn’t mean that we do not sin:

 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8 HCSB).” 

Whether we want to believe it or not, the church is full of sin.  We tend to gossip about each other, hold grudges against each other, stab each other in the back, we are judgmental about each other, we’re envious of one another, jealous of one another, hateful towards one another, and mean to one another.  In today’s verse, God, through James commands us to do some things that, if we do them, will be extremely beneficial to us all.

  1. “confess your sins to one another” – This is what we have the most trouble with because our pride gets in our way.  But this is a command, not a mere suggestion because the spiritual, emotional, and physical benefits of confessing and forgiving one another’s sins far outweigh the benefits of sin.  When we confess and forgive each other’s sins, God cleanses us, and we become righteous in His eyes.
  2. “pray for one another” – When we confess and forgive one another, God forgives us and is able to hear our prayers.  We are, then, to lift each others’ needs and struggles up to the Lord in prayer.
  3. “so that you may be healed.” – Here’s the benefit.  When we are right with each other, and God, God hears our prayers and is able to heal our spiritual, emotional, and physical wounds, and illnesses.
  4. “The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” – There is power in the prayers of those who have been cleansed of all sin.

We must remember, though, that we must forgive those who have sinned against us the same way we want them to forgive us.  God will not forgive our sin if we do not forgive those who sin against us:

 But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing (Matthew 6:15 HCSB).”

Is there anyone you need to confess to?  Is there anyone you need to forgive?  Let’s do what God has commanded us to do. Let’s confess to one another, forgive one another, and pray for one another with all our hearts.

So, then,

  • how will you obey today’s Scriptures?
  • With whom will you share today’s Scriptures?
  • With whom will you share the story of your salvation and the story of what Jesus has done for you?

Let me know how it goes!

P.S. – Remember that you’re only responsible for your obedience to God’s commands, not for what others do, or don’t do, with God’s commands.


In christ’s love,