Weather Alert:

Church programs for Monday, Jan. 22 will resume their normal schedule at all locations this evening.

Programming Note:

Leawood’s Sunday night in-person worship has been moved to 4 pm for Sunday, February 11. 

Close this search box.

More than casual socializing

August 10, 2023

Daily Scripture

James 5:16-18

16 For this reason, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve. 17 Elijah was a person just like us. When he earnestly prayed that it wouldn’t rain, no rain fell for three and a half years. 18 He prayed again, God sent rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Resurrection small groups build friendships, but their purpose runs a lot deeper than joining a bridge club or knitting circle at a community center. “We may hear the message of the Gospel at church, but small groups empower us through group dialogue to become that message for the world.” * Dr. David Hubbard described today’s passage as showing that “prayer is often corporate—other members of Christ’s body can share the experience with us.” **

  • One of James’ phrases might scare you: “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other.” You may at first want to limit your sharing to only safe, positive feelings or events. But as you learn to trust other group members, you’ll find (like John Wesley’s early Methodist groups) that there is great spiritual power in building a trusting environment in which honest confession can deepen accountability and prayer support for each other. How can you find trustworthy spiritual companions to help take your faith journey deeper?
  • The prophet Elijah’s story is in 1 Kings 17-18. James used that story to highlight prayer’s power. Scholar N. T. Wright wrote, “Every Christian has not only the right but the vocation to engage in… prayer for one another, prayer for the sick, prayer for the sinners, prayer for the nation and the world. If everyone who reads these words would… devote half an hour every day to this task, the effect could be incalculable.” *** Why not plan a daily prayer time, maybe building to a half hour?

Lord Jesus, you (God in the flesh) prayed seriously and often. Thank you for inviting me to talk with you often, and listen for your inner leading, alone and with others. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala Tennie serves as the Student Discipleship Program Director with Resurrection Students. She has nearly 20 years of volunteer and professional ministry experience and loves walking alongside and encouraging others in their spiritual journey. Mikiala is blessed to be an adoptive aunt and godmother to many kiddos and lives with her 10-pound Yorkie, KiKi Okoye Tennie.

My small group started a brand-new study in January. It’s a 52-week prayer journey on prioritizing self-care in various aspects of life. Since January…we’ve completed 13 total sessions so far (yes, it’s now August)!

But whether we crack the book or not, we share, laugh, encourage, vent, occasionally shed a tear, and wrestle with the things of God on any given week.

I’ve been in some form of a small group for most of my life—but they haven’t all served the true purpose of small group ministry. I can give the best Sunday school answers and talk about spiritual principles with ease… but what’s not so easy… is talking about my feelings. What’s not easy is being vulnerable and truly figuring out how Sunday’s message (or week 13 of 52) actually applies to my life—and being held accountable to actually apply it.

It’s not easy to carve out time in my week. Sometimes I’m tired. Sometimes I don’t want to know what God has to say to me or will be requiring of me next.

It’s not easy to read a verse that applies directly to my life and then talk about why and how it applies and what I should do about it.

It’s not easy to carry other people’s burdens along with my own. Worse, it’ not easy to celebrate with others when celebration sometimes feels so out of the realm of possibility in my own life. It’s not easy sharing my hopes and dreams with others, knowing they may not come true. It’s not easy sharing my failures and fears, when I’d much rather pretend I have this whole Christian life all together and figured out.

It’s not easy. But it is so very worth it.

When we make it a point to gather despite the busyness of life and open ourselves up to learn from God amongst other people, we embrace the idea that we were created to live in community, and we honor ourselves—and each other—by agreeing to be a part of it.

When we study together and attempt to apply God’s Word to our lives, we gain not just accountability, but a safe place to mess up, be encouraged, and try again. When we carry each other’s burdens and celebrate other’s joys, we make room for other people to lift us up in times of need and smile back at us when things are going well.

Community doesn’t need to be perfect or even require the curriculum to be the focus each time, but community does require you. The real you—who occasionally: needs prayer, has a fun story to share, knows way too many dad jokes, messes up often, needs validation, would love to be encouraged, hates to talk, has questions about the Bible, watches too much TV, has a loud laugh, struggles to get out of bed, can’t control the kids, cries at the drop of a hat… wants to follow Jesus… 

Community needs that you. And you need that kind of community.

“16 For this reason, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve.” James 5:16

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* From
** David A. Hubbard, The Book of James: Wisdom That Works. Waco, TX: Word Books, 1980, p. 127.
*** Wright, N. T., Early Christian Letters for Everyone (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 43). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.