Unspoken Prayer Request – Do Protestants Need Confession?


A Journey of Faith

Authored by Sis. Kimberly M. Hartfield

Women in Christian Ministry is the culmination of my writings on women’s ministry and related topics of concern. It is a reflection of my personal journey into Christian Ministry and my search for truth in questions concerning a woman’s place in ministry, types of ministry, and whether or not she should be ordained for that purpose. It was an answer to God’s calling on my life and God’s confirmation of that calling. I hope that my journey of faith may help you in your search for truth and encourage you in your calling. This book includes samples of a Baptism, Wedding, and Funeral ceremony. God bless to all!

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Unspoken Prayer Request – Do Protestants Need Confession?

James 5:16 tells us to confess our faults to one another and pray for one another so that we may be healed.  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much.  So why then do we make unspoken prayer requests and is it Biblical? If we consider this verse carefully we will see that avails much basically means to get results. The Arabic word for avails means to bring forth or profit.  So if we want to get results for our prayers what do we need to do? What kind of prayer should we pray?

If you look at the verse again, you’ll see that an effectual fervent prayer is the kind that brings results.  So what makes a prayer an effectual fervent one?  To be effectual means to work with efficiency or purpose.  Fervent means with passion.  So basically we are to pray specifically about certain persons or things. How else could we pray with purpose and passion?  If we don’t know or understand the needs of one another, such as in an unspoken prayer request, we can’t pray with purpose or passion.

If we look at the first part of that verse again, it clearly tells us that we are to confess or tell our faults (sins or problems) to one another and pray for one another that we may be healed or have our prayer answered.  Most Protestants have rejected the idea of confession simply because of the traditional Catholic idea of confession.  Though this practice has long been neglected by most of the Protestant faiths, it is still needed to some degree in the church.

In the practice of confession, we do need to be careful at times who we confess to, but we still need to confess to someone besides just to God.  We should always confess to God, but as the Word says, to one another as well.  We should choose a person or group who is dedicated and mature in Christ, or possibly a pastor or Christian counselor if you’re not comfortable confessing to just another lay person.

Revelation 12: 11 says “and they overcame Satan by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony.” This passage of Scripture teaches us that we are to be open and real with one another in order to overcome the traps of Satan. Satan is never happier than when we keep our mouths shut and don’t tell others of our troubles or ask anyone to pray with us over a matter.  Chonda Pierce’s new DVD “This ain’t Prettyville” is a wonderful example of how we can share ourselves with each other and grow together as Christians.

II Corinthians 1: 3-4 tells us that we are to comfort others who are in any trouble by the comfort we’ve received from God.  So in essence, when we go through something in our own lives, we are to confess it to other Christians who may be helped by our testimony.  If someone knows you’ve gone through something they are going through right now, they are more likely to seek help and understanding from you.  On the other hand, if we hide ourselves in shame, as Adam and Eve did in the garden, both from God and from each other, then neither we are helped by others prayers for us, nor are others helped by our testimony and prayers.

Unspoken prayer requests are the results of our shame condemning us and our lack of trust for both God and others in the family of Christ.  None of us are perfect.  We all have faults. All those who surround you in church that you think don’t have any real problems are likely the ones with the most problems.  They just hide it better.    We will likely go on in our troubles until we learn to confess to one another and pray specifically for one another.  I personally believe that unspoken prayer requests are unbiblical, though there may be times when we feel it necessary.  I do believe we should check ourselves if we make this a pattern.

About mamaheartfilled

I am a mother of eight wonderful children and three grandkids, who I am very proud of. I am also a bi-vocational ordained evangelical minister, and a Christian Counselor. I received my B.S. degree in 2004, studying primarily in the areas of Psychology, with minors in Religion and English. I received my Masters Degree in 2009 in Psychological Counseling with an emphasis in Christian Counseling. My ministry is geared toward victims of sexual and domestic violence, including victims of childhood sexual abuse, whether currently or in the past. Since I have personally experienced the healing hand of God in overcoming many of the life issues that Christians may face, I feel qualified and compelled to discuss them in a truthful and open manner, as God’s word tells us that “We shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free.” God has brought me through such diverse tribulations as sexual, physical, and mental abuse, being a victim of a drunk driving accident, spousal pornography addiction, adultery, divorce, remarriage, a very brief, though unjust, incarceration, and having experienced multiple miscarriages and various other trials. I have been asked to leave two Southern Baptist Churches, due to my being a female, ordained as a minister, and fired from a SBC sponsored Christian School (mostly white) for speaking out against racial prejudice in the Family of God. Through God’s merciful forgiveness of my own sins and inadequacies and God’s grace given to me to forgive those who have been a stumbling block to me, I have overcome many of these adversities. God’s word tells us that “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to the purposes of God." Since I have this hope, I believe that God has blessed me with the ability to confront and relate these issues to the Christian community, and that I have been called to the homeland mission field of North America. I hope to be able to use my personal experiences as a ministry of God’s grace and in the comforting of the people of God with the truth of God's mercy. I claim II Corinthians 1: 3 & 4 as my calling, which states: “Blessed be God, the Origin of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Origin of mercies, and the God of comfort; who comforts us in all our troubles, that we may be able to comfort those who are in trouble, by the comfort we ourselves have been given by God.” As I have received the gift of God’s healing, I hope to be able to bring the peace beyond understanding to others with the message of God’s mercy and grace. My love for the Sovereign Lord of my life, Jesus Christ, along with my passion for writing has drawn me to explore these commonly experienced crisis issues from the perspective of my own experience in the hope that I may bring an empathetic and compassionate insight to God’s people. I am now a published author and have several books in publication, including my autobiography, "A Little Redneck Theology." The views expressed in my writings are strictly my own insights, acquired from personal experience and diligent study of the related topics and God’s word concerning them. Though I am an ordained minister, my views should not be considered authoritative. I believe that the Christian community’s ultimate authority is the guidance of the human heart by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
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4 Responses to Unspoken Prayer Request – Do Protestants Need Confession?

  1. Pingback: February 2011 Newsletter | Go Fish Ministries, Inc

  2. Pingback: Unspoken Prayer Request – Do Protestants Need Confession? | Go … | Nail It To The Cross

  3. vineandbranchworldministries says:

    Greetings My Sister, I discovered your site through a ping back on my site. I read your story and it is a very compelling one. God has seem you through many trials and tribulations in this life and brought you through the cleansing process that has allowed you to stand strong in the face of evil. May God continue to bless you and keep you close in His everlasting mercy and grace.

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