Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. – James 5:13-16
James knew that trying to live the Christian life alone would be impossible. Yes, we can absolutely worship God wherever we are, speak to Him directly, and find forgiveness in solitude. Yet to walk the Christian path in an ungodly world, it takes a support system that can carry us when we’re too weary to go on, when we’re suffering trials, or when we can’t see which is the way to go.
Jesus spent time in solitude to replenish His spirit – just as we should – but most of the time He surrounded Himself with others. He chose twelve special people to let into His deepest self. He shared good times, hard times, even dreary every day times with these friends, family and many others. It was no accident that “the Church” formed into multiple fellowships all across the known world for support, protection, corporate worship and prayer.
A cord of three strands is stronger than one and there is power where “two or three are gathered in His name.” Take a prayer partner. Participate in a church, join a Bible study group. Don’t go it alone – your Christian growth may depend upon it.