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March 6, 2019

Matthew 18:15-20 (NASB“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

The above periscope emphasizes how prayer has a vital role in advising someone who is living in sin.

1. Every act of sin among us must be confronted

The Bible emphasizes that if one of our brothers in Christ sins – letting their old self manifest, whether openly or in secret – it must be dealt with quickly! Those who understand about the problem must promptly make a confrontation.

If confronting the brother is not enough to make him realize about his wrong and make him want to change, there is the next step. The one who understood about the problem and confronted him may invite one or two others who are respectable among them to help win the inaccurate brother. In short, the confrontation must be done as soon as possible, so sin nature won’t merge with the person (Heb 12:15-17).

2. Sometimes, someone’s sin is exposed after the sin nature starts to merge or be adopted by the person into their everyday life

When someone does something inaccurate, their conscience will surely rebuke them. However, some people harden their heart and won’t listen to their conscience until it is silenced. At one point, their conscience no longer speaks although they are sinning. When this happens, without knowing, the person is opening themselves to adopt the sin nature of the evil spirit that rides them – the more they sin, the more the nature of the sin merges with them.

When sin nature roots even deeper in their life, it will be more and more difficult for the person to receive any verbal advice or reprimand. The area of their mind, especially consideration and decision-making, has been ruled by the enemy’s deception; fortresses and speculations against the knowledge of God have been built solidly in their life. Now, we need the power of prayer to dismantle all their philosophy, thoughts, and habits!

3. When we unite our heart in prayer, our brothers will be given a chance to consider and decide without any influence from the Devil

When two or three people unite their heart to pray for someone who sins, they are using the power of declaration to ‘bind & loose’. We bind every work of the Devil that for so long has stayed in our brother’s life. Then, we release the work of the Holy Spirit to guide them back to live in truth. The Bible emphasizes that the Father will answer our prayer!

Realize this. When it comes to the heart of man (especially if it has been hardened), we can do nothing anymore, except to approach the throne of grace. There, we could plead to the Father to release His grace upon our brother, so their ‘heart could be softened’ – whether through ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ ways. This is aimed to make the person ‘open their heart a bit’ for the Holy Spirit to work in their lives – to make them ‘remember’ about the Father’s love, goodness and grace for those who live in truth (Luk 15:17-20).

Are you interacting with family members who are living in inaccuracy? Keep praying for them. For the power of prayer could surpass the limits of space and time. Prayer still works! #iLoveGod

Ps. Steven Agustinus