"Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." - James 5:16
Back in college at Anderson University, I was involved with Campus Crusade for Christ and the prayer team. One of our activities was a "prayer party" on a Friday evening from 8 p.m. to midnight. During the party, we gathered specifically to pray together and followed an A.C.T.S. format. Several of us had used this format in our own prayer times, so we thought it would work for this occasion also. A.C.T.S. stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.
With about four hours to work with, we were able to be fairly generous with the time allotted to each type of prayer. Adoration was comfortable enough. We planned about one hour for people to lift their praise to the Father. This time went according to schedule. I remember people calling out the names of God and praising Him for His many wondrous attributes.
As far as planning, the time for Confession was a different story. We didn't want to put anyone on the spot or make anybody uncomfortable, so we planned about twenty minutes for this part. We had a short devotional based on James 5:16, and then we told people they could take a few minutes to think of things they might want to confess in their lives, and, if they wanted to share, they could, but they didn't have to. We expected that there would be a few minutes of silence and that we would go on to the next part.
We were about to do just that when one person made a confession to the group. After that another person mentioned a very personal struggle. A few people from the group prayed over each need and for that burden of sin to be lifted. This ...