These days we read a lot about people “coming out of the closet”, confessing they have been involved in illicit sexual affairs or other scandals, sometimes having done so for several years.  Careers and marriages and families have been utterly destroyed in the process.  Most recently we’ve read about certain political and sports figures who turned out not to be who and what we had thought them to be.  Sadly, there have even been Christian leaders who participated in such things, though the Bible says it should not be so. 
    I came to realize something, that Christians are people, just like others, having faults, believe it or not, just like non-believers.  But, it is written in James 5:16-20
Jas 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Jas 5:17  Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
Jas 5:18  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
Jas 5:19  Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
Jas 5:20  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
     There is something very important here we need to see.  Elias (Elijah) had faults, just like all of us, YET, his fervent prayer was heard in heaven, and God honored it, withholding the rains for three and a half years.  Do you think during that time Elias lived a perfect and faultless life?  Well, it depends on whose viewpoint you see it from.  From man’s viewpoint, Elias was not very well liked by King Ahab, in fact the King wanted him dead, thinking He was causing everyone’s problems, when all along, it was actually King Ahab who was the problem.  From King Ahab’s point of view, Elias was a scoundrel.  But in God’s eyes, Elias was clean.  Not clean because he never did anything wrong, but because God saw his heart and knew he had a heart to serve Him. 
    We drastically need revival in our nation, in our states, in our cities, neighborhoods, and yes, in our homes.  A really deep revival, both personally, and corporately comes when we obey James 5:16.  Do any of us have faults?  Well, I have a few, just ask my wife.  On second thought, no, DON’T ask my wife!!!  I have friends to whom I can confide in and confess my faults, as well as hear the faults of others and pray for them, and hopefully, you do too.  That means what you hear there, stays there, you don’t go blabbing about people’s faults, for God will hold you accountable if you do so, and you don’t want God angry at you, just ask the people of Sodom and Gomorrah if you don’t believe me.  There is healing in confessing your faults, knowing when we ask forgiveness, it is there for us, and if we need healing.  What keeps us from confessing our faults one to another?  Pride!  And God hates pride, for it is the root of all sin.  It’s what got Lucifer kicked out of heaven, you know.  Or maybe you didn’t know.
What’s this have to do with coming out of the closet?  Everything, let me explain:  It is written in Matthew 6:5-7;  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:6  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  We’re to go into the closet, that is, a quiet and private place to pray.  What we pray in the closet to God stays in the closet.  Have you ever heard God gossip?  Has He ever told you Brother John’s sins, or Sister Mary’s sins?  No, and you won’t, either, for God hears your sins, forgives them, and forgets them.  Unfortunately, the devil often hears our sins and tells everybody he sees, or rather, those who gossip about others tell everyone they know and the devil overhears. 
   But it isn’t so much what is prayed in the closet that matters, as what happens when we “come out of the closet”.  By that I mean, what do people see in you after you have been alone with the Lord?  Are you just like them, or has the glory of God so touched you that you are different than you were before?  It is written in John 13:34-35,  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
   The Lord Jesus gave us a really high goal to aim for, that for all our faults, we should still seek to be just like Him and His heavenly Father.  Is it really possible to attain to such a high standard?  Jesus thought so, in fact, so much that He made it a commandment, not simply a suggestion.  Wow, and we thought we were set free from commandments?  No, we were simply given a more important one, that we should love one another.  When someone cuts you off in traffic, do you love them and pray for them, or do you , well, you know….?  Confess you faults and be healed, and I will do likewise, for there is great power to be had in prayer by doing so.
   By this all men shall know that you are Jesus’ disciple, if you love one another.  I want people to know that I am Jesus’ disciple, and this is how they will know.  Come out of the closet today and show the world who Jesus is, starting in your own home with your own family, your neighborhood, your city, and so forth.  What you accumulate in this life is not important, but what you leave after you’re gone is.  Will people who knew you be able to say you’ve been with Jesus because they could tell?  Remember, you have to spend time in the closet before you can come out.  Make that time in the closet count for something.