Confession that provides healing
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 5:16 NLT
Our text for today is linked from the previous verse where James writes of sickness, sin, and forgiveness. James did this to stress the necessity of confessing sin. Unconfessed sin hinders our prayer to God and at the same time becomes a daunting obstacle in interpersonal relations. That means, confess your sins not only to God but also to the persons who have been hurt or injured by your sins. Ask them for forgiveness! Confession cleanses the soul for it shows humility before God and a plea for forgiveness. When the sinner confesses his or her sin and asks for and receives God’s mercy and forgiveness, he or she experiences freedom from the burden of guilt. James says “Confess your sins to each other.” James does not specify the church or the elders, rather, he speaks of mutual confession on a one-to-one basis within a circle of believers. Discretion should be properly practiced and realize certain limitation. Confession must be guided by the conviction and prompting of the Holy Spirit. It should not be done too narrowly, or too broadly. It should not be done too casually and too indiscriminately for it can result to more harm than good. After sins have been confessed and forgiven, they should pray for each other. In this way, they can find spiritual strength and comfort in the Lord. In their prayers they visibly and audibly demonstrate mutuality. The forgiven sinner prays for the spiritual welfare of his fellow believer, who in turn commends him to the mercies of God. Once we are freed from guilt and relationship has been restored, James says, “you may be healed.” When believers confess their sins to each other and pray for one another, a healing process takes place. And that can be applied to any situation.