Week 21: “Confess Your Sins to One Another”
James 5:16 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. 17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
Matthew 5:23 Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
There is no promise in Scripture that all disease or injury will be healed if only you just believe or pray or do the right things. After all, death is a final failure of the physical body, so in the end all will die of something. However, there are times when God does desire to heal people of physical ailments in order to reveal his glory in those circumstances. You are free at any time to ask him to heal, but you should at all times trust him with his purposes in your life. There may be times when the root of your physical problem is sin. Unforgiveness and bitterness are known causes of disease. To harbor a grudge – to refuse to give and to receive forgiveness – can literally make us sick. To forgive and to be forgiven is good for you in many ways. In addition to the practical physical and mental benefits, the willingness to make things right with others opens up our hearts to God in ways that can make our praying more effective. If we ask God to bring healing (or anything else for that matter) and, yet, we harbor unconfessed or unforgiven sin, then we should not wonder why our prayers are ineffective. Confess your sins to one another. Ask for forgiveness when necessary and give forgiveness when you have the opportunity. This is fairly simple to understand and apply, but enormously important for your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Not to mention your relational well-being, both with others and with God. Confess your sins and pray for each other so that you may be healed. Do this so you may be healed of physical “sin-sickness” as well as relational “sin-sickness.” To live in the fullest possible health it is necessary that, as far as it is within your own ability, you live in right relationship with others. This is both right to do and good for you to do.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.