“Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith SHALL save the sick, and the Lord SHALL raise him up; and if he has committed any sins, they SHALL be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much.” (James 5:14-16, emphasis added for effect)
You’ve got a burden resting in your heart. It might be a burden of sin. It might be another burden. Whatever it is, you need to release your burden unto God, so that He can take care of it. In fact, that burden has been weighing you down a long time, now. It is time to really “deal” with it — deal with the roots of it. You can’t do alone. You need help. God has provided a way to release that burden. It is effective. It will even lead to your complete healing and restoration. Be courageous. You will be healed. But how do you go about releasing your burden so God can take care of it? By getting involved in a small group and developing a sense of intimacy with the people of that group — intimacy that will enable you to be able to freely “open up” and “confess” your sins to the people of that group, without feeling condemned. In fact, for you, it may be the very first time that you will really have been able to “open up” about this “secret” in your life. But, did you know, this “secret” is the very thing that has been making you sick?
God’s solution is simple, if not very practical and down to earth (thank God, we don’t need to reach very “high,” or be “super spiritual,” to attain it). Just “confess yours sins” within a small group setting, and then pray for one another. Just recently, I had the chance to do that very thing. The Lord had spoken to me about leaving work at a certain time. I had disobeyed by leaving twenty minutes later. I knew that I had sinned. It ended up affecting the rest of my day. I was unprepared for the Bible Study that followed. I ended up confessing to my small group, “I sinned by not listening to the Lord today. He said to leave work at a certain time, and I procrastinated for another twenty minutes before leaving. It ended up affected my whole day after that. I’m sorry and I ask you for your forgiveness.” More than granting me their forgiveness, in love, they prayed for me. The Bible says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much.” (James 5:16). You “wouldn’t believe it” (so to speak), but we ended up praying and interceding wonderfully for each other’s families after that. It was a wonderful time. I sense some real “power” was released in the heavenlies — power that has the ability to “unlock” wonderful and supernatural blessings in each other’s lives, and the lives of our families.
Is it worth it to “confess our sins to one another”? You bet! As we do, and as we pray for one another, with a real sense of caring, and anointing/leading from God, we will see blessings released. The Bible says that “the prayer of faith SHALL save the sick, and the Lord SHALL raise him up.” To prove that this “SHALL” is a DEFINITE “SHALL,” the passage goes on to say that, “if he has committed any sins, they SHALL be forgiven him.” Now why do we, as Christians, NOT CONTEST (disbelieve) the LAST “SHALL” (we know that God does forgive the repentant person) but so often willfully deny the Lord by contesting (disbelieving) the first two “SHALLs”??? (Did you understand the question?) All three “SHALLS” in this passage have the same spelling (in the Greek) and grammatically, positionally, structurally, in the sentence, have the exact same meaning! I feel it’s about time that we really do the Scriptures justice, and ourselves a favor, by treating all three of these “SHALLs” with equal respect (don’t you?)! Therefore, according to this passage, God DOES forgive, and He DOES heal when we confess our sins to one another, and pray for one another. Let’s do it! As we do, we SHALL see “untold blessings” released, God’s people SHALL be built up, and, finally, people SHALL be brought into the kingdom, because of tangible proof of its existence! And what is one of the evidences of the kingdom of God, according to Jesus? Miraculous signs, as He so clearly said (but which we so often ignore): “But if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Luke 11:20)