Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
Is there any good reason to confess your sins to another person? The verse we are focusing on today says that we should be confessing and praying so that we can experience healing. Not only are the elders to be called for healing, but the body itself also is to be praying. It seems that James is talking about confessing the sins that can lead to sickness. Confessing leads not to judgment, but to prayer. Appropriate, transparent confession leads the church to prayer. This does not mean that people must confess their sins to other people to experience forgiveness—there is no earthly mediator needed for that. However, there is a cleansing that comes from keeping short accounts with others as well. Confession moves us out from unrighteousness. It is the prayer of the righteous that has great power. Righteous people are not those who are concealing known, habitual, willful sin. A righteous person is one who has been rescued by faith in Jesus and is genuinely seeking to follow Jesus, obeying his commands. Again, it must be seen that this is happening within a community that is not looking to cast judgment but is seeking the health of each member. Again, in this context, we are speaking of physical healing. How do you respond to people who may confess to you? How are you seeking to confess appropriately to others? How can our search for holiness lead us to health?