Today I prayed together with my wife for a need she had. During the prayer I felt like a past sin of mine was getting in the way. When I prayed about it alone afterwards, I sensed the Holy Spirit prompting me to go to certain passages. First I went to James 1:1 – not much “meat” there so I read the commentary notes; from that I gathered that I was to have faith for whatever he told me.
Next I felt the need to confess the sin I thought of earlier together with two additional ones. I confessed this, then a short while later the thought popped into my head to look up the passage about “by His wounds you were healed“. I’ve learned that there are often two parts to dealing with sin:
James 5:16a “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
The two parts to dealing with sin are:
- Confess to someone else, and
- Have someone else pray for you.
I puzzled over this today because I prayed alone… do I need to confess to someone each and every time? If I don’t then will I forfeit some benefit (e.g. healing)?
I know from 1 John 1:9 that by confessing our sin we are forgiven & cleansed of all unrighteousness. From 1 Peter 2:23-25 I gather that in order for us to receive healing so that we could live righteously, Jesus suffered:
1 Peter 2:24 “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”
Now, my question is, is it always necessary to confess to and have someone else pray for you? I’m thinking that in some cases there is no deeper hurt, for example you may have gotten really angry at someone, wrongfully so, but then felt convicted and confessed the inward sin to God and repented (stopped being angry and did the opposite instead, ex. pray a genuine blessing on the person). In this case you weren’t hurt somehow from your sin, nor did you hurt anyone else. It seems to be “common sense” that this wouldn’t need confession to and prayer from someone else, in fact that could just lead to problems. But what does the bible say about this sin?