July 15th

Confession and Healing

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.  James 5:16 NKJV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 NKJV

When I was a porn addict, I cringed at the thought of sharing my struggle with anyone. For a long time I thought I could control the problem, only to continue to drift back into temptation repeatedly. When I finally had the courage to share my struggle with my prayer group of 6 men, 5 of them confessed that they had struggled with sexual temptation as well. It was a great comfort to discover that I wasn’t the only one fighting this battle and to have other brothers in Christ praying for me.  

The above verses tell us that specific confession of our sin opens the pathway for healing.  James 5:16 stresses the importance of confessing to another person.  This person need not be a priest or clergy member, but simply a person who is following Christ.  Ideally it will be someone who will pray for us and encourage us in pursuit of freedom.   

James also mentioned that prayer for healing could be included along with confession.  Addictions and habitual sin usually have some root issues that caused them.  Often these roots got started through unpleasant experiences earlier in our lives.  For example, people react to the pain of abuse, trauma or dysfunctional relationships in a variety of ways, including unforgiveness, anger or self-destructive behavior.  Our Master, Jesus, wants to heal us from the damage of the past.  Only he can help us resolve the unpleasant things that happened to us and enable us to move forward as new persons.   

Inviting Jesus to heal us doesn’t have to be a complicated exercise.  We can simply repent from our sin and then invite Jesus to take us back to the roots of our troubles and help us deal with them.  I remember one person I prayed with who as a young boy had witnessed his mother try to commit suicide.  As we prayed for Jesus to enter this memory, my friend “saw” Jesus standing behind him in the memory and holding his shoulders to comfort him as he discovered his mother lying on the floor with her wrists slashed.  Reassuring him that he was with him and his mother, Jesus instructed the boy to go to the neighbor’s house for help.   Jesus’ entry into this memory made all the difference for my friend.  He was able to process the memory and heal from the trauma of the incident.    

It is helpful to do this with a prayer partner who can pray with us and agree with us in prayer for healing.  In our prayer ministry experience, we’ve seen the Lord use each person’s spiritual gifts in a variety of ways that helped bring about healing.  If a person has had many roots in past experiences, it may take several prayer sessions to accomplish the needed healing.   The important thing to remember is to follow the Lord’s lead and not to try to rush the process.  The Lord knows exactly what we can handle and when we can handle it.  

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord Jesus, thank you that there is forgiveness, purification and healing available to me when I confess and repent from my sin.  If I haven’t yet broken secrecy, please show me who to talk to, what to say and when to say it.  If I have problems that are rooted in the past, please help me recognize the roots and lead me in gaining healing.  I invite you into every troublesome memory.  Please comfort me, reassure me and heal me.  Thank you, Master!  I praise you now and forever, Amen.”