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James 5:16 For this reason, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve.
There seems to be a correlation between sickness and unconfessed sin. Although not all sickness is a direct result of sin, unconfessed sin can work on your psyche as guilt and guilt can manifest itself psychologically in the form of stress which can cause physical ailments.
It is important to remember that sometimes God permits an illness to show His glory. Jesus healed a blind man and was asked if it was the blind man or his parents who sinned. Jesus said that it was neither but that the man’s blindness had a purpose. The purpose was so that God could be glorified when the man was healed.
By confessing your sin to a trusted fellow believer you release the bond of guilt and therefore the stress it puts on your mind. Removing that stress will ensure a healthy mind and the healthy mind will help the physical ailment.
The responsibility of the person hearing the confession is to maintain discretion and to exercise good judgment. If the sin that is being confessed is not something that hurts the congregation such as adultery, then the response should be that of prayer for the offender and repentance by the offender.
If, however, the sin has greater consequences for the congregation, prayer should still be made and the offender must be encouraged to speak with the elders of the congregation and accept any disciplinary action imposed by the elders. The offender still has the responsibility to repent and turn away from the sin.
By confessing the sin, repenting and turning away from it, you maintain your righteousness. It is righteousness in your life that allows the prayer to be answered.
The most powerful tool you can have is prayer. God himself gave us this tool so that we could talk directly to Him. It is a direct dial number to Heaven with no long distance charges because it is always a local call. The only thing you need for God to answer is righteousness. Righteousness comes from accepting Jesus Christ as the substitute and payment for your unrighteousness.
Give Jesus your life. That is all he asks for. Doing this you will have the most powerful tool in the universe, the power of answered prayer. It can achieve anything.