Read James 5:15-20
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (v. 16).
Throughout Scripture, men have turned to God in prayer when plagued with physical illness. The prayer for healing is both private and shared with the Church. But James suggests that sickness MAY be related to conduct — a discipline from God for disobedience. The translation “faults” is misleading as to seriousness, for the Greek word translated “fault” is the word for “sin” (see James 1:15). It will be necessary to confess to God (and man as it applies) the offending action. It is then that the prayer of faith imploring God’s will for healing may be presented.
Confession is not pleasant, but it is necessary. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper” (Prov. 28:13). Confession brings humility, and it is the humble man that finds help from God. The clear instruction of this passage is that sickness can be related to disobedience. Equally clear is that confession accompanied with prayer brings healing. Certainly confession brings healing to the soul. Practicing these divine directives can and will bring health and renewed usefulness to the kingdom of God. Perhaps the words of J. Edwin Orr would be appropriate for us to pray today. (William Snider)
Search me O God,
And know my heart today.
Try me, O Savior;
Know my thoughts, I pray
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.
Turn to God for healing.
This devotional is the Sunday, January 10, 2016 entry of Opening the Word.