Summary: Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. - James 5:16 I remember being in the presbyterian Church and the pastor stated at the end of the se ..
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. - James 5:16
I remember being in the presbyterian Church and the pastor stated at the end of the service as a footnote that there is an obscure reference to elders anointing with oil in the Bible so he said after that service that would happen in a back room of the church for those interested. We read in this passage from the book of James chapter 5 a reference to if anyone is sick as believers that they should "Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord" (James 5:14). The next verse implies sin can cause sickness and lastly that those sins can be forgiven by the laying of the hands of elders praying for healing. So we read in the verse we highlighted the command now is to "confess your sins" to each other and pray for each other. So it seems quite plain and clear that if there is a sickness and sin that is grave it should be prayed over by the Overseers of the Church. If it is a lesser sort of sin we should cater to the practice of confessing our sins to each other and praying for each other in the body of Christ.
When I was visiting south africa many years ago, the highlight of my trip was visiting a mission where revival occurred in the 1970's. Thousands of Zulu people came to the Lord and there was still a tangible sense of the Lord's working on the mission where hundreds lived together. I learn that a practice they still kept was that each brother and sister would have another person who they would confess their sins to and pray for each other on a daily basis. I concluded this would not be all sins but it was a way to practice this teaching of the Bible. The results were that God has such a strong sense of His Spirit working on that property amongst those people. Of course we are to confess our sins to the Lord ourself, yet we should not also forsake this command to at times confess our sins to each other and pray for each other. From the early Church, to 4th century monastic orders, to the 16th century Wesley Class meetings, this practice has been done. Many modern believers I speak to hardly practice this Scripture, may the Lord bring it back to many meetings of his people so we can see a greater purity in the Church.