Summary: A classic sermon by Dr. Adrian Rogers explaining the importance and efficacy of a "righteous man's prayer."
First of all, there is restoration. James says confess your faults one to another that you may be healed. And this word healing here does not merely refer to the healing of the body. It’s a larger word. And it may refer to the healing of the soul or the healing of the spirit. And whether there be physical brokenness, whether there be emotional brokenness, whether there be spiritual brokenness and restoration is needed. When we begin to confess our sins, God begins to move in and work. For the Bible says a broken and a contrite spirit, thou wilt not despise, oh, God.
But not only is there restoration. there’s reconciliation. Do you remember when the Lord Jesus Christ was talking about worship and the Lord Jesus Christ said when you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother hath aught against thee. Leave your gift at the altar and go and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and make your gift.
Oh, when we go to our brother and say, I have sinned against God and I’ve sinned against you and I want to confess my faults to you. Oh, don’t you know dear friend, don’t you know that heaven begins to rejoice? Don’t you know that the angels begin to sing because there is fellowship and there is reconciliation? There can be no reconciliation when a wrong is done until there is confession.
Sometimes we just want to skip over that. And so, when there is restoration and reconciliation, friend, there is revival, revival. That’s what happens when we confess our faults. You study the history of revival. Dr. Culpepper, who’s here teaching in our seminary and Miss Bertha Smith, one of our premiere missionaries to China, tell us about the great Shantung revival and they tell us that that revival began when the missionaries begin to confess their sins one to another. Where they begin to ask forgiveness, and to make reconciliation and God began to restore and a great mighty revival, one the mightiest revivals the world has ever known began there. The Shantung revival when there was the confession of faults one to another.
Up here in Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, one day in chapel, the Spirit of God moved upon some students who began to confess their faults one to another and to pray one for another and there was, such a spirit of brokenness and such a spirit of weeping and God moved in like a tornado and there was a mighty overflowing of the Spirit of God when the saints of God began to confess their faults one to another. I tell you it will be a great day in the churches of America when confession replaces criticism. And when compassion replaces condemnation. James says, confess your faults one to another and pray one for another that you may be healed.
Now, you need to be careful because the devil will use anything to his advantage, even confession. James doesn’t say broadcast your faults, display your faults, no, he doesn’t say that. Jesus warned about casting your pearls before swine. And you see, the circle of confession needs to follow the circle of sin. What I mean by that is this.