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
My first thought was wondering whether this is talking about just confessing sins to others that I committed against them or about all my sins. After carefully rereading the verse I believe James is talking about confessing all my sins to my Christian community. James writes that we should pray for one another for healing and that fervent prayer from the righteous is effective.
Then I read in a commentary that the life of the church should be one of ministering love to the sick, both spiritually and physically. James is talking about healing of body and soul in this chapter overall.
We don’t often like to ask for help. Many – me included – like to do for ourselves and not impose on others. We also value our privacy. Making our sins public knowledge is not something we care to do! What’s the saying? Don’t air your dirty laundry in public.
But sin damages us, and we need healing. Maybe we don’t confess to everyone every sin we commit, but we maybe have someone we can confide in, share back and forth, and “treat” each other for our spiritual wounds through fervent prayer for each other.