“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:16a)
What exactly is this “healing” in James 5:16?
The healing depends on our needs.
The healing can be relational. Sin stresses and strains, even severs and splits relationships. The pivot point for healing broken relationships so often is these three words: I forgive you. Thus, we confess our sins to one another.
The healing can be physical. We may experience stress and anxiety and even anger as results of sin. The act of confession can relieve that stress, reduce the anxiety and calm the anger.
The healing can be spiritual. We are called by God to confess our sins to one another (Matthew 5:23-25). We can sin against God in not making such confessions. Confessing our sins can not only help heal our relationships with one another but is part of God healing His relationship with us.
God can and does provid healing in response to prayer. However, our Lord has also created us in such a way that confession can also aid in our healing.