Speaking about the church at Ephesus, Paul writes: ‘Many of the believers began to confess openly and tell all the evil things they had done… So in a powerful way the Word of the Lord kept spreading and growing.’ (Acts 19:18–20 NCV) Spiritual healing happens in churches like this one. So if you find yourself trapped in a pattern of repeated sin and failure, seek out mature, committed Christians who aren’t shocked by your problem, who won’t divulge your confidence, and who know how to pray for you and with you.
Jesus gave His followers the authority to hear confessions and proclaim grace. ‘If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’ (John 20:23 NKJV) A spiritual cleansing is released when someone looks you in the face and says, ‘God forgives you, I forgive you, now forgive yourself and walk in God’s forgiveness!’ Forgiveness is such a powerful force that it can actually facilitate healing.
James writes: ‘Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 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 5:14–16 NIV) And if you’re not sure who you should talk to, or who you can trust, start with your pastor or a good counsellor.