Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
We exist in one world that contains two components: the physical and the spiritual. Regarding each of these, we come into this world lacking fullness. Spiritually, we are born imperfect sinners who are enemies of God in need of a savior to re-establish that relationship. Physically, we are born into bodies that naturally degrade over time until age and illness cause them to cease functioning. In this life, we have an opportunity to overcome the evil that has brought about both the spiritual deficiency and the physical deficiency. Healing of the spirit and the body are available to us. A critical component to gaining this healing is prayer. It is one’s petition to God asking for restoration that brings about our healing. Prayer is the river through which the healing waters flow.
Scripture tells us that in order to receive salvation we must not only believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again triumphantly, but we must confess this with our mouths. This is a requirement for prayer. And when Jesus healed people, He made his request known to the Father through spoken prayer. Today’s verse tells us that the goal is to be healed and restored. It also tells us that the method by which this healing and restoration come about is prayer. This is not simply prayer for ourselves but is prayer for others. It is prayer in community for spiritual cleansing and physical healing. Although God makes available to us restoration in both respects, we can only receive them if we first ask for them. These prayers will be effective if we remain righteous and pray from a sincere heart. In fact, our prayers will not only be effective but will be powerful.
It is amazing enough that God offers our spiritual and physical restorations through his grace without concern for whether we merit them. What is even more amazing is that all we must do to receive these gifts is to seek them sincerely. We simply need to ask in prayer, and God can heal not only us but our brothers and sisters as well. It is God who makes salvation possible. It is God who makes physical healing possible. It is God who imputes righteousness to us. It is God who allows us to come to him in prayer through Jesus Christ. He is the one who gives power to our prayers so that they may be effective. Father, thank You that You make available to us spiritual and physical healing, and remind us of the power our prayers have in calling forth this restoration.