How to overcome secret sins as a Christian


Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) is able to accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power]. (James 5:16, AMP)

The Lord has as a matter of urgency drawn my attention to this verse of Scripture for both diagnostic & therapeutic purposes.

The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man or woman is able to do much because it generates a lot of power. How? When they first rid themselves of the direct or tangential influences of sin by opening up to fellow believers

Sin of course prospers in secrecy while it dissipates the believer’s powers and power potentials. When exposed through interpersonal confession, sin desiccates and becomes powerless like resin in the sun.

The Bible proclaims emphatically: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13, NKJV)

Note that the confession type that James talks about here is not the type you do to God, it is the type you do to fellow believers with whom you have interpersonal relationship. The reason being that there are life supplies that the Lord has put in His body that can only be accessed through the effective practice of church life. When confession is made and prayer is made, healings and restorations are enjoyed.

What are the types of sins that should be confessed to fellow believers (especially those with high stature and ranking with the Lord)?

They are what the writer of Hebrews calls ‘the sin which so easily ensnares us,’ (Hebrews 12:1, NKJV).

They are sins built around natural desires and lusts – with enough capacity to bind their practitioners in secrets habits. They are sins with enough oomph to decimate will power and enslave the believer on the ground even though they are seated with Christ in heavenly places. This is why some believers today, though tongue-blasting, agonize in many secret sins.


A lot of believers reach out to me with the complaint of being held down by secret sins and sin-powered limitations—even though they have prayed and prayed and prayed. Their prayers against these secret sinful habits & limitations seem anything but effectual.

From my findings, some of them have never opened up to anybody with whom they have interpersonal relationship. Others have been badly stung by the betrayal of people whom they had opened up to in the past.

This has left a bitter taste in their mouths as they find it extremely difficult to open up even though they are seriously battling rot in their private lives. In most cases, for practical purposes, I refer them to their pastors or disciplers because I understand the solution the Bible proffers in James 5:16 — these sins MUST be CONFESSED, one to another.

I understand there is unfortunately a lot of angst and mistrust among believers in the body of Christ today. Some of those privileged by the Lord to lead his flock suffer from chronic logorrhoea – they simply won’t keep fellow believers’ confidences. They would rather use people’s confidences as raw materials to preach. Thus bruising, maiming, mangling and in some cases, overthrowing the faith of some.

Trust me, I totally understand this challenge and how it ravages the beauties and strengths of our fellowship as believers. And how it dents the possibilities of our unity in the spirit in the bond of peace as brethren.

It is impossible for people to open up to us as church leaders if we do not labour to receive help from the Lord to be utterly discreet and trustworthy.

I must reiterate the fact that God’s word, not human flaws, is both our standard and operational manual as believers. Our total submission to the instructions and prescriptions of God’s word must be absolute. This means that, that some leaders within the body wield injurious flippancy is not enough reason to disobey God’s word which blares, “CONFESS YOUR SINS ONE TO ANOTHER”.


Note that the one who is confessing and the one who is being confessed to are part of the body of Christ. The one who is being confessed to is not better than the one doing the confessing — they have simply obtained and enjoyed mercy enough from the throne of grace to appropriate grace beyond the tyranny of sin —this is why they too should stay humble. So that they can act as the vital link through which the life supply of Christ can reach their ailing brother/sister. So that through their prayer and discipleship, healing and restoration can be administered to the ailing brother or sister.

That you do not like the taste of medicine does not mean you would not take it if you want to be rid of the yoke of sickness. Note that opening up about one’s secret struggles with sin does not diminish their faith in any way —they remain the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

Note also that confessing one’s secret sin is not the same as seeing a shrink because the actual help comes not from man (the one being confessed to) but the Lord. This is why it should be done prayerfully —let the Lord lead you to who you should open up to—just like he led Saul to Ananias.

In the context of our discourse, healing and restoration come from the Lord through His body —and are administered through the life supplies of believers who have a healthy relationship with Him. This is the wisdom that drives the economy of grace which is appropriable through the effective practice of church life.

For practical purposes I would counsel that you reach out to your pastor, discipler, someone in the body with whom you share an accountable relationship and anyone else the Lord leads you to.

Beloved, I beseech you today to prayerfully reach out to someone for help. The body needs the life supply locked in your spirit man, waiting to be unleashed. Expose that secret sin today!


Effective church life is about unity of the Spirit and not union of the flesh; it’s about interdependence and not independence; it’s about fellowship and not association & it’s about gathering together of believers to corporately enjoy the riches of grace and not isolation. This is why the most practical, functional definition of the church is anywhere TWO or THREE, not ONE, are gathered in His name (Matthew 18:19-20).

So it is practically, Scripturally and therefore dangerously inaccurate for a single believer to say ‘they are the church’ and do not need the fellowship of other believers. Dangerous? Yes, very dangerous! Why? Because this is what Paul calls “NOT DISCERNING THE BODY” which has deleterious consequences like weakness, sickness and death! (1 Corinthians 11: 29-30)

The body life is not about any single part but about corporate function. The sin against the body life is individualism, independence and self-centredness. For in very deed, no part of the body can do without other parts of the body. (1 Corinthians 12:21-27).

Dislocation and paralysis occur when a body part ’loses fellowship’ with other body parts —thus depriving themselves of the vital life supplies that come from other body parts. The reason why there are swellings, serious pains, gangrenes and rottenings when any body part is dislocated or deathly numbness in the case of paralysis is lack of fellowship.

I would like to use this medium to appeal to any believer who is reading this and is out of fellowship with other believers because of hurt, betrayal and trauma, please go back to the practice of church life. Join yourself to a body of believers and share fellowship. Trust the Lord to so take hold of your vessel that you can forbear other believers in love. The healing you seek cannot be perfected in isolation —you need the life supply from other brethren.

I have seen countless documentaries on how lions attack their prey, their tactic is one: isolate, surround and pounce. The devil does not devour until he successfully isolates.

May the Lord continue to show us all mercy to finish strong in Jesus’ name!


If you are struggling with any sin or sin-powered limitation like unforgiveness, immorality, bitterness, hate, envy etc. especially the one that has defied your personal, solo prayer, it is time to open up and get help. To do this, shame, ego and their kin must give away to the contrition of heart.

Sins that easily ensnare can only be trounced experientially by an effective practice of church life. Oh yes, open up to another believer and receive the surge of help that you most desperately need.

Upon encountering the Lord on his way to Damascus, Saul was blind and not filled with the Holy Ghost. The Lord instructed him to proceed to Damascus to receive the life supply that would define his apostolic ministry, cure his blindness and get him baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost. All these came from the ministry of a certain brother named Ananias —who was never mentioned again for the rest of the New Testament.

When Saul got to Damascus, he immediately took to praying fervently in the house of another brother called Judas while the Lord sent Ananias to minister to him. Paul’s solo prayers at that point would not have given him all the answers and solutions that he so desperately needed. He had to open up to the ministry of another believer in order to get help. Though the Lord encountered him directly, he put a bulk of the answers and solutions that Saul needed in the life supply that came from Ananias. This is the power of effective church life. (Acts 9: 1-15)

For practical purposes, prayerfully locate your pastor or any other person whom the Lord leads you to and do the needful —irrespective of how you feel about them. Be committed to getting help until help comes. Do this and watch your Christian life leap to heights of victory and liberty you never knew existed in Christ

With love from your brother,

Arome Osayi

(Originally posted by Apostle Arome Osayi on his official Facebook Page)

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