People, dear friends of Christ, do remember what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is removing one barrier between us and God - the sin barrier.
By confession of sin we overcome one of the problems with sin. when we hide our sin we also hide from God. Confession is opening up the conversation and being real. You need to be real to have good communication. Right?
The same applies to our relationship with God.
Imagine you are in your teens and you are allowed to drive dad's car. While driving you do some serious damage to the car. Now several things need to happen. 1. You need to tell your dad. (Confession.) 2. You need to ask for forgiveness from your dad. (reconciliation and freedom from guilt). 3. The car needs to be fixed and you might be asked to take some of all responsibility for that.
Note: asking forgiveness does not fix the car.
Similarly with sin. You may have made a dangerous decision such as visiting a psychic, playing with a Ouija board, going to a seance to consult the dead or attend a conference that put you under the spell of some group. This entangled you with the enemy.
You need to: confess the sin to God (open communication), ask for forgiveness from God (reconciliation) and getting inner healing or deliverance to set you free from the occult ties you have established. The forgiveness is good but does not accomplish inner healing or deliverance.
Agnes Sanford was challenged many years ago to pray for a Christian's rages. She did, and he was healed. This broadened her understanding of the kind of healing available through prayer.
She had come to believe, learn about, practice and eventually teach how to pray for others for physical healing. Being fully equipped and equipping others in this, she then had to wrap her head around the fact that she had prayed for an emotional issue and it, too, has been healed.
Physical healing is for something wrong with the body. Inner healing was related to the mind, emotions and memories.
She understood that all healing was released through Jesus and especially through his sacrificial death for our healing and for the forgiveness of sins. We know from one story that Jesus did not make a big distinction between physical healing and forgiveness of sins. See Luke 7:17-26.
This is the background to Sanford's statement that inner healing is forgiveness of sins. Inner healing is possible, as is physical healing, as the result of the completed work of Jesus on the cross.
We are now much more clear as to how inner healing can occur. It is related to the healing of memories and there is now psychological research about how memories are healed. The inner healing movement, if it embraces to revelations of Dr. Ed Smith, will become equipped to do the healing of memories through listening prayer.
This means we will no longer confuse confession, forgiveness of sins with inner healing. Each part has a place in the action.