Divine healing…

In chapter five of James, he writes to a struggling people who are weighed down by adversity and hardship. He encourages them to proactively seek restoration—both to God and to each other. Falling into the temptation of doubting God’s purposes and to blame him is not difficult to do, and James is advocating the power of prayer rather than a negative response to their trials.

When we turn a blind eye to God, we suffer. The sufferings can take the form of pride, egoism, judgment, and even sickness. Prayer is the intercessor through Jesus that brings results, particularly if the one who prays is convicted of his own sin. James assures that prayers will make the sick person well . . . the Lord will raise him up . . . he will be forgiven . . . so that you may be healed.

The sickness spoken of is not always a physical ailment. The verb is translated in Greek (astheneo) and means “weak or “weary.” The people in James are spiritually weak and are encouraged to call for the elders—the spiritually strong. The Lord promises to restore and raise up the sick person spiritually.

The concept of being healed can have a spiritual sense with the verb, iaomai, as in 1 Peter 2:24, which refers to Isaiah 53, although James recognizes a possible combination of illness and sin. The vision he is sharing is for both the physical and spiritual healing of their lives. “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”