Question of the week: Does Isaiah 53:5 (“by his wounds we are healed”) speak of physical or spiritual healing? Can toxic or sinful thoughts and practices make us physically sick or impaired?
My answer: Good cross references are 1 Corinthians 11:30 and James 5:13–16. Spiritual ills and sin, according to these and other Scriptures, can cause physical stress and chronic ailments. I believe a call for repentance should accompany any prayers for physical healing. This call is explicit in James 5:16, “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.”
Notice that James 5:16 does not limit the confession of sins to just the person seeking prayers for a physical healing. Those praying should also confess their sins. One or more of those who are praying may be suffering from a physical stress or ailment owing to spiritual ill health. They, too, can be healed.
In my experience, the most effective prayers for physical healing are those in which the person seeking prayer and those committed to pray engage in “prophetic prayer.” In such prayer meetings, all the participants ask the Holy Spirit to expose hidden sins in their lives and in the lives of the other participants. We all have sins in our lives that we are either hiding from others or simply not aware of. I have witnessed the exposure of such sins followed by genuine repentance yielding amazing spiritual and physical healings.