If you or someone you love is facing a difficult disease or illness, or is suffering from depression, anxiety, or addiction, know that a prayer for healing and the sick can help. Through prayer, God can work miracles and use us for His glory on Earth by healing us from our illnesses and ailments. After all, God wants us to prosper and be well, and to give us hope for the future. As the New Testament tells us, the ability to pray for healing is a gift from the Holy Spirit to the church (1 Corinthians 12:8-11) and we should exercise it freely, but we must remember, even when we pray for the sick, that God’s gift of healing us from illness will always be in accordance with His sovereign will.
What does it mean to say a prayer for healing and the sick?
A prayer for healing is really a verbal or mental acknowledgement of the fact that it is God who is in control of our lives, and that He always has a plan for us, even if it is hard for us to see or understand. When we say a prayer for healing and the sick, what we’re doing is surrendering ourselves totally and completely to the will and power of God, and opening ourselves up to accept his guidance and intercession.
When God begins to heal us, or our sick loved ones, it is also a sign to the world that the kingdom of God is defeating the darkness of Satan. Healing is a visible manifestation of God’s triumph over the forces of evil. Though we may be asking for God’s healing intercession on behalf of ourselves or our loved ones, when we say a prayer for healing we are also praying for the return of God’s kingdom on Earth.
When to say a prayer for healing and the sick?
Prayers for healing can be said any time you or a loved one is scared, alone, sick, in pain, or unsure of the future. Though healing from illness can be one component of God’s healing power, sickness is not the only area in which we may need healing. Some of the ways in which we may pray for healing include:
God wants us to be whole – not just in our body, but in our mind and spirit as well. Wherever there is sickness, pain, or hurt, there is an opportunity for God’s glory through healing.
Does God always answer prayers for healing?
As we know from experience, God does not always grant us immediate and complete healing from all of life’s ailments. In fact, there is a lot we don’t know about healing and prayer. What we do know comes from Scripture: mainly, that the Bible instructs us to pray but also to know that healing is never guaranteed. Though we are told to pray when someone is sick and this prayer for healing will make them well, the Bible reminds us that though King David prayed and fasted for seven days to save his dying child, he also recognized that this may not be the case: “Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live” (2 Samuel 22). When God did not grant healing to King David’s son, King David continued to worship him anyway.
Similarly, in 1 Corinthians, Paul tells us that healing is given for the common good of the Church – which means that we cannot expect every sickness or hurt to be healed. Healings are not individual blessings but rather are an instrument of common good for the Church.
When praying for healing and the sick, it’s important to remember the following things:
Healing may come gradually
Of course, it would be convenient to pray for healing and find ourselves healed and whole again all at once. But immediate healing is not always part of God’s plan for us; healing may be gradual. Perhaps this gradual healing means that your affliction is to be used for God’s glory. This can be hard, especially when it involves physical pain or mental anguish, but remember that sickness and pain – though God did not create these things – are still under His dominion.
Healing miracles are rare
When we read the Bible, we see proof of God’s healing power through the miracles performed by Jesus. It seems like on every other page of the Bible we hear about Jesus healing the blind, deaf, lame, or leprous. However, the Bible covers 2,000 years of history – though Jesus did heal many people, there are many, many more that he did not heal.
It’s unwise to compare answers to prayer
When we pray for healing and the sick and our prayer is unanswered – or not answered as quickly as we might like – it’s easy to become discouraged, especially if we know of someone else who’s prayer was seemingly answered by God. It’s not for us to know why one person is healed from suffering while another is not. All we can do is continue to turn toward God with our hands outstretched and, like King David, say “Who knows?”
If you never ask, the answer is always – No
It can be easy to become discouraged when our prayers for healing and the sick go unanswered. We may quit asking altogether – but that would be an error. Though it may be hard, healing will never come if you never ask for it – continue to pray and to have faith in the Lord.
The most important thing to remember when saying a prayer for healing and the sick is that prayers are demonstration of our continued faith in God. Let God speak to your pain and bring comfort and wisdom during this part of your life. Allow these afflictions to become part of your testimony and for the development of your own personal character. Continue to earnestly desire the gift of healing from God in your daily conversations with Him. Remember also that ultimately, we will all be healed of all sickness and diseases on the other side of death, when we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven and are finally freed from pain, suffering, doubt, or fear.