Praying for the Sick 2 Kings 13:14 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
When praying for the sick, keep in mind that God doesn’t always heal sick folks. In 2 Ki 13:14, when Elisha was sick, he died. And unlike Hezekiah, he didn’t weep sore over this outcome, trying to persuade God to heal him [2 Ki 20:1-7]. He accepted that it was his time [Ecc 3:2]. And remember, he had raised a child from the dead [2 Ki 4] and he told Naaman how to be healed [2 Ki 5], so he certainly had the power to heal.
In Hezekiah’s case, the added years after his healing weren’t really a blessing. After he was healed he showed all his treasures to the Babylonians, who eventually invaded Judah and Jerusalem to take them. And three years after he was healed, Manasseh was born. He was the worst king Judah ever had. Judah would have been better off if Hezekiah had died.
So, God shouldn’t always be expected to heal when you are sick or when a loved one is ill, and it’s not always in the best interest of everyone concerned for you or your loved one to be healed. So, when you pray for their healing, also pray for the Lord’s will to be done, since you don’t know which is best.
When praying for the sick, therefore, what should we pray?
Pray for grace – 2 Cor 12:7-10 – when you are ill, you need strength. God’s grace makes you strong when you are weak. And when you don’t get healed, God’s grace gives you the strength in your infirmity to more than compensate for your weakness.
Pray for comfort – 2 Cor 1:3-4 – infirmities can be very painful. But pain medications can have bad side effects. So, pray for the patient to be comforted. And pray for the comfort of the primary care giver and the family. A loved one who is infirm can be a real hardship on the family.
Pray for wisdom – Lk 8:43 – this woman had been dealing with doctors for twelve years and couldn’t be healed. We pray for those who are ill to find the right doctors. And we pray for the doctors to have wisdom to make the proper diagnosis, prescribe the right medication, provide the right treatment, perform the right procedure, skillfully and so forth. We pray for the patients to have wisdom to communicate to the doctors and nurses all the pertinent information that will aid them in providing for their care.
Pray for honesty – Rom 12:17 – oftentimes, our illnesses stem from things that we need to change in our activities and diets. Pray for the doctor to be honest with the patients when they are inflicting illnesses on themselves through unhealthy habits they allow in their lives. Pray for the patients to be honest about the things they allow in their lives that might help the doctors ascertain the contributing factors to the problems that must be eliminated for the patient to improve.
Pray for provision – Phil 4:19 – dealing with sickness can be very expensive. So, we pray for the Lord to provide for the necessities of the family and the patient during illness.
Pray for compliance – Prov 5:12-13 – patients don’t do what the doctors say more often than they follow orders. That won’t help you. We pray that the patient and the care givers do what they are supposed to do. It takes time to heal.
Pray for trust – Prov 3:5-6 – people often don’t trust doctors, which makes it very difficult for the patient and doctor to communicate and solve a medical problem. The patient should have confidence in the Lord and the ability of the Lord to heal through the work of the doctor.
Pray for encouragement – Prov 18:14 – “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity.” Prov 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” People who are encouraged do a whole lot better than people who are defeated and discouraged.
Conclusion: you can pray these kinds of things for people who are sick in addition to praying that the Lord will heal them. And when the Lord chooses to take a loved one who is saved, rejoice that he or she is now safely with the Lord, rejoicing in the glory of heaven.