Why Pray for the Sick?
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I am guilty. There are times I’ve prayed for terminally ill people and lacked faith — not in God’s ability to heal, but in His choosing to use it. I know I’m not the only one. By the time you’ve got some age on you, you’ve prayed for lots of people who are no longer with us. We know that everyone dies (physically) at some point.
So, how do you pray with unwavering faith when the doctors are saying things like, “We’ve done all that we can do,” and the person has deteriorated so much that they don’t even look like themselves? Why do we pray when the scene’s so familiar to past situations where the person died in spite of all our prayers?
I was battling with this question about praying when I came across an insightful truth in 2 Chronicles.
In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a serious foot disease. Yet even with the severity of his disease, he did not seek the LORD's help but turned only to his physicians. So he died in the forty-first year of his reign” (2 Chronicles 16:12-13 NLT).
Note that two chapters earlier, Scripture says, Asa did what was pleasing and good in the sight of the LORD his God (2 Chronicles 14:2).
When he became king over Judah, Asa destroyed all signs of worshipping other gods and commanded the people to seek the Lord and obey His commands. The Bible says King Asa continued to seek God’s guidance as he ruled over Judah and they enjoyed a time of peace.
But, in his later years, something went wrong. He began to rely on others and no longer put his trust in God. Hanani the “seer” reminded the king:
"The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him" (2 Chronicles 16:9).
By the time he developed a serious foot disease, God wasn’t his “go-to” anymore. The Scripture says he didn’t seek the Lord’s help, but only consulted his doctors.
Well, that answered my question about praying for sick people and for my own illnesses — when our hearts are fully committed, we seek God no matter what the outcome may be. We ask Him to heal because we trust Him. God noticed when King Asa stopped trusting in Him. King Asa was what we would consider a godly man, a godly leader. But he had stopped putting his trust in God. So when it came to a medical condition, he forfeited the opportunity to ask God to heal him.
As children of Almighty God, our prayers are heard and reveal the condition of our hearts. May we never get so discouraged about health issues that we fail to recognize the importance of asking for Your healing hand.
Oh, Father God, thank You for revealing the importance of praying for healing. We want You involved in every aspect of our lives. Your healing power flows into our lives when we trust you—in ways we might not understand. Please help us remember whose hands really hold the future. They are Yours.
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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