115. Prayers for the Sick
Today’s reading: “The Ministry of Healing” pp. 225–226.
Today’s reading is packed with promises for the medical missionary caring for the sick. The previous chapter spoke about our conduct and duties, today we see the results and possibilities sparked by our faithfulness in these things.
- Pities / has compassion
- Will / Shall
Psalms 103: 13, 14 makes the point that God “pities” us like a father. Think about that for a moment. How does a father have compassion on his children?
Certainly it is different to a mother’s compassion. The context gives us a clue, the father cares even though he is hard-nosed enough to realise his children are just “dust”.
“Mercy” has the father care despite his child’s faults. He cares even though he has something against us. On page 225, Ellen tells us that is that we forget about God and His many mercies. We thoughtlessly sponge on His goodness and never thank Him… until we get sick and need Him.
The usual Hebrew word for mercy, or even pity, is much more feminine, meaning to commiserate or to be kind. This word in Ps. 103 however, is much less sentimental. It is used when God has mercy despite what Israel has done (Deut. 30:3, 2Kings 13:23, Isa. 55:7 and in Ps. 18:1, where it is translated “love” because David is still a little put out by God’s slow rescue v.4,5).
But God still hears our prayers, despite being called on as a “foul-weather friend”.
Right now, today,
- God is willing to restore the sick to health
- Christ is the compassionate physician with healing for every disease, restoration for every infirmity.
- If we pray for the sick, “recoveries will follow”.
- We have the Holy Spirit’s power, calm assurance to claim God’s promises.
- The Lord’s promise of healing is trustworthy
- Christ desires to exercise His healing power through His servants.
And recoveries will follow
Christ desires to do two things,
- To channel His healing power through us, His servants.
- To manifest His presence in the sick-room, amazingly, through filling our hearts with the sweetness of His love then,
If the life of the attendants upon the sick is such that Christ can go with them to the bedside of the patient, there will come to him the conviction that the compassionate Saviour is present, and this conviction will itself do much for the healing of both the soul and the body.
Imagine that! We can confidently go to bedside of every sick person with Jesus at our side. What a work, what a privilege! We attain that privilege by,
- Faith, claiming God’s promises
- Faith, laying hold of all that is promised, i.e. if we lay hands on the sick, they will recover (Mark 16:18).
- Faith, presenting the sick and suffering to God
- Faith and prayer, transforming the sickroom into Bethel (the house of God) by,
- saying “God is in this place” to heal and save
- encouraging the patient to take hold of God’s strength
- in deed, acting and living as if “God is in this place”, manifesting His sweetness, believing His promises.
Will / Shall
- God is willing to restore the sick
- And recoveries will follow; for “the prayer of faith shall save the sick.”
- “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:18)
- The patient will be convicted that the Saviour is present, and this conviction will heal soul and body.
- And God will hear our prayer. Christ has said, “If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” Again He says, “If any man serve Me, him will My Father honor.” John 14:14; 12: 26.
- If we live according to His word, every precious promise He has given will be fulfilled to us. We are undeserving of His mercy, but as we give ourselves to Him, He receives us. He will work for and through those who follow Him.