How to pray for someone who is sick

“Hey Corey. How would you pray for someone who is sick?”
We had hiked in to Petroglyph National Monument, on the outskirts of Albuquerque, and were resting under an Anasazi image of a lizard pecked by hand into a dark volcanic boulder, possibly as long as 800 years ago. There may be 24,000 such carved images in this place.


“Well there are many ways to pray of course. I often quote a verse from the Bible: ‘Lord, stretch out your hand to heal, and let wonders and miracles be performed in the name of your holy servant Jesus’  from Acts 4”.

Corey took a swig of water before continuing.
“The followers of Jesus were meeting, soon after Jesus left the earth, and there were powerful spiritual things going on. So they prayed this prayer, and the building was shaken.

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and were able to witness to the resurrection with freedom and courage”.
He pointed out an image of a quail on another boulder.
“So I figure what worked back then might also work now”, he concluded.

We walked about a quarter mile, peering among the boulders for other ageless images.
“How do you pray?” Corey asked me. He took his baseball cap off and ran his fingers though his short brown hair.
“I like to be specific: to pray for the exact condition, and to pray positively and expectantly”, I replied.
“And if that person is not healed….?” Corey left the question open.
“That’s up to God”.

We stopped to photograph an intriguing image of an antelope.
My eyes lit up with an insight.
“Oh yes, another short prayer is the bedtime prayer: ‘I will lie down in peace and sleep, for you O Lord will keep me safe’  from Psalm 4. These are comforting words which you can even pray toward someone over the phone”.

“Yes” Corey thought a minute. “And I can imagine myself lying in bed distressed over something, and saying those words over and over again….”
“The words are very reassuring”.

The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers……

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Donna Cowan
12 years ago

Hi Ian and Joy, That Lou Gehrigs disease is certainly an awful diagnosis. There is a scripture in 2 Corinthians that I gave to my aunt when she was passing. She passed that night with a smile on her face. Here is that scripture. 2 Corinthians 5:1-10: For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

12 years ago

Hi Ian, This is the first chance I’ve had to check out your blog. This particular one caught my eye because one of my brothers has been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrigs disease). It’s a rough road ahead that I can see; one filled with prayer and gratefulness for the love of Christ in my life. Thanks for sharing the verses. God bless, Joy

12 years ago
Reply to  Joy

Thanks for your comment Joy. Yes, that is a tough one, but your words are very appropriate: “To fill the road up with prayer and gratefulness”. Jesus words also come to mind: “Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is comfortable, gracious and pleasant, and my burden is light”. (Matthew 11).

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