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Praying for the Sick

Ray Pritchard pastored in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. Married to Marlene for 38 years, he enjoys being a husband, a father and a grandfather, riding his bike, and playing with Dudley and Gary, beloved basset hounds.

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I just completed a two-part sermon series on praying for the sick:

Praying for the Sick–Part 1 
Praying for the Sick–Part 2  

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In the first part I looked in some detail at the four-step process outlined in James 5:14-15. In the second part I discussed the importance of understanding “healing” from a broader perspective. When our loved ones are sick, understandably we focus only on them becoming well again. But God’s purposes go beyond our limited perspective.

Our vision of “healing” often means, “Change these circumstances.”
God’s vision of “healing” involves making us more like his Son (Romans 8:28-29).

I can state my own theology of prayer for healing in one sentence: We do the praying, and God does the healing, in his own time, in his own way, according to his own will. We are to pray earnestly, fervently, unitedly, repeatedly, obediently, and with all the faith God gives us. If we do our part, God cannot fail to do his.

My final conclusion comes in these two paragraphs:

I come to the end of this two-part series on praying for the sick with great joy in my heart even as I bow before the mystery of a God whose ways are far beyond my meager understanding. Through prayer we have the privilege of lifting the burden from our brothers and sisters. Through prayer we may become agents of healing to those who are sick. What an honor to be used of God in this way.

Here is my final exhortation. Let us pray boldly, confidently, humbly, in faith believing that as we pray for the sick and dying God hears, he cares, and he will do what is best in every situation. When we pray for the sick, we are doing the work of Jesus in the world. Fear not, keep believing, and keep on praying.


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