Encouraging prayers for the sick

Are you suffering from a winter cold or possibly chronic pain for years, maybe even a life-threatening illness? Do you find it difficult to pray when you’re not well, or maybe you feel like you’re praying the same words over and over again? When we feel helpless we often cling to control as a life raft, but Christ tells us to cling to him during times of illness and every other time imaginable. We can pray for the sick and rest knowing God can restore health! He has the power to heal us, and he has the power to comfort us and give us new hope. He gives us rest when we are weary and peace when we are uncertain. If you find it hard to pray during difficult times you are not alone; pray along with this prayer for the sick!

Prayer for the Sick

Jesus, you control all the parts of my body, and you know when they’re not working at their best. Sickness leaves me stressed and steals time from all the things I want to be doing. I’m honest, Lord. I don’t like to be sick. But times like this also make me rest in you, so I thank you for this chance simply to wait on you.

I come to you today asking for your touch, Lord. Help me to be patient and allow you to do your work. If doctors are involved, give them wisdom, and thank you for providing the help I need, however you choose to provide. Whether this is a test, or simply a time to trust, I want my response to honor you.

As my Good Shepherd, I know you will lead me beside quiet places and restore my soul and body. I trust you and want to follow your leading. Help me to welcome this time not as an interruption in my carefully planned schedule, but as an opportunity to draw strength and nourishment for the journey ahead. You are my healer and my Great Physician. I look to you and give thanks for the promises in your Word that assure me of your presence and your help.

Teach me what you want me to learn during these unpleasant times, Lord. Help me not to take out my discomfort on those around me, and show me how to be a good patient while I’m recovering. In these days of sickness, Lord, I’m trusting you and asking you to make me well. And when you’ve restored my health, give me wisdom so I can treat my body as the temple of your Spirit. I’m eager to get back on my feet serving you, but I realize that even in sickness, I can still draw near to you.

SEE ALSO: Marriage, Spiritual Warfare & Healing: Crosswalk’s Top 10 Prayers of 2015

Thank you, Jesus!

Crosswalk.com: How should I pray to God for healing? – Max Lucado from crosswalkquestions on GodTube.

Bible Verses for Healing

Proverbs 4:20-22 – “My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.”

Psalm 103:2-4 – “Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,”

SEE ALSO: A Prayer for a Thankful Heart

Psalm 41:2-3 – “The LORD protects and preserves them— they are counted among the blessed in the land— he does not give them over to the desire of their foes. The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.”

James 6:16 – “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

More Healing Bible Verses at BibleStudyTools.com

What sickness or weakness are you praying for healing for today? Join our large praying community in the comments below and experience God’s love, power, and healing!

SEE ALSO: Is it Ok for Christians to Pray ‘Pre-made’ Prayers?

Rebecca Barlow Jordan is an inspirational author, speaker, and passionate follower of Jesus who loves to encourage others heart to heart. She has written 11 books and over 1700 other articles, greeting cards, and other inspirational pieces. Her daily devotional Daily in Your Presence is available for delivery through Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Rebecca at www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com.

Publication date: January 13, 2016

This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.

Prayer for Healing

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Prayers for the Sick For a Sick Person

O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need: We humbly beseech thee to behold, visit and relieve thy sick servant N. for whom our prayers are desired. Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; preserve him from the temptations of the enemy; and give him patience under his affliction. In thy good time, restore him to health, and enable him to lead the residue of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory; and grant that finally he may dwell with thee in life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

or this:

Almighty and Eternal God,
You are the everlasting health of those who believe in You.
Hear us for Your sick servant (N…)
for whom we implore the aid of Your tender mercy,
that being restored to bodily health,
he may give thanks to You in Your Church.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

or this:

Dear Jesus, Divine Physician and Healer of the Sick, we turn to You in this time of illness. O dearest Comforter of the Troubled, alleviate our worry and sorrow with Your gentle love, and grant us the grace and strength to accept this burden. Dear God, we place our worries in Your hands. We ask that You restore Your servant to health again. Above all, grant us the grace to acknowledge Your holy will and know that whatsoever You do, You do for the love of us. Amen.

Prayer for the Sick

Father of goodness and love, hear our prayers for the sick members of our community and for all who are in need. Amid mental and physical suffering may they find consolation in your healing presence. Show your mercy as you close wounds, cure illness, make broken bodies whole and free downcast spirits. May these special people find lasting health and deliverance, and so join us in thanking you for all your gifts. We ask this through the Lord Jesus who healed those who believed. Amen.

or this:

Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest your weary ones.
Bless your dying ones.
Soothe your suffering ones.
Pity your afflicted ones.
Shield your joyous ones.
And for all your love’s sake. Amen.

Psalm for the Sick

O Lord, in your anger punish me not; in your wrath chastise me not. For your arrows have sunk deep in me; your hand has come down upon me. There is no health in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no wholeness in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have overwhelmed me; they are like a heavy burden, beyond my strength. Noisome and festering are my sores, because of my folly. I am stooped and bowed down profoundly; all the day I go in mourning. For my loins are filled with burning pains; there is no health in my flesh. I am numbed and severely crushed; I roar with anguish of heart. O Lord, all my desire is before you; from you my groaning is not hid. My heart throbs, my strength forsakes me; the very light of my eyes has failed me. For I am very near to falling; and my grief is with me always. Indeed, I acknowledge my guilt; I grieve over my sins. Forsake me not, O Lord; my God be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation. Let me know, O Lord, my end and what is the number of my days, that I may learn how frail I am. A short span you have made my days, and my life is as nought before you; only a breath is any human existence. Hear my prayer, O Lord, to my cry give ear; to my weeping be not deaf! For I am but a wayfarer before you, a pilgrim like all my fathers. Turn you gaze from me that I may find respite, ere I depart and be no more.

Taken from Psalms 37 and 38

Prayer for a Sick Friend

Dear Lord, You know my friend/family member so much better than I do. You know his/her sickness and the burden he carries. You also know his heart. Lord, I ask you to be with my friend now as you work in his life. Lord, let your will be done in my friend’s life. If there is a sin that needs to be confessed and forgiven, please help him to see his need and confess. Lord, I pray for my friend just as your Word tells me to pray, for healing, and for your will to be done. I believe you hear this earnest prayer from my heart and that you will do according to what you find best. I have faith in you, Lord, to heal my friend, but I also trust in the plan you have for his life and his sufferings. I ask that you look with mercy and grace toward my friend. Nourish his spirit and soul in this time of suffering and comfort him with your presence. Let my friend know you are there with him through this difficulty. Give him strength. And may you, through this difficulty, be glorified in his life and also in mine. Amen.

Prayer for the Sick and Seniors

All praise and glory are yours, Lord our God. For you have called us to serve you and one another in love. Bless our sick today so that they may bear their illness in union with Jesus’ sufferings and restore them quickly to health. Bless those who have grown old in your service and give them courage and strength in their faith. Lead us all to eternal glory. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

For Recovery from Sickness

O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: Mercifully accept our prayers, and grant to your servant N. the help of your power, that his sickness may be turned into health, and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

or this

O God of heavenly powers, by the might of your command you drive away from our bodies all sickness and all infirmity if this be according to your will. Be present in your goodness with your servant N., that his weakness may be banished and his strength restored; and that, his health being renewed, he may bless your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For a Sick Child

Heavenly Father, watch with us over your child N., and grant that he may be restored to that perfect health which it is yours alone to give; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

or this

Lord Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd of the sheep, you gather the lambs in your arms and carry them in your bosom: We commend to your loving care this child N. Relieve his pain, guard him from all danger, restore to him your gifts of gladness and strength, and raise him up to a life of service to you. Hear us, we pray, for your dear Name’s sake. Amen.

Before an Operation

Almighty God our heavenly Father, graciously comfort your servant N. in his suffering, and bless the means made use of for his cure. Fill his heart with confidence that, though at times he may be afraid, he yet may put his trust in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

or this

Strengthen your servant N., O God, to do what he has to do and bear what he has to bear; that, accepting your healing gifts through the skill of surgeons and nurses, he may be restored to usefulness in your world with a thankful heart; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Strength and Confidence

Heavenly Father, giver of life and health: Comfort and relieve your sick servant N., and give your power of healing to those who minister to his needs, that he may be strengthened in his weakness and have confidence in your loving care; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Sanctification of Illness

Sanctify, O Lord, the sickness of your servant N., that the sense of his weakness may add strength to his faith and seriousness to his repentance; and grant that he may live with you in everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Health of Body and Soul

May God the Father bless you, God the Son heal you, God the Holy Spirit give you strength. May God the holy and undivided Trinity guard your body, save your soul, and bring you safely to his heavenly country; where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

For Doctors and Nurses

Sanctify, O Lord, those whom you have called to the study and practice of the arts of healing, and to the prevention of disease and pain. Strengthen them by your life-giving Spirit, that by their ministries the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thanksgiving for a Beginning of Recovery

O Lord, your compassions never fail and your mercies are new every morning: We give you thanks for giving our brother N. both relief from pain and hope of health renewed. Continue in him, we pray, the good work you have begun; that he, daily increasing in bodily strength, and rejoicing in your goodness, may so order his life and conduct that he may always think and do those things that please you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayers for use by a Sick Person For Trust in God

O God, the source of all health: So fill my heart with faith in your love, that with calm expectancy I may make room for your power to possess me, and gracefully accept your healing; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In Pain

Lord Jesus Christ, by your patience in suffering you hallowed earthly pain and gave us the example of obedience to your Father’s will: Be near me in my time of weakness and pain; sustain me by your grace, that my strength and courage may not fail; heal me according to your will; and help me always to believe that what happens to me here is of little account if you hold me in eternal life, my Lord and my God. Amen.

For Sleep

O heavenly Father, you give your children sleep for the refreshing of soul and body: Grant me this gift, I pray; keep me in that perfect peace which you have promised to those whose minds are fixed on you; and give me such a sense of your presence, that in the hours of silence I may enjoy the blessed assurance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

In the Morning

This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.

Prayers to the Saints for the Sick Consecration of the Sick to Mary

O kind and good Mother,
whose own soul was pierced by the sword of sorrow,
look upon us while,
in our sickness,
we arraign ourselves beside you
on the Calvary where your Jesus hangs.

Dowered with the high grace of suffering,
and hopeful of fulfilling in our own flesh
what is wanting in our sharing of Christ’s passion,
on behalf of his Mystical Body, the Church,
we consecrate to you ourselves and our pain.
We pray that you will place them
on that Altar of the Cross to which Jesus is affixed.
May they be little victims of propitiation for our salvation,
for the salvation of all peoples.

O Mother of Sorrows,
accept this consecration.
Strengthen our hopeful hearts,
that as partakers of Christ’s sufferings
we may also share in his comfort now and for evermore.

Amen.

Prayer to St. Gerard for a Sick Child

St. Gerard, who, like the Savior, loved children so tenderly and by your prayers freed many from disease and even death, listen to us who are pleading for our sick child. We thank God for the great gift of our son or daughter and ask him to restore our child to health if such be his holy will. This favor, we beg of you through your love for all children and mothers. Amen.

Prayer to St. Camillus

O glorious Saint Camillus, special patron of the sick and poor, thou who for forty years, with truly heroic charity, didst devote thyself to the relief of their temporal and spiritual necessities, be pleased to assist them now even more generously, since thou art blessed in heaven and they have been committed by the Holy Church to thy powerful protection.

Obtain for them from Almighty God the healing of all their maladies, or, at least, the spirit of Christian patience and resignation that may sanctify them and comfort them in the hour of their passing to eternity; at the same time obtain for us the precious grace of living and dying after thine example in the practice of divine love. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

Prayer to St. Peregrine for Sick Relatives and Friends

O great St. Peregrine, thou who hast been called “The Mighty,” “The Wonder-Worker” because of the numerous miracles which thou hast obtained from God for those who have had recourse to thee, thou who for so many years didst bear in thine own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fiber of our being, and who had recourse to the source of all grace when the power of man could do no more; thou who wast favored with the vision of Jesus coming down from His Cross to heal thy affliction, ask of God and Our Lady, the cure of these sick persons whom we entrust to thee. (Pause here and silently recall the names of the sick persons for whom you are praying.)

Aided in this way by thy powerful intercession, we shall sing to God, now and for all eternity, a song of gratitude for His great goodness and mercy. Amen.

Prayers to St. Jude for Special Intentions

St. Jude, glorious apostle, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the person (who betrayed our Lord) has caused you to be forgotten by many, but the true Church invokes you universally as the Patron of things despaired of. Pray for me, who is so miserable; pray for me, that I may finally receive the consolations and the succour of Heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (ADD YOUR PERSONAL REQUEST HERE), and that I may bless God with the Elect Throughout Eternity.

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be Adored, Glorified, Loved and Preserved throughout the world, now and forever. Sacred Heart of Jesus, please pray for me. Saint Jude, Worker of Miracles, please pray for me. Saint Jude, Helper of the Hopeless, please pray for me. Amen.

O most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, people honor and invoke you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, for I am so helpless and alone. Please help to bring me visible and speedy assistance. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (state your request) and that I may praise God with you always.

I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you by publishing this request. Amen.

Holy Saint Jude, Apostle and Martyr, Great in virtue and rich in miracles, Near kinsman of Jesus Christ, Faithful intercessor of all Who invoke your special patronage in time of need. To you I have recourse from the depths of my heart And humbly beg to whom God has given such great power To come to my assistance. Help me in my present and urgent petition, In return I promise to make your name known And cause you to be invoked. Saint Jude pray for me and all those who invoke your aid. Amen.

Prayers to St. Jude for Physical Healing

St. Jude, you witnessed the healing power of our Lord Jesus. You saw his compassion for the sick and dying. You yourself touched the sick, shared the sorrows of the mournful, and encouraged the despairing. You received this authority and healing power to work wonders, to cure the incurable, to make people whole. We ask you to intercede with our brother, Jesus, to send his saving grace to heal the sickness and suffering of N. to uplift his/her despondent spirits, and to instill hope in his/her hearts. Amen.

St. Jude, through prayer you praised God for the wonderful works of Jesus. You asked God for the strength to meet the challenges of your apostolate. You put your trust in God’s mercy, believing firmly that God loved you and understood your joys and sorrows, your hopes and fears, and your triumphs and failures. You understood that nothing is impossible for God. I ask you to pray for me now before the Most High so that I too might be filled with God’s saving power, understand God’s will for me and faithfully place myself in God’s loving hands.

St. Jude, you remained faithful to our Lord, even unto death. You gave your life so that others might live. You endured physical pain and emotional abandonment. But you gladly joined your sufferings to those of our Savior, Jesus, and thus shared in the redemption of the world. I ask you now to intercede with our brother, Jesus Christ on my behalf, so that I too can find strength in the face of my suffering. Help me to trust in God and put my life in his hands.

Litany of St. John of God

Lord, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.

Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,
Pray for us.*
Saint John of God, who art our Father,*
St. John, who from thine infancy manifested such tenderness for the unhappy,*
St. John, faithful worker from thy youth,*
St. John, who didst understand the state of the poor and needy,*
St. John of God, who didst receive this name from the mouth of Our Lord,*
St. John, Man of Mercy, vowed to all kinds of good works,*
St. John, to whom God has confided the poor and little,*
St. John, who didst give liberally and with joy,*
St. John, who didst deliver the poor and save the destitute,*
St. John, feet of the lame,*
St. John, eyes of the blind,*
St. John, father of the needy,*
St. John, help of orphans,*
St. John, protector of virgins and widows,*
St. John, consoler of the afflicted,*
St. John, champion of the oppressed,*
St. John, physician for all complaints,*
St. John, joy of the sick,*
St. John, consolation of the dying,*
St. John, refuge of the miserable,*
St. John, furnace of charity,*
St. John, lover of chastity,*
St. John, meek and humble of heart,*
St. John, martyr by desire,*
St. John, model of patience,*
St. John, victim of penance,*
St. John, triumpher over demons,*

St. John, who didst merit the special assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of St. John the Evangelist,
Intercede for us.**
St. John, whom the Archangel Raphael often visited and helped,**
St. John, who didst expire on thy knees holding the crucifix,**
St. John, on the day of Judgment,**

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us, O Lord.

Pray for us, O our Father, Saint John of God.
That we may become your faithful imitators.

Let us pray:

Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst grant to Blessed John of God, our Patriarch and Thy faithful servant, so abundant a charity toward the poor, that he devoted himself to their service in becoming their Father: grant that we may serve Thy suffering members with a charity which may merit for us the reward of being united for ever in Heaven with Thee, our Divine Head, Who livest and reignest with the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost for ever and ever. Amen.

O glorious Saint John of God! Full of compassion and tenderness for the afflicted! Thou, who as a reward for thy charity, didst merit to minister to Jesus Christ under the appearance of a pilgrim: obtain for us the grace ever to see Jesus Christ in the person of our neighbor, so that we may be found worthy to receive the eternal bliss promised to those who serve the Divine Master in the person of the sick. Amen.

Prayer for a Sick Person Near Death

Almighty and Everlasting God, Preserver of souls, who dost correct those whom Thou dost love, and for their amendment dost tenderly chastise those whom Thou dost receive, we call upon Thee, O Lord, to bestow Thy healing. that the soul of Thy servant, at the hour of its departure from the body, may by the hands of Thy holy Angels be presented without spot unto Thee. Amen.

A Short Recommendation to God

Into the hands of Thy unspeakable mercy, O Lord, I commend my soul and body; my senses, my words, my thoughts, and all my actions, with all the necessities of my body and soul; my going forth and my coming in; my faith and conversation; the course and end of my life; the day and hour of my death; my rest and resurrection with the Saints and Elect. Amen.

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Jesus said “… Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14 cf. Mark 10:14, 18:16) Children must have been pretty important for Jesus to be quoted in three out of the four gospels. Indeed they are important and to be entrusted with children on this planet is one of the greatest honors that God gives to parents. We love them, we teach them, we discipline them and sometimes we must also witness their illness. That is when we pray the most for the children. Perhaps you need some prayers or Scriptures for a sick child. Take a look at these.

Prayers for a Sick Child

A Minor Illness

“Dear Heavenly Father, I entrust this dear child toYou as he/she suffers from what seems to be a (sickness name). Lord, I know (child’s name) is uncomfortable as he/she tries to rest. I also know that rest is so important to get beyond this minor sickness and to avoid progression to something more serious. Please give him/her the rest that they need. Lord, I lift (child’s name) up to You and know that You will perform Your perfect will for his/her recovery. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen”

A Chronic Illness

“Dear God, I pray for (child’s name) as he/she deals with this (specific illness) so often. I know You are the Master Healer and that You also provide times that are symptom free for this dear little one. Please comfort and protect this dear child during this hard time. Help them to know that they can come to You for the peace and health that only You can provide. Please be with the doctors as they continually study to find medicines and treatments that will comfort those that suffer from chronic illnesses. I leave this in Your precious hands oh God my Father. Amen”

A Severe or Death Threatening Illness

“Lord I come to You today to present (child’s name) to You. This very deadly sickness that is upon him/her is very sad to all who know and love him/her.  I know that in times like this his/her Mommy and Daddy are in despair. Please keep them strong in You so that they can be a comfort to this dear little child. Please keep (child’s name) from being scared of what is happening all around him/her. I ask Your mercy so that pain would be minimal or nonexistence. I love this small and fragile little child. Bestow Your grace and peace to them and all who love them. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.”

Healing and Encouraging Scriptures

God is Still on the Throne

… sometimes we must also witness their illness. That is when we pray the most for the children.

Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. (Psalms 73:23-26)

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalms 103:2-5)

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)

Meditate Upon What You Know as Truth

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. (Proverbs 4:20-22)

As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever. (Isaiah 59:21)

Even in the Valley

Be Joyful:

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

Praise Him:

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise. (Jeremiah 17:14)

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

God has a Plan 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3)

Even in the darkest of days our God is an awesome God and He will continue to bless us. Our life circumstances teach us and prepare us for times to come. I am reminded of this great passage, full of hope, from Paul:

Romans 5:3-5 “… but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

Have you read this related prayer article?

10 Prayers for Help in Times of Need

Resources – The Holy Bible, King James Version, YouTube “Our God is an Awesome God” performed by Michael W. Smith, Image courtesy of  FreeDigitalPhotos. net

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Bikur Cholim, visiting the sick, is a very great mitzvah. The Torah relates how G‑d Himself visited our forefather Abraham during his time of illness through three angels. When visiting the sick, one offers prayers for a speedy recovery, material assistance if possible, and of course, moral encouragement.

In cities around the world, there are special Jewish societies dedicated to this mitzvah. Many individuals spend time every week and even every day, visiting total strangers in the hospital or those convalescing at home. Depending on the circumstances, these visitors may be the only ones in touch with the patient on a regular basis.

The Torah Way

  • The mitzvah of visiting the sick consists of three elements: 1) Seeing to the material needs of the patient; 2) Praying for him or her; 3) Spending time with the patient and offering words of encouragement, and so on.

  • It is best to visit with others; but one should not forgo the chance to visit if others cannot come along.

  • One should not suddenly enter into the patient’s room. One should first make sure that the patient is prepared and able to receive visitors, either by first visiting the nurse’s station or by knocking on the door before entering.

  • The visitor should speak to the patient in a positive manner, engaging the patient with light, yet meaningful talk.

  • The visitor should help the patient give tzedakah (charity), for we are taught “great is charity for it saves from death.” The visitor can give the patient a few coins to place in a charity box, or the patient can make a pledge to do so on his own.

  • The visitor should assist the patient with observing certain mitzvot (i.e., donning tefillin for males, lighting Shabbat and holiday candles, hearing the blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, making the blessing on and shaking the lulav and etrog on Sukkot, hearing the reading of the Megillah on Purim, eating matzah on Passover, etc.).

  • If one feels close to the patient, he should encourage the patient to do a spiritual self-evaluation and to pray. The visitor should also remind the patient of the great power of repentance and the benefit of dedicating oneself to Torah observance. Some have the custom to recite the following short prayer in the presence of the patient:

הַמָּקוֹם יְרַחֵם עָלֶיךָ
בְּתוֹךְ כָּל חוֹלֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.

Ha-Ha-mökom y’racheim ölechö
b-soch köl cholei yisrö-ayl.

May the Almighty have mercy on you, among all the sick of Israel.

  • One should limit the amount of time spent with the patient, keeping in mind the patient’s condition, doctors’ orders, and other factors.

  • One should not overstay to the point of becoming a burden.

  • If it appears that the patient’s days are numbered, a family member, or in the case where there is no family available, a close friend or caregiver, should gently remind the patient to put his or her affairs in order (i.e. take care of debts, decide how to dispose of property, recite the Viduy, Confession, etc.).

Other Things One May Do

  • On days when the Torah is read in synagogues (Mondays, Thursdays, Shabbat and Jewish holidays), one may request a special prayer for the sick, known as “Mi Shebairach,” to be recited at the Torah. In this prayer, one pledges to give charity in the merit of the ill. It is preferable to provide the reader with the patient’s Hebrew name, and that of his or her mother.

  • Some people seek a blessing from a tzaddik (great Torah sage; righteous person) and/or ask the tzaddik to pray for them. Similarly, some people may send a note to the resting place (gravesite) of great Torah leaders, and ask them to beseech G‑d on behalf of the ill person. Friends can certainly travel to the resting place and petition the Torah leader on behalf of the patient.

  • Kabbalah teaches us that a person’s name exerts an influence on one’s well-being. Therefore, in some severe cases, some have the custom to add an additional Hebrew name to the person’s existing name. This is done only by a competent rabbi. Some common names that are added are Chaim, Baruch or Refael (for a man), or Chaya, Bracha or Refaelah (for a woman). Chaim and Chaya mean “life” in Hebrew; Baruch and Bracha, mean “blessing”; and Refael and Refaelah mean “G‑d will heal.”

Psalms 20 and 119

The following Psalms are particularly effective when recited in times of distress. Psalm 20 is traditionaly recited for oneself or a loved one who is suffering or in danger.

In Hebrew:

English Translation:

For the Choirmaster; a Psalm by David.
May the Lord answer you on the day of distress; may the Name of the G‑d of Jacob fortify you.
May He send your help from the Sanctuary, and support you from Zion.
May He remember all your offerings, and always accept favorably your sacrifices.
May He grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill your every counsel.
We will rejoice in your deliverance, and raise our banners in the name of our G‑d; may the Lord fulfill all your wishes.
Now I know that the Lord has delivered His anointed one, answering him from His holy heavens with the mighty saving power of His right hand.
Some (rely) upon chariots and some upon horses, but we invoke the Name of the Lord our G‑d.
They bend and fall, but we rise and stand firm.
Lord, deliver us; may the King answer us on the day we call.

Transliteration:

Lam’na-tzay-ach mizmor l’dövid.
Ya-an’chö adonöy b’yom tzörö, y’sagev’chö shaym elohay ya-akov.
Yishlach ez-r’chö mi-kodesh, umi-tziyon yis-ödekö.
Yizkor köl min’cho-sechö, v’olös’chö y’dash’neh selöh.
Yiten l’chö chil’vö-vechö, v’chöl atzös’chö y’ma-lay.
N’ran’nöh bishu-ösechö, uv’shaym elo-haynu nidgol, y’malay adonöy köl mish-alo-sechö.
Atöh yöda-ti, ki hoshi-a adonöy m’shi-cho, ya-anayhu mish’may köd-sho, big’vuros yay-sha y’mino.
Ayleh vö-rechev, v’ayleh va-susim, va-anachnu b’shaym adonöy elo-haynu naz-kir.
Hay-möh kör’u v’nöfölu, va-anachnu kam-nu vanis-odöd.
Adonöy ho-shi-öh, ha-melech ya-anaynu v’yom kör’aynu.

Psalm 119 is composed according to the Hebrew alphabet, eight verses for each letter. Each verse contains a word referring to a different aspect of Torah, thereby encompassing the entire Scriptures. It is thus customary to recite the verses that comprise the letters of the person’s Hebrew name when praying for him or her.

In Hebrew:

Click here for an English translation of Psalm 119

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