Prayer for someone undergoing surgery

The gemara says (Brachos 60a, on the bottom):

אמר רב אחא הנכנס להקיז דם אומר יהי רצון מלפניך יי’ אלקי שיהא עסק זה לי לרפואה ותרפאני כי אל רופא נאמן אתה ורפואתך אמת לפי שאין דרכן של בני אדם לרפאות אלא שנהגו

Rav Acha said that someone who goes for bloodletting should say “May it be Your Will, Hashem my God, that this practice should be a healing, and I should be healed; for You are a trustworthy Healer and your healing is true,” because people don’t get healed by themselves (they need God to heal them).

( free translation )

This is brought down by the Rambam, Hilchot Berachot 10:21 (as well as Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 230:4, who writes pretty much exactly the same wording as the Rambam). Here is what the Rambam says:

הַנִּכְנָס לְהַקִּיז דָּם אוֹמֵר יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ יְיָ’ אֱלֹהַי שֶׁיְּהֵא עֵסֶק זֶה לִי לִרְפוּאָה כִּי רוֹפֵא חִנָּם אָתָּה. וּכְשֶׁיֵּצֵא אוֹמֵר בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ’ רוֹפֵא חוֹלִים

One who goes for bloodletting should say “May it be Your Will, Hashem my God, that this practice should be a healing for me, because you are a free Doctor.” When he is finished, he should say “Blessed are You, O God, Healer of the sick.”

( free translation )

I’ve seen some cite the above Shulchan Aruch to require saying this before taking any medicine1 (I do this without using שם השם, when I remember to), even though he only said it regarding bloodletting. I would argue that bloodletting is close enough to surgery so that the same prayer can be used.

1Some have even made this into a card to hand out, as mentioned in one of the comments to the question.

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“God will take care of everything you need.” (Philippians 4:19 The Message) 

How do we trust that God will take care of us as He does the birds and the trees? Believing God’s Word will fan the flame of our faith as we live it out in hard circumstances. When the ache of the unknown looms in front us as we place our lives in the hands of surgeons, prayer gives peace to our hearts and physically tired bodies. Use this prayer for yourself, or with friends and family before heading into surgery.

A Prayer for Surgery

Father, praise You for this life. As we prepare for surgery to the body You have given us, many things flow into our minds and out of our hearts as we lie in wait. Yet, You reassure us in Exodus 15:26: “I am the Lord who heals you.” 

We have an end picture in our minds as to what “healed” looks like for us, and desperately look to You for assurance that our lives and our pain will be healed. You are above all, see all, know all, and are capable of healing all. When Jesus walked the earth, He healed by the touch of His hand and the sound of His voice. We pray to feel Your healing hand upon us, Lord, and hear Your voice of peace and tranquility boom over the loud pain that throbs through our minds and bodies. 

Thank You for a life that is valuable to us and to those around us. We are worth enough to worry about, and thankful enough for the life we’ve been blessed with on this earth to covet our return to it and full restoration of it. With grateful hearts we come to You in praise for the gift of being able to trod this earth and experience Your love. 

Forgive us, Father, for doubting our purpose on earth. We confess just how often we run from what You are calling us to do because we feel it is too hard. And now, as we await the outcome of surgery, we feel compelled to reach back and grab every opportunity that has ever passed us by to walk behind Your Son in pursuit of Your will for our lives. Please forgive our disobedience, and lack of respect for Your timing and Your plans. Help us to place our current and future ambitions on bringing You glory, and the love of Your Son to all who know us. 

Father, we trust You with our lives. For You promise us: “Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” (Psalm 30:2)

Bless the surgeons and medical staff that will operate on us. Be with them and equip them to be extensions of Your healing hand. Remain present with me, Lord, even when I fall asleep from the pain medication. Help me to feel Your presence, and remember that You are always with me. Never leaving. Always faithful. Loving me more than I’m capable of understanding. 

And now for the hardest part: Truly trusting the outcome of my life in Your hands. For it’s when our plans for healing don’t look the same as Yours that we become frustrated, and faith threatens to pull out of our hearts. Doubt can seep in through the cracks in unexpected circumstances. In those moments, Lord Jesus, strengthen us to remember You. Your ways are not our ways, because only You can claim true love for us. Only You know what is perfect and just in the daily happenings of our lives. Our time here is so fleeting, but our belief in You, Jesus, sets us apart and ensures us life everlasting. Pain free and full of peace. 

Help us to hold on to that belief. To hold onto You. As we travel this road of uncertainty, send Your Holy Spirit to inspire our heart’s memory of Your sweet words of promise. Help us to recall and repeat the promises You have given us through Your Word. Be with our families and friends as they worry and wonder what the outcome will be. Inspire Your love in their hearts and assure them that my life is in Your hands. 

Father, let all who know me witness my peace in this process, and know that it is from You. Thank You for life, God. Bless and heal me today through this surgery. Whether You bring me through these ailments to restore me upright on this earth, or take me through to You, I trust You… today, and always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What are you facing today that we can join in praying for healing and peace over? Join our large praying community in the comments below.

Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/AtnoYdur

prayer for someone undergoing surgery

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.

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