When we know someone who is suffering from an illness or disability, our response is often to pray for healing. It is compassionate to desire relief for one who is suffering, and it is certainly appropriate to ask the Lord for healing. Our God is loving and compassionate, and He is grieved by the suffering of His children (Psalm 86:15, John 11:32-35). He is also a powerful God who is able to heal (Mark 1:29-34).
However, healing is not always God’s plan for those who are sick and disabled. Sometimes God chooses to heal, but sometimes instead He chooses to use a long-term illness or disability for the good of His people.
For this reason, it is good to pray for more than just physical healing. Let’s look to Scripture for examples of ways to pray for those who are suffering from an illness or disability.
- Pray that God would comfort them (2 Corinthians 1:4).
- Pray that they would “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18, NIV).
- Pray that they would trust in the Lord and not lean on their own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
- Pray that they would grow in the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
- Pray that they would suffer well. Pray that they would “commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (1 Peter 4:19, NIV).
- Pray that God would grant them endurance and encouragement (Romans 15:4-6).
- Pray that they would throw off sin and run with endurance. Pray that they would look to Jesus so that they do not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:1-3).
- Pray that the Lord would provide for all of their needs “according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, NIV).
- Pray that they would thirst for God and that they would place their hope in Him (Psalm 42:1-5).
- Pray that God would keep them in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).
- Pray that they would “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12, NIV).
- Pray that God would enable them to be content in whatever circumstances He places them in (Philippians 4:11-13).
- Pray that they would hold unswervingly to the hope they have professed (Hebrews 10:23).
- Pray that they would not lose heart, but that they would persevere and fix their eyes on what is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
It is a great privilege to bring our requests to the Lord and be a part of the work He is doing. God chooses to work through the prayers of His people. Therefore, let us lift up our brothers and sisters who are suffering from disabilities, praying not just for their physical bodies, but for their spiritual growth and strength as well.
In what other ways should we intercede for those who are suffering from an illness or disability? If you are suffering, in what ways do you appreciate people to praying for you?
Rachel Lundy is a wife and mother of two children. She lives with dysautonomia, a condition that leaves her mostly homebound. She writes at Cranberry Tea Time about life with a chronic illness and the hope and joy she has in Christ.