I write following a recent conversation about how we might pray when someone is very unwell? These are times when our emotions, faith, and beliefs can be challenged, and we may become unsure of what, or how to pray.
Here are 4 ways in which we might pray for individuals who are seriously unwell. The titles are my own description and using a mixture of styles of prayer is fine, let God’s Spirit lead you:
Holding Prayers – often unspoken, holding the person and the situation in our heart, knowing that God knows. Bring the individual to God. That’s all. Hold them to Him.
Miracle Prayers – daring to ask for the miraculous, even if the circumstances suggest otherwise, asking that the person might turn a corner and begin to recover. It is not foolish or wrong to pray in such a manner, but it is necessary to recognise that God is God, so these prayers are offered according to our faith and with real awareness of His sovereignty as we do so.
Rational Prayers – praying for the actual circumstances and the person just as they are. For the resources and medicine they are receiving, for the wisdom and care of the nurses and doctors, for any breathing apparatus etc., for their lungs, organs, body…mind and spirit. Praying using what information you have.
Release Prayers– praying that death may come to bring release, that death may be peaceful, kind, gentle and in turn healing, relieving, even a chosen friend. The hardest prayers require wisdom.
James 1:5 New Living Translation
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
Romans 8: 22-23 & 26-27 (NLT)
For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering… And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
Pray dear friends, God hears and responds,
Rev. Lorraine Apps – Huggins, Chaplain & Diocesan Advisor in Healing & Wholeness
Assistance with praying for those who are seriously unwell with Covid 19 printable pdf