Prayer for the Sick Is Effective
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.
- Summary: For centuries, people of faith have offered prayers for the sick, often with dramatic results. More recently, medical research has shown consistent proof that prayer definitely contributes to healing for the sick. But this is nothing new; the Bible taught this 2,000 years ago! Come see Scriptures on healing that can change your life!
Acts 28:8-9 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after PRAYER, placed his hands on him and HEALED him.  When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured.
- •• Praying for the sick and the healing of the sick are linked in the Bible.
•• This sermon is intended to strengthen your faith to see miraculous spiritual healings as you pray for the sick.
•• Some have wrongly said, “Don’t pray for the sick; rather, heal the sick.” This is Scripturally incorrect. See James 5:14-15, quoted next. Prayer for healing the sick is thoroughly biblical and extremely powerful and effective.
James 5:14-15 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to PRAY over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.
- •• “Is any one of you sick?” — One thing you can do is call the elders for healing prayer.
- • Notice: It’s the “prayer offered in faith” that works. Not just wishful prayers for healing, but praying for the sick in faith.
• So my petition to the Lord is that of His disciples: “Lord, increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).
• Then “the Lord will raise him up.” Don’t try to carry the whole burden yourself. You can’t. The Lord heals! Jesus still heals today! And He often does it in response to prayer. Never underestimate the miraculous healing power of prayer!
Matthew 8:16-17 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and HEALED ALL the sick.  This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “HE took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”
- •• Remember: Jesus “healed ALL the sick.” There is nothing too difficult for him. For the Son of God there are no “hard cases”!
•• As you pray for the sick, remember that Jesus already “TOOK up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” Note the verb tense — took. It’s done!
Mark 1:40-41 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”  Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I AM WILLING,” he said. “Be clean!”
- •• Don’t pray the leper’s prayer — “IF you are willing.”
- • Rather, pray Jesus’ response — “I AM willing!”
- •• And notice the motive. Jesus was “filled with compassion.”
- • Let God “burden” your heart to pray for the sick.
• And, may I add, if you are coming forward at the close of the church service to pray for the sick, don’t come up to pray blindly. Let God lead you. He may give you a specific measure of faith to offer effective healing prayers for a specific person.
Matthew 4:24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.
- •• Don’t limit what you pray for. Don’t be intimidated by the severity of the illness.
- • Jesus healed (and still heals) those with “severe pain.”
• Jesus healed (and still heals) the “paralyzed.”
• Jesus healed (and still heals) those with “various diseases.”
Mark 16:17-18 And these signs will accompany those WHO BELIEVE: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;  they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
- •• It’s not only Jesus who was involved in healing the sick.
•• Divine, spiritual healing is a ministry promised to “those who BELIEVE.”
- • Ask God to make you one of those faith-filled people praying for the sick and seeing divine healings.
• Pray with the expectation that “... [the sick] WILL get well.” Be confident in the healing power of prayers offered in faith.
Acts 14:9-10 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had FAITH TO BE HEALED  and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
- •• Faith works at both ends of the equation.
- • YOU must pray the “prayer of faith” for healing.
• The RECIPIENT of healing prayer must be encouraged to believe God for the desired healing.
• Paul discerned faith in the crippled man, and this led to the man’s immediate healing.
- • And may I add here that the great majority of healings in Scripture were immediate healings.
- • Matthew 9:28-29 “...the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do YOU BELIEVE that I am able to do this?” “YES, Lord,” they replied.  Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to YOUR FAITH will it be done to you.” And they were healed!
- •• In sum, you pray for the sick in faith, and encourage the recipient of the healing prayers to believe, to receive in faith from the Lord.
Acts 3:2, 6, 16 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts....  Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but WHAT I HAVE I GIVE YOU. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” ... BY FAITH IN THE NAME OF JESUS, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this COMPLETE healing to him, as you can all see.
- •• As you offer healing prayers for the sick, remember that you “HAVE” something wonderful to give:
- • the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ to use in faith
• the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to empower your prayers for healing.
- •• Expect “COMPLETE healing.”
•• And expect it to come “BY FAITH in the name of Jesus.” Expect it to come!
3 John 2 Dear friend, I PRAY that you may ENJOY GOOD HEALTH and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
- •• Finally, don’t forget ongoing prayers for healing and health at a distance.
- • My wife and I pray nightly for our children’s health. Three of our four children are grown up and live elsewhere, but we still pray for them at a distance and believe God to hear our prayers.
In sum, the Bible consistenly teaches and illustrates the power of prayer, including prayer for the sick. Believe God. Step forth in faith. Pray for the sick. “God is faithful,” and you will be blessed and amazed at the power and the graciousness of God as you see the sick get well in response to your prayers offered in faith.
Please allow me to recommend our more in-depth treatment of healing at Divine Healing/Spiritual Healing/Faith Healing. Thank you.
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©2002, James H. Feeney. Copyright statement.