Ellen G. White Writings

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Spalding and Magan Collection, Page 5

Praying for the Sick

The Need of Instruction on Health Principles

During my sickness I have thought much in reference to praying for the sick, and I believe that if prayer should be offered for the sick at any place (and it certainly should), it should be offered at the Sanitarium for the relief and restoration of the suffering.

But in this matter of praying for the sick, I should not move in exactly the same lines as have my brethren. I have been considering many things that have been presented to me in the past in reference to this subject. Suppose that twenty men and women should present themselves as subjects of prayer at some of our camp-meetings. This would not be unlikely, for those who are suffering will do anything in their power to obtain relief and to regain their health. Of these twenty, few have regarded the light on the subject of purity and health reform. They have neglected to practice right principles in eating and drinking, and in taking care of their bodies: and those who are married have formed gross habits, and indulged in unholy practices, while those who are unmarried have been reckless of life and health. In clear rays the light has shone upon them; but they have not had respect to the light, nor have they walked circumspectly; yet they solicit the prayers of God's people, and call for the elders of the church. Should they regain the blessing of health, many of them would pursue the same course of heedless transgression of nature's laws, unless enlightened and thoroughly transformed.

They solicit the prayers of God's people, and call for the elders, of the church; but little is known of their private life. Sin has brought many of them where they are, to a state of feebleness of mind and debility of body. Shall prayer be offered to the God of heaven for His healing power to come upon them then and there, without specifying any conditions? I say No! decidedly no!

What then shall be done? Present their cases before Him who knows every individual by name. Present their cases to Him who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Present these thoughts to the persons who come asking for your prayers. We are human, we can not read the mind or heart or know the secrets of your life. These are known only to yourself and God. If you now repent of your sin, if you can see that in any instance you have walked contrary to the light given you of God, and have neglected to give honor to the body, the temple of God, and by wrong habits have degraded the body which is Christ's property, make confession of these things to God.

Unless you are wrought upon by the Spirit of God in a special manner to confess your sins of a private nature to man, do not breathe them to any human soul. Christ is your Redeemer, He will take no advantage of your humiliating confessions. If you have a sin of a

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