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The Ministry of Health and Healing - Contents
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    Chapter 16—Prayer for the Sick

    The Scripture says that “men always ought to pray and not lose heart” Luke 18:1. If ever there is a time when people feel their need of prayer, it is when strength fails and life itself seems slipping from their grasp. Often those who are in health forget the wonderful mercies extended to them day by day, year after year, and they render no tribute of praise to God for His benefits. But when sickness comes, God is remembered. When human strength fails, people feel their need of divine help. And never does our merciful God turn from the soul that in sincerity seeks Him for help. He is our refuge in sickness as in health.MHH 122.1

    “As a father pities his children,
    So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
    For He knows our frame;
    He remembers that we are dust.”
    Psalm 103:13, 14.
    MHH 122.2

    “Because of their transgression,
    And because of their iniquities, [people] were afflicted.
    Their soul abhorred all manner of food,
    And they drew near to the gates of death.
    Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    And He saved them out of their distresses.
    He sent His word and healed them,
    And delivered them from their destructions.”
    Psalm 107:17-20.
    MHH 122.3

    God is just as willing to restore the sick to health now as when the Holy Spirit spoke these words through the psalmist. And Christ is the same compassionate Physician now that He was during His earthly ministry. In Him there is healing balm for every disease, restoring power for every infirmity. His disciples in this time are to pray for the sick as verily as the disciples of old prayed. And recoveries will follow, for “the prayer of faith will save the sick.” We have the Holy Spirit’s power, the calm assurance of faith, that can claim God’s promises.MHH 123.1

    The Lord’s promise, “‘They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover’” (Mark 16:18), is just as trustworthy now as in the days of the apostles. It presents the privilege of God’s children, and our faith should lay hold of all that it embraces. Christ’s servants are the channel of His working, and through them He desires to exercise His healing power. It is our work to present the sick and suffering to God in the arms of our faith. We should teach them to believe in the Great Healer.MHH 123.2

    The Savior would have us encourage the sick, the hopeless, the afflicted, to take hold upon His strength. Through faith and prayer the sickroom may be transformed into a Bethel. In word and deed, physicians and nurses may say, so plainly that it cannot be misunderstood, “God is in this place” to save, and not to destroy. Christ desires to manifest His presence in the sickroom, filling the hearts of physicians and nurses with the sweetness of His love. If the life of those who attend the sick is such that Christ can go with them to the bedside of the patient, there will come to the sick the conviction that the compassionate Savior is present, and this conviction will itself do much for the healing of both soul and body.MHH 123.3

    God hears prayer. Christ has said, “‘If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.’” Again He says, “‘If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.’” John 14:14; 12:26. If we live according to His Word, every precious promise He has given will be fulfilled to us. We are undeserving of His mercy, but as we give ourselves to Him, He receives us. He will work for and through those who follow Him.MHH 123.4

    But only as we live in obedience to His Word can we claim the fulfillment of His promises. The psalmist says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” Psalm 66:18. If we render to Him only a partial, halfhearted obedience, His promises will not be fulfilled to us.MHH 123.5

    In the Word of God we have instruction relative to special prayer for the recovery of the sick. The offering of such prayer is a most solemn act and should not be entered upon without careful consideration. In many cases of prayer for healing of the sick, that which is called faith is nothing less than presumption.MHH 123.6

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