How to pray for your illness without dwelling on it.
Posted in , Nov 10, 2015
The Bible encourages us to pray for everything: “In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6, NIV). “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18, NIV). One of the most obvious and common occasions for prayer, of course, is when we are suffering from a sickness or simply the painful effects of aging.
Sometimes, however, praying repeatedly for our physical aches and ailments can turn us inward and foster unhealthy fixations on ourselves and our pains. But there is a way to pray for our own pains without dwelling on them. Call it “pairing” your prayers.
That is, whenever you pray for healing or relief from some ailment or pain, pray also for others—ideally, a specific person—who suffers similarly.
Pairing your prayers may sound something like this:
“God, please grant me relief from this migraine headache, quickly and completely, even as I ask you to remember Elissa who also suffers from frequent migraines. Free her completely from both causes and symptoms.”
Another time, your prayer might be similar to this one:
“Lord, I need your help right now. Deliver me from this infection or virus or whatever it is that is making me so sick. And while you’re doing that, please visit Rita, who I know deals almost daily with the pain of fibromyalgia. Send her relief and healing.”
Pairing your prayers can not only take your focus off yourself; it can actually turn your sickness into an occasion for ministry! It can discourage the enemy of your soul who may have sent (or is trying to use) your ailment. And it can actually transform a prayer for healing into a prayer of thanksgiving, as you are reminded that some people carry heavier and more relentless burdens than you may be suffering at any given moment. Most importantly, of course, because God loves to answer prayer, your pain may be the path to someone else’s healing.
Try it. Pair your prayers, and watch God use you...and your pain.