Gospel Workers (1915 ed.)


Prayer for the Sick

The very essence of the gospel is restoration, and the Saviour would have His servants bid the sick, the hopeless, and the afflicted take hold upon His strength. God's servants are the channels of His grace, and through them He desires to exercise His healing power. It is their work to present the sick and suffering to the Saviour in the arms of faith. They should live so near to Him, and so clearly reveal in their lives the working of His truth, that He can make them a means of blessing to those in need of bodily as well as spiritual healing. GW 213.1

It is our privilege to pray with the sick, to help them to grasp the cord of faith. Angels of God are very near to those who thus minister to suffering humanity. The consecrated ambassador of Christ who, when appealed to by the sick, seeks to fasten their attention upon divine realities, is accomplishing a work that will endure throughout eternity. And as he approaches the sick with the comfort of a hope gained through faith in Christ and acceptance of the divine promises, his own experience becomes richer and still richer in spiritual strength. GW 213.2

With awakened conscience many a troubled soul, suffering bodily ailments as the result of continued transgression, cries out, “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner; make me Thy child.” It is then that the minister, strong in faith, should be ready to tell the sufferer that there is hope for the penitent, that in Jesus every one who longs for help and acceptance may find deliverance and peace. He who in meekness and love thus brings the gospel to the afflicted soul so much in need of its message of hope, is a mouthpiece for the One who gave Himself for mankind. As he speaks helpful, appropriate words, and as he offers prayer for the one lying on a bed of suffering, Jesus makes the application. God speaks through human lips. The heart is reached. Humanity is brought into touch with divinity. GW 213.3

The minister should understand by experience that the soothing power of the grace of Christ brings health and peace and fulness of joy. He should know Christ as the One who has invited the weary and heavy-laden to come to Him and find rest. Let him never forget that the Saviour's loving presence constantly surrounds every human agent ordained of God for the impartation of spiritual blessing. The remembrance of this will give vitality to his faith and earnestness to his petitions. GW 214.1

Then to those who call upon him for help he can impart the health-giving power of God's truth. He can talk of the works of healing wrought by Christ, and direct the minds of the sick to Him as the great Physician, who is light and life, as well as comfort and peace. He can tell them that they need not despair, that the Saviour loves them, and that if they surrender themselves to Him, they will have His love, His grace, His keeping power. Let him urge them to rest in God's promises, knowing that He who has given these promises is our best and truest Friend. As he endeavors to direct the mind heavenward, he will find that the thought of the tender sympathy of the One who knows just how to apply the healing balm, will give the sick a sense of rest and quietude. GW 214.2

The divine Healer is present in the sick-room; He hears every word of the prayers offered to Him in the simplicity of true faith. His disciples today are to pray for the sick, as verily as did the disciples of old. And there will be recoveries; for “the prayer of faith shall save the sick.” [James 5:15.] GW 215.1


In the word of God we have instruction relative to special prayer for the recovery of the sick. But 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 the healing of the sick, that which is called faith is nothing less than presumption. GW 215.2

Many persons bring disease upon themselves by their self-indulgence. They have not lived in accordance with natural law or the principles of strict purity. Others have disregarded the laws of health in their habits of eating and drinking, dressing or working. Often some form of vice is the cause of feebleness of mind or body. Should these persons gain the blessing of health, many of them would continue to pursue the same course of heedless transgression of God's natural and spiritual laws, reasoning that if God heals them in answer to prayer, they are at liberty to continue their unhealthful practices and to indulge perverted appetite without restraint. If God were to work a miracle in restoring these persons to health, He would be encouraging sin. GW 215.3

It is labor lost to teach people to look to God as a healer of their infirmities, unless they are taught also to lay aside unhealthful practices. In order to receive His blessing in answer to prayer, they must cease to do evil and learn to do well. Their surroundings must be sanitary, their habits of life correct. They must live in harmony with the law of God, both natural and spiritual. GW 215.4