Thursday, May 21, 2009

Prayers for the Sick

It has always been difficult for me to find a balance between praying and worrying. Sometimes I have a tendency to start telling God how He should resolve the situation in all its awfulness, which leads me to focus on the awfulness, which leads me to fret, which, as scripture tells us, leads only to evil. This is especially true when the situation about which I am praying is something about which I have been attempting not to think too much, because it makes me sad and scared.

This is a time when written prayers help me, though I don't use them exclusively. Instead of focusing on the problem, I am led by the words to fix my thoughts on God's love, power, and faithfulness. I think of the many generations of Christians who have prayed the same words and who have found that God can be trusted for comfort and for answers.

If you, like me, are praying for the sick right now, here are some prayers from the The Book of Common Prayer which I have been finding useful.

Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to thy never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come, knowing that thou art doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need: We humbly beseech thee to behold, visit, and relieve thy sick servant N. for whom our prayers are desired. Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; preserve him from the temptations of the enemy; and give him patience under his affliction. In thy good time, restore him to health, and enable him to lead the residue of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory; and grant that finally he may dwell with thee in life everlasting, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Strengthen your servant N., O God, to do what he has to do and bear what he has to bear; that, accepting your healing gifts through the skills of surgeons and nurses, he may be restored to usefulness in your world with a thankful heart; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

1 comment:

Janet said...

"Instead of focusing on the problem, I am led by the words to fix my thoughts on God's love, power, and faithfulness."

Well said.

I wish I could find my way around my Book of Common Prayer better. Lately I've been using Baillie's 'Diary of Private Prayer,' and it helps me.