Q. How do I pray for a loved one with an illness (serious, but not life-threatening)? Should I pray for miraculous healing, or for strength?
A. Wow, great question. I bet almost all readers have thought about this at one time or another.
My simple answer is—and it is a trusting one—that God’s will be done.
Many times our prayer for those who are sick or injured is one of petition. Serious illness or injury due to trauma can be very upsetting in our lives, especially if it is sudden and we did not see it coming.
At these times do not be afraid to storm heaven with prayers. (Mtt. 7:7-11, Mtt. 21:22, 1 Jn. 5:14ff, James 4:3, Jn. 16:24, Mk. 11:23-24, James 5:16, James 1:6-8, Romans 8:26, Jn. 15:7ff, Ephesians 6:18, Jn. 9:31, Philippians 4:6, Lk. 18:1, Jn. 14: 13-14, 1 Tim. 2:1-2, Luke 11:9, Matt 18:19, James 1:6, Romans 12:12) Jesus admonishes us to ask Him for what we need and/or want over and over again. We should take Him at His word. Do not ever think you are pestering Him. We should ask with firm faith and a trusting heart that Jesus’ will be done. If a miracle is to be given, ask Him for one. If a miracle is not part of His will, then ask for the courage and the strength to understand and accept that, as well for the person who is dealing with injury or illness.
If there is someone in your life experiencing these things, let them know of your closeness to them in their suffering and your prayers for them. As someone who has dealt with serious illness, I know how sweet a personal visit or a handwritten note can be. Excellent question. Thanks for asking it.
This question was answered by a priest of the Diocese of Lincoln. Write to Ask the Register using our online form, or write to 3700 Sheridan Blvd., Suite 10, Lincoln NE 68506-6100. All questions are subject to editing. Editors decide which questions to publish. Personal questions cannot be answered. People with such questions are urged to take them to their nearest Catholic priest.