Early this week I was in a conversation with a dear friend who lives out of state. He was asking me a question about counseling a relative of his who as a new believer had just fallen into scandalous sin. It was a great conversation around how to handle a sinning believer and also how to restore such a one.
As believers we ask God to intervene miraculously and heal. We do this with confidence that God is able to heal. And also, that prayer works. This is demonstrated by Hezekiah in the Old Testament.
2 Kings 20:1–6 - In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’ Then he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. “I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”
We also pray for God to strengthen the faith of our brothers and sisters knowing that God works according to our requests. And we express trust that His plan is wise. We affirm that all of our days are numbered and this life is temporary - the life to come is eternal.
A great Psalm to consider in times like this is Psalm 90. It focuses on the importance of recognizing our frailty as humans in light of the enduring nature of our everlasting God. Teach us to number our days the Psalmist prays. Then he says beautiful words that we can pray for ourselves and for one another:
Psalm 90:14 - O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
This is how we pray, as Christians, for those going through and facing significant health challenges. We ask God to graciously extend their life. We affirm his goodness and faithfulness. We apply the lessons to our own hearts. And we ask God to be our satisfaction so that we are filled with joy.
What a blessing to have God's promises and the ministry of one another.