God answers our prayers according to His will. As we read in 1 John 5:14, 15, “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever, we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” Therefore, it is possible to fast and pray for someone who is very sick, but if it is not the Lord’s will for the person to be healed, then that person will not be healed.

Linking prayer with sickness, we read in James 5:15, “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” Therefore, if it is the Lord’s will for the person to be healed, then the Lord will use our prayers to help heal the sick person. We know that prayer is powerful because James 5:16 says that “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (NASB).

Concerning fasting, the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 9:15, “And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.” There are many verses in the Bible that link fasting with mourning, as does this verse. The Lord’s disciples had no reason to mourn while He was with them, but He said that they would fast after He was gone. Fasting is one way to deny ourselves so that we turn away from this world’s distractions and focus only on the Lord. When our loved ones are sick it is a very sad time when both fasting and prayer are appropriate.

However, fasting should not be done with a prideful attitude or as a way to make ourselves look good in front of others. The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 6:16-18, “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” This verse links humble fasting with a reward, which could be the healing of a loved one, if it is God’s will.

The end result is that we all desire our loved ones to be healed of various sicknesses and diseases. God’s Word makes it plain that the outcome is all wrapped up in God’s perfect will. This means that we should pray according to His will, as we read in James 4:15: “For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” The Lord is also able to increase our wisdom so that we pray more in line with His will. As we read in James 1:5, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5, NASB).

Based on the Scriptures that we have read, let us attempt to directly answer the questions above. Can fasting and praying help heal sickness and diseases? Yes, if it is God’s will to do so. If I fast and pray for someone who is very sick, does the power of God used me to heal that person?   Yes, if it is God’s will to do so. Let us be careful to give God all of the glory, even when He uses us to help accomplish His purposes. (295.8) (DJ)