It is proper that we pray for sicknesses for ourselves and others. We read in James 5:14, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and LET THEM PRAY OVER HIM, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” We are also told in James 5:16 that, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: CASTING ALL YOUR CARE UPON HIM; for he careth for you.” All of our cares would certainly include those who are sick or disabled.

When we pray, we do well to commit our cares to the Lord, asking Him to answer according to HIS OWN PERFECT WILL. Some say that it is always the Lord’s will that we be healed. I suppose if that was the case, the cemeteries would be empty! Simply put, it is not always the Lord’s will to heal us. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that, “it is appointed unto men once to die…” In most cases, death comes to us through sickness. We just DO NOT KNOW if the Lord wants to heal us, or if He is going to take us home to glory. For that reason, we should pray according to the Lord’s will. We read in 1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, IF WE ASK ANYTHING ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, HE HEARETH US.”

The Apostle Paul prayed three times for a ‘thorn in the flesh’ that he was afflicted with. The Lord did not heal him! However, through his sickness, Paul learned a greatly valuable lesson: “My grace is sufficient for thee.” (Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Throughout the years, the Lord has greatly blessed us with the development of treatments, medicines, and surgeries that have extended the lives of most of us. We should thank the Lord for the many advances in the medical field that He has given us. Consider the Apostle Paul’s words to Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:23, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” Paul was prescribing a treatment for Timothy because of “thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.”

If we are sick, or others we know are sick, we should pray. In our prayers, we should ask that the Lord would heal ‘according to His will’. If there is help to be found in the medical field, we should avail ourselves of that. I recently was struck with the flu. After suffering for several days, I finally went to the doctor. Since I had waited so long, the flu had advanced, and it was a couple more weeks before I was finally completely healed. I realize that without the doctor’s treatment, I could have died. (Many in our area have died from the flu this year.) Still, I thank the Lord for this! He has given man the knowledge to know how to treat illnesses. As has been said many times…man can treat sicknesses, but only God can truly heal sicknesses. So, I thank the Lord for restoring my health through the treatment of my doctor.

One day, the Lord will not heal me. One day, if the Lord Jesus be not come again, I will face death through injury, sickness, or old age and will leave this earth and go to Heaven. As an old friend of mine has often said, “There are plenty of things worse than dying and going to Heaven!” In Philippians 1:23, Paul tells us that to depart and to be with Christ is “FAR BETTER.” For that reason, we have reason to rejoice when a beloved believer on the Lord passes away. In spite of our grief and sorrow, we can be glad knowing our loved one is in the presence of the Lord, which is indeed, FAR BETTER! (299.10)