Today, I am waiting. I am waiting for pathology results that will tell me whether I have cancer or not. In times like this, it is normal and natural to pray that all would be well. That there would be no problem or, if there is an issue, that it would be small and contained and that God would quickly restore health and well-being. And I have prayed for these things. My family and friends have prayed them for me.
But today, in this waiting time, before I have any results, I have a bigger prayer. A prayer that I invite you to pray with me if you or a loved one is confronted by illness. Because I have always felt that our prayers for ourselves and others in times of illness should be bigger ... encompassing not just our body, but our mind and soul and spirit. Extending beyond our own life to embrace the kingdom of God.
I admit, this prayer is much harder to pray – for myself or for others – than a straightforward prayer for healing. But it is a prayer that will bear fruit for all eternity.
Father, I come before you today to worship you by offering my body as a living and holy sacrifice. I place my body on your altar; it is yours to do with as you will. My one desire is that I might serve you and glorify you at all times, whether through health or through illness.
I recall your servant Job. The testimony of his life is that you can be glorified through sickness and through healing. I want to have his steadfast faith and his commitment to holiness even in the midst of adversity.
I bring to mind Peter’s mother-in-law, who, when you healed her, got up and began to serve. Should you grant me health, I dedicate my strength to serve you with all my heart.
I remember the apostle Paul. It was because of illness that he preached the message of salvation to the Galatians and a church was born. Should you give me illness, I will look for opportunities to advance your kingdom.
I admit that I am afraid today. Afraid of what the future may hold. I don’t want to be sick. I don’t want to be weak. I don’t want to be hurting. Thank you that when my anxious thoughts multiply within me, your consolations delight my soul. I know that when I seek you, you will answer me and deliver me from all my fears. I cling to you, knowing that your right hand upholds me.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that my times are in your hand. You are my God and I trust you. I know that your grace is sufficient for me and that your power is made perfect in my weakness. Whatever comes, help me to draw near with confidence to the throne of grace so that I may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
This, then, is my commitment to you: I will seek first your kingdom and your righteousness, knowing that you will provide all that I need. I will be content in whatever circumstances I find myself, because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I will be transformed through the renewing of my mind so that I can do your good, pleasing, and perfect will.
Whom have I in heaven but you? Besides you, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Verses referenced in this prayer: Romans 12:1, Job 1-2, Luke 4:38-39, Galatians 4:13-14, Psalm 94:19, Psalm 34:4, Psalm 63:8, Psalm 31:14-15, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Hebrews 4:16, Matthew 6:33, Philippians 4:11-13, Romans 12:2, Psalm 73:25-26