When we or someone we love is hurting, everything else has a way of fading into the background. The things we would usually think about — how my favorite sports team is doing, or what the weather looks like this weekend — suddenly seems less important than this pain in our lives, and the suffering it is causing, and anything that can be done to fix it. At the same time, serious illness often reveals the limits of what we can do to control our lives or the lives of those around us.
In their times of need, God’s people have a long tradition of asking for and receiving healing. Though faith does not guarantee that we receive what we ask for — God is not a genie who promises to grant our wishes — people of faith have learned that God never fails to receive and attend to those who approach him. Christians have prayed to the Divine Physician through the centuries, and we are also invited to bring our needs, wounds, and ills to the Lord — and to trust that He will receive and attend to us as well.
Lord, our God,
you watch over your creatures with unfailing care.
Keep us in the safe embrace of your love.
With your strong right hand raise up (name)
and give them the strength of your own power.
Minister to them and heal their illnesses,
so that they may have from you the help they long for.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
—From the Order for the Blessing of the Sick
Father in heaven,
grant (name) comfort in her suffering.
When she is afraid, give her courage;
when afflicted, give her patience;
when dejected, afford her hope;
and when alone, assure her of the support of your holy people.
We ask this through Christ our Lord,
—Adapted from the Rite of Anointing of the Sick
In the face of illness, we recognize our need.
We need strength, we need peace, and we need You.
Just as Jesus healed those who came to him,
Extend your hand so that (name) will receive your healing power.
I ask this with my whole heart, with trust in You. Amen.