Prayer is the incentive given to the person suffering from a terminal illness, which is important because it seeks to give them comfort, encouragement to fight and strengthen their faith in God. In this article we will refer to that prayer for a terminally ill person to ask for his healing, its effectiveness, the biblical passages of encouragement, assistance to the sick person and the attitude towards God’s decision. At the end, an example of prayer to the sick is presented.
Is prayer effective for a terminally ill person?
As expressed in different passages of the Bible, prayer is a forceful and direct tool for cases of complicated illnesses and this is reflected in the books of the Holy Scriptures.
Let us see what virtues a prayer inspired by the words of God dedicated to a sick person should possess:
- it must fill and create : It gives fullness and light to the person who receives it and inspires him to create hope in his mind to transform his life. Likewise, it gives peace to his soul, for it is the peace of God that penetrates and fills his heart. That is why it is said that the Word of God is alive, because it stimulates those who listen to it, and this can generate changes and produce the desired effects. But it is important to generate or increase the person’s faith.
- Provide sustenance : Provides the one who receives the prayer with food for his heart, for his spirit and for his body, because by nourishing his heart and his spirit, the body is also benefited, because the peace and comfort that is obtained, is also received. by the organism.
- Guide : Guide the person in your situation so that they change their vision and do not despair. The person can perceive prayer as a way of looking at his life in a new light that inspires him and can come to understand that the word of God is effective, in his own life, for the changes that occur if he allows himself to be guided and transformed. .
- Protect from the enemy : the prayer inspired by the Word of God, strengthens the spirit making us stronger against the attacks of the evil one, who can be defeated.
When we say that prayer is effective, it is so, because there is experiential evidence of patients who have overcome their situation and have been able to obtain what they ask for through prayer.
The effectiveness of prayer over a sick person is found in many of the testimonies that the Bible gives. Thus we can corroborate it both in the New and in the Old Testament in different stories that reveal it.
Therefore, what the Scriptures say cannot be questioned, since it is corroborated by everything and everyone and confirms that God listens and answers our prayers, fills and gives his protection and provision at all times and to everyone equally.
The Word of God in prayer causes the emotions and the spirit to move and become sensitive and when that happens it is as if God himself spoke to us.
Learning why prayer is the living and effective word of God allows us to understand the reason why some people change in their way of acting and proceeding.
Biblical passages of encouragement to the sick
The circumstances that a sick person goes through weaken him both physically and spiritually. This is the importance of offering these people a healing prayer, so that they can find the spiritual reinforcements that help them overcome these difficulties when their faith has diminished.
When we face those situations of discouragement, it is when we must pray and read the Bible the most, otherwise we will give space to the enemy to gain ground in our lives.
It is essential to act with the word of God quickly and avoid depression, rejection and sadness. Let’s see some biblical passages that help us to carry out this task.
- John 16:33 – “ These things I have spoken to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have affliction, but take heart, I have overcome the world “
Using this verse, we realize to the sick that God gives peace and that is why we must rest in his precepts and that nothing happens if He does not allow it, that we must trust in his Word.
- Joshua 1:9 – We are told in this passage that God never leaves his children alone, that He is always there helping and strengthening our faith and love. He also reveals to us that despite everything, we must strive, without being discouraged.
Hence the importance of knowing the Scriptures, because they tell us how to act in certain situations.
- Matthew 11, 28-30 – The verse refers to the request of the Lord God to leave problems and anxieties to Him and that one should rest in the tranquility that He provides, with the certainty that He will solve any difficulty and lighten the loads.
- Matthew 7:7 – “ Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you .”
Through this verse we can ask the Lord to give us the strength to encourage the sick to ask the Lord for their healing in the confidence that He will grant it if they ask from the heart, with faith, with humility, with repentance for the offenses committed.
Try to prevent the person from closing in on himself, in his pain, in his discomfort. We must encourage him to knock on the door of the Lord, because there is the promise of God who is on his side and ready to listen to his requests, his prayers.
- Isaiah 41: 10 – “ Fear not, for I am with you; do not fear, that I am your God. I have strengthened you and helped you, and I hold you with my righteous right hand .”
Make the patient understand that the strength he requires can be found in the hands of God. You only have to go to Him to express either something good or bad. There is no more way out. Ask God and feed faith with the Holy Scriptures.
- Deuteronomy 31:8 – “ Yahweh will go before you, he will be with you; he will not leave you nor forsake you. Do not fear or be frightened .”
This verse tells us that trusting in the Word of God, the person will be protected, they will not be abandoned. It is a living, true word that does not change, just as God does not.
- Psalm 20:2 – Give certainty to the weak that God answers and that they can always rest in His Word, no matter what situation they are going through. Confidence and security must be placed in Him.
Sample Prayer for a Terminally Ill Patient
In the name of our Father who is in heaven and blesses us. Forgive me for the offenses I have committed, for my faults and because I have not done what I know pleases you.
I want to thank, first, for the sacrifice of love you made for us by dying on the cross and redeeming our sins.
I also thank you because you love me, even when I am unworthy of your love. Thank you for giving me a new opportunity to talk to you and because you listen to my prayers.
I recognize you as my Lord and only Savior and today I want to intercede before you for the life of my loved one.
I want to ask your forgiveness on his behalf for his sins and failures. Father, for your infinite and merciful love, I ask you to have mercy on him and on his Spirit.
I beg you to ease the pain he is feeling right now. Lord, I don’t know what you have destined for him, that’s why I ask you to do your most holy will.
Give us the strength, Father, to face what you decide. I make this prayer for this terminally ill brother so that you have mercy on his life.
I ask you, Lord Father, in the name of your beloved son Jesus.Amen
Other auspicious prayers
There are several prayers and prayers, apart from those that arise from each person’s own inspiration, that can be offered to the sick person requesting their healing.
Thus we have, for example, to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, as Jesus requested through St. Faustina Kowalska: ” When you pray this chaplet with the dying, I will place myself between the Father and the dying soul, not as the Judge just, but as the merciful Saviour “.
We can also repeat on several occasions in the presence of the sick: Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on your servant who is a sinner. Amen, asking, in the end, the Lord to forgive his sins and grant him forgiveness.
Likewise, the following prayer can be prayed repeatedly: “Oh good Jesus! The pain and suffering of others touched your heart. Look with pity and mercy on the soul of your servant. Hear my cry of compassion for him and make him soon enjoy eternal rest in the home of your love in Heaven. Amen”
Assistance in difficult times
We can also help the sick brother, not only giving him material and spiritual support, but also ensuring that he receives the proper assistance regarding the holy sacrament necessary for his condition and giving him the confidence that the infinite mercy of God will guide him in that situation. .
In this regard, we reiterate what Pope Francis said and we echo what he expressed well about caring for the sick. We quote:
“Cure the disease but, above all, care for the sick. They are two different things, and both important. It can happen that, while the wounds of the body are being treated, the wounds of the soul, which are slower and often more difficult to heal, are aggravated. So many people are in need, so many sick people fight over words of sweetness, that give strength to carry on with the illness or go to meet the Lord: they need to be helped to trust in the Lord ».
Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
As we know, the anointing of the sick is a liturgical act through which the sick person is signed with the holy oils, in order to attract the health of soul, spirit and body. It is also given to those who are in danger of death or in old age.
Thanks to this act, the person is given the special grace to face the difficulties that the illness he suffers or old age imposes on him. It is the strength that the person must have to be able to cope with that moment of transit, especially if it is the transit to the Father’s House through death.
In this act, the patient’s forehead and hands are anointed and the bishop or priest, who are the only ones with the power to administer this sacrament, prays the indicated liturgical prayer.
According to recent practices, a person can receive this sacrament more than once, as long as it is a serious illness, even when the serious condition is the product of a relapse due to a previous condition in which the sacrament had already been administered.
As immediate benefits that the patient has after the anointing are:
- Find peace and comfort for your grief.
- Obtain forgiveness for your sins, in case you have not done so with the sacrament of reconciliation
- Restore your bodily health, if it suits your spiritual health
- Prepare for the passage to eternal life.
Attitude towards God’s decision
It is very difficult to face the situation of a terminal patient, since it anguishes everyone, who is always hoping that he can heal, that a miracle will happen.
However, the fate of that person is God’s decision, who is the one who knows if his departure is for his well-deserved rest.
But it is a hard moment for family members to accept God’s design with resignation, due to the void left by the person, which no one will ever fill again.
It has even happened that it is the same sick person who wants to go to the Father’s House, because apart from the pain he suffers, he feels the call of the Lord and wants to get out of that trance.
That is why the prayer for a terminally ill person helps to alleviate the pain of both the patient and the relatives and so that God has mercy on both one and the other.
In such difficult cases, the most appropriate is:
- Hold on to the word of God.
- Ask him for the strength to accept his designs, which we do not understand because that is beyond our human understanding.
- Ask that your holy will be done, since it is God’s purpose that prevails.
- Accept that it is not a divine punishment.
- What God does, even when we do not understand it, is for good.
- Understand that God removes the bad to give the good and also removes the good, to give the best.
- Appeal to the wisdom of his word, to, to a certain extent, be able to understand this.
- Seek God and consolation in prayer.
- Ask God to help us heal the pain.
The Bible says in Philippians 4:13 that “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me”, which tells us that we must leave everything in the hands of God the Father, who is the one who knows everything and can do everything.
Help the sick
We can all perceive how sad the situation of a patient must be who, in addition to suffering from physical illness, also has to go through the pain of feeling alone in his hardship and not having the word of a friend, not only from his family, but also of friends and acquaintances.
In Christian doctrine, various ways have been implemented to try to mitigate this situation, providing due care to the sick in a more merciful way. So we can show it in:
- Care assistance through medicines and implements that the patient needs.
- Help given to them to attend to their basic needs for food and hygiene.
- Regular visits and accompaniment to places of care for the sick in which the word of God of consolation, well-being and encouragement is lavished on them.
These are some of the ways in which a patient can be supported, especially if he is in a terminal stage. However, what a person appreciates most in these circumstances is the word of encouragement and prayer fulfills that task.
Now there are three important aspects to take into account in a healing prayer, which were very well defined by Francis MacNutt, who is a priest and minister of healing in Saint Louis Missouri, and is also the author of Catholic books on healing dimensions . These aspects are :
- Prayer requires discernment ; that is to say, it is essential to know explicitly why one prays and that it be inspired by the Holy Spirit, in order to achieve effective healing.
- Healing requires time , thus urging to pray for a long period during which hands are laid on the affected person.
- Emotions need healing ; Therefore, the sick person is asked to repent of his decisions and impure emotions, to forgive his enemies and to let Jesus Christ enter his spirit so that he can heal all memories of pain.
Emilly Stefan The Fear lab was an American author of young adult novels, most known for her fantasy series, Age of the Seventh Sun.