Health & Spirit

Does it actually do any good to pray for someone who's sick?

By Billy Graham, Tribune Content Agency on

Q: Does it actually do any good to pray for someone who's sick? I'm not sure it does. It seems to me that whether or not they get better depends on their medical care. Where does God fit into this? -- S.S.

A: One reason we should pray for those who are sick or injured is simply because God has commanded us to pray for them. The Bible says, "Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. ... Pray for each other so that you may be healed" (James 5:13, 16).

This doesn't mean that everyone we pray for will be made well; God may have other plans for them. I often think of the Apostle Paul, who had some type of chronic and painful illness that he prayed repeatedly for God to heal. But God chose not to do so -- because He knew that through this experience Paul would grow stronger in his faith (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-10). But it does mean that when healing comes, we should thank God for it.

Yes, medicines and doctors are important, and they have a definite place in healing. But remember: Ultimately God gave medicines to us, and He made our bodies so they would respond to them. He also gave doctors and researchers the ability to discover and develop these medicines. And even if we knew everything there is to know about the human body, and we had all the medicines in the world, we'd still need to turn to God to deliver us from our final enemy -- which is death.

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Remember: No matter how often healing comes, some day we will all die. Death is real -- and if ever we needed God, it is then. Make sure of your salvation by turning to Christ in faith and trust, and giving your life to Him today.


(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:



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