How to Pray for the Sick

I recently did a message on How to Pray for the Sick. Here is the outline, or you can download a PDF of it here: How to Pray for the Sick.

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How to Pray for the Sick

James 5:7-20


In the New Testament, there are three Greek words that are translated “healing”:  iaomai (instantaneous, immediate healing; 30 times), therapeuo (gradual; 40 times), and sozo (become whole, experience salvation; 3 times).

James, the brother of Jesus and the first Christian pastor, writes the Book of James to give practical instructions on how to live the Christian life. In chapter five, James focuses his attention on how to be healthy enough to pray for the sick and then specifically how to pray for those who are chronically ill.

A. God Calls Intercessors to BE PATIENT – v 7

B. God Calls Intercessors to BE POSITIONED – v 8

C. God Calls Intercessors to BE PARDONING – vs 9-11

D. God Calls Intercessors to BE PURE – v 12

E. God Calls Intercessors to BE PRAYERFUL – vs 13-20

  • Emotional distress – v 13
    “Afflicted” means a chronic, long drawn out hardship of suffering and refers to the deep emotional depression that accompany the sickness
  • Physical distress – vs 14-15
    “Sick” refers to being weary of mind, being exhausted physically and mentally from the sickness
  • Financial distress – v 16
    “Faults” means a loss or a making of a false step, a trespass across legal and financial ground
  • Psychological distress – vs 17-18
    Ellijah’s prayer was directed against the Ahab’s stronghold that gripped the nation of Israel. Elijah was of the “same passions” as were the other Israelites.
  • Spiritual distress – vs 19-20
    “Err” refers to a wondering or a straying from the truth, to be seduced by lies