Q: How can I pray more effectively when I’m sick?
A: For me, prayer is about letting myself hear God talk to me—being completely open to whatever God is saying. So the ideas that help me, and even the way I pray, are different every time. But I’d say one thing is pretty consistent, and really helpful, in all my prayers: knowing what God is, and knowing what I am as God’s image.
Here’s an example of how that led to healing.
One Saturday morning, I woke up with a cold. I felt horrible. Spending the weekend in bed wasn’t at all what I’d planned on. So I did what I normally do when I’m sick: I prayed.
One thing is really helpful in all my prayers: knowing God, and myself as God’s image.
As I did, the first thing that came to mind was a recent situation where I’d been blamed for something I hadn’t done. I wasn’t mad at the person who blamed me, because everyone else knew I was innocent. I knew her assumption really didn’t say anything about me or the way I do things, and the misunderstanding had been quickly cleared up. But I’d been a bit puzzled. Why would someone I’d never even spoken to assume that I’d done something wrong without checking the facts?
It hit me as I prayed that morning that just as what had been said about me didn’t have anything to do with who I was, this cold didn’t have anything to do with what I am, either. It did say something about how I appeared to be—physically uncomfortable, and destined for several days of misery. But that assumption didn’t make it true, because it wasn’t based on divine facts.
What were the facts? Well, I knew that what God created is spiritual, because God is pure Spirit. And God’s creation is not just partially spiritual. It is 100 percent spiritual, because there can’t be anything unlike God in what God made. As the Bible says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.” And, “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:27, 31).
The healing was simply the outward evidence of the spiritual facts I knew about myself.
I reasoned from the basis of those spiritual facts that because man, our true, spiritual individuality, is created in God’s likeness, I couldn’t be sick. And just like that, I was completely healed. All the symptoms of the cold were gone. It was pretty dramatic. But I guess it wasn’t surprising, because the healing was simply the outward evidence of the facts I knew about myself: that as God’s image, I am the perfect embodiment of innocence, health, and wholeness.
Knowing what God is and the way He made us—and sticking with it—is incredibly powerful and effective prayer. It brings the beauty and goodness of God and His creation into view. It strips away the foundation of sickness and its false assumptions. And yes, it heals.