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A person’s body is like a world, except even larger and more complex. If our veins were rivers, our muscles were hills, our bones were stone quarries, there’d be no place to fit them all on planet Earth. And just as our earth has snakes and poisonous animals that threaten life, so this world of my body has all kinds of diseases and sicknesses. I imagine I have more illness in my body than the earth has venomous creatures! We have so far to go in curing disease!

So I ask God: how soon should I go to the doctor, and how much medical care should I pursue? You created the physician, and you made the herbs and medicines he dispenses. Jesus asked, Will you not be made whole? The question draws a confession that the patient was ill. The Lord created plants and animals with medicinal potential, and a wise person will use them. You, God, have provided us this assistance in our time of sickness.

Yet you also warned: He that has sinned against his Maker, let him fall into the hands of the doctor. What does this mean? Is the doctor cursed? Of course not. However, you don’t want us to rely solely on the efforts of modern medicine, while neglecting the spiritual medicine the church dispenses.

You desire that during my physical illness I should not be negligent of my spiritual health. Rather I should pray that you, Lord, will make me whole. I pray as David did, Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are aching. You will give me mercy because of my weakness, and my sickness is an occasion for you to send health too. But your way, my God, is not simply that I would pray for health, rather that I would get my heart and life ready – purified of sin and ready to do your work.

So, I am now ready to meet with the doctor, whom the Lord created. But I won’t look only to him for healing. As the apostle Peter asked, “Jesus Christ, make me whole.” I can’t wait to see the doctor, but I expect that the power of the Lord will heal me.

Mighty and merciful God, you are the God of health and strength. Heal me, Lord. Your Son healed all kinds of sicknesses when he walked this earth. His great love healed a multitude. Do not let Jesus pass by the hospital in which I am a patient. Lord Jesus, visit me too. Heal me entirely, and give me spiritual health through the ministry of the church. Bless the doctors’ hands who will assist in my sickness, and make their work effective. Amen.

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