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lighthouse (Peggy's Cove, east coast Canada).
What Does the Bible Say About … The HEALING OF THE DEATHLY ILL?

Can we stand in prayer for the healing of someone who is deathly ill? What if God intended for him/her to come home?

We can always stand in prayer for the healing of someone who is sick. The Bible confirms this in James 5:14-15 “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.” NIV God will honor our prayers and heal that person.

However we need to be careful to be in God’s will when doing so. In the Bible there is mention of prayers that were never fulfilled and of godly people who died of their illness. We don’t always know why bad things happen to good people. For example Jesus, too, prayed: Matt 26:39 “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” NIV His prayer was never granted as He died on the cross. However there was a purpose for His death: salvation to all those who believe.

In the Bible there is also mention about Elisha being sick with an illness of which he would die. 2 Kings 13:14 “Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die.” NKJV

Elisha had received a double portion of the Spirit that was upon Elijah. In His lifetime, he saw twice as many miracles as Elijah had seen. Yet Elisha himself became sick and died from his illness. It is obvious that Elisha died because his time on earth was over. There comes a time for every believer to go home to be with the Lord. However, let us remember: Ps 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.” NKJV

Could one insist upon the healing of someone who is on the verge of dying? Absolutely, but be careful of the potential consequences. There is a reason why God is calling someone home at a specific time. To thwart His plans can have heavy consequences.

How so? Take King Hezekiah for example. He was afflicted with an illness from which he would not recover, as proclaimed by the Lord in 2 Kings 20:1 “In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” NIV

What was King Hezekiah’s reaction? 2 Kings 20:2-3 “Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, “Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.” NIV

He didn’t want to die and asked God to reconsider his plea to healing. His plea was so honest and moving that God granted his wish: 2 Kings 20:4-6 “Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life.” NIV

Wow! 15 years were added to King Hezekiah’s life. We should rejoice, shouldn’t we? Not really. The 15 years added to his life proved disastrous to King Hezekiah.

How so?

1. During his 15 extra years of life, King Hezekiah gave birth to a son who would succeed him. That son turned out to be one of the most evil kings that Judah ever had! Hezekiah 2 Kings 21:1-2 “Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.” NIV 2 Kings 21:16 “Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end-besides the sin that he had caused Judah to commit, so that they did evil in the eyes of the LORD.” NIV

2. King Hezekiah started to boast of his healing and welcomed idolaters from Babylon into his palace with open arms: Isa 39:1-2 “At that time Merodach-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of his illness and recovery. Hezekiah received the envoys gladly and showed them what was in his storehouses – the silver, the gold, the spices, the fine oil, his entire armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.” NIV

God was not pleased and prophesied through the mouth of His prophet Isaiah: Isa 39:6-7 “The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” NIV

Notice King Hezekiah’s reaction. Instead of repentance he gloats! Isa 39:8 “The word of the LORD you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my lifetime.” NIV

What a difference from before he was healed! Those two evils could have been avoided if only King Hezekiah had accepted God’s will about his upcoming death.

One of our subscribers shared with me the following true story, confirming what we have just discovered.

“This morning, Thursday February 5, 2004, while our 3 ladies sat in her living room for our weekly prayer gathering, the 89 year old hostess, founder of our group and owner of the home where we were meeting told us of an experience she had about 52 years ago and she has given me permission to share it with you. I believe it will evoke mixed feelings, thoughts and theologies but I am just going to relate it as she told it. I had heard her tell part of it before and I thought of writing it up then but I’m glad that I waited as she added more details this time.

Her mother, a Godly widow, was taken to the hospital with pneumonia fever and was unconscious for 2 weeks while the fever raged on. Her condition was deteriorating and the physician told her daughter Wyone, who had stayed with her a full 9 days and nights plus parts of the other days – that her mother would surely die that night and not to bother phoning him to come in as there just wasn’t anything more he could do for her.

At around midnight the fever broke and there was an hour’s lapse of time where the nurse and the daughter had to hold the mother down as it happened regularly and it was well-known in those days that a fever breaking caused a lot of hysterical unconscious behavior and the patient would even get out of bed. The nurse said the individual either wakes up feeling better or dies. In this case after about an hour the mother breathed her last. But the daughter, Wyone, didn’t want to accept the death and started praying. After some minutes the nurse wanted the family to be called but Wyone wouldn’t agree. As time passed she kept praying and went in and out of the room. Eventually a physician came to attend to the birth of a baby of a patient in a nearby bed and the nurse asked him to declare the death of this patient. After examining her, he did. The nurse wanted Wyone to accept it, but still she wouldn’t and she kept praying. More time elapsed and she could feel that her mother was as cold as marble but she kept praying intensely. It was a length of time of an hour or two after her mother died that she kept praying. After awhile her mother yawned, stretched and said she had the most wonderful rest. When the nurse found out about it she almost fainted. Everyone was amazed. When asked if she were hungry the mother asked for cornbread and buttermilk. And this was procured and she ate it. She soon was able to go home and lived 5 more years.

But today was when Wyone shared the rest of that story. She said this experience taught her to always pray for God’s will and not her own will. She said her mother eventually lost the circulation in her legs, and gangrene set in up to her knees. The doctor refused to operate and amputate the legs because her heart was so bad that she wouldn’t survive the operation. And so Wyone concluded with the statement that her mother died a horrible death. She regretted asking God for her own will to be done. And since then Wyone has lost her husband and 2 sons to death and she never again prayed for them to return to life. She only prayed for God’s will to be done.

So I welcome any comments on the above story and anything you might want to share with this saint of God who has read her Bible through 66 times over the years. She was a school teacher and also shared her faith and God’s Word with her students over the years. And she still teaches the Bible regularly. She says no one has believed her when she has told this over the years. But I certainly do.

Written out as told to Harrietta Turner

There is an appointed time where we will die. That fate cannot be avoided. That appointed time is approved by God Himself. Look at the example of the death of His beloved son Jesus Christ. All through the Gospels, Jesus tells His disciples that He would die at the appointed time: John 13:1 “It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.” NIV

Three times before that the gospel of John insists that “his time had not yet come” (see John 7:30; 8:20 and John 2:4)

What sustained Jesus?

John 13:3-5 “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.” NIV

Jesus knew His purpose in life and knew that He “was returning to God”.

But what about those who crucified Jesus, were they acting according God’s purposes?

Acts 4:27-28 7 “Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.” NIV

There is great comfort to all of us who read these words. We can stop blaming ourselves for the tragedic death of one of our beloved.

“What if I had left 5 minutes later…”

“What if I had checked the tire…”

“What if I had insisted for him to see the doctor earlier…”

There are no what ifs with God. Your beloved died at the appointed time, just as planned by God. He/she is with God. There is no better place to be!

Here is another example about God’s timing in the upcoming death of his beloved children. Jesus is talking to His apostle Peter here.

John 21:18-19 “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.” NIV

Peter died on a cross, apparently, upside down as he felt unworthy to die the same way Jesus had died. He died at the appointed time, the way God had foreseen he would die.

So why worry about our upcoming death! We die according to God’s timing! There is no better time! Instead: Matt 10:28 8 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” NIV

My friend, are you afraid of death? Are you trying everything in your power to avoid it because you fear of its consequences? Come to Jesus. He has given us victory over death. 1 Cor 15:55-57 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” NIV Jesus died for you so that you should not be afraid of the unknown any longer. He paid your price so that you can be assured that you have a future with God. Why don’t you accept Jesus now into your heart? Answer His call at

Rob Chaffart


Yes we can. But when we pray for anything it is to be in God’s will. As Jesus prayed in the Garden, in Matthew 26:39 reads; “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

We may feel remorse over the loss but God’s will is the important thing to consider. If you tried to force God’s will you would regret forever. There are times that we pray for a loved on to be healed and the person lives on while others don’t. It is in God’s perfect will.

When we stand in for someone that is too ill to come to church, the same healing powers are there. We are a mere vessel to carry through for them. It too takes a lot of faith for all people concerned. As Matthew 8:6-10 tells us “6. And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

7. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

8. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.

9. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

10. When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”

The faith that the centurion had I Jesus ability to heal anyone was the right amount to heal his servant.

Matthew 8:

1. When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.

2. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

3. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

5. And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,

6. And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

7. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

8. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.

And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

In Matthew 8:1-3 shows that even the leper asks if it will be your will. When we pray for healing or anything else it should be “IF IT BE YOUR WILL”. Our prayers should be of supplication not selfishness. It’s not what we want but what God has in store for us.

As for the prayer for healing by proxy, Matthew 8:5-8 shows that not only by faith but by proxy the centurion’s slave was healed. At my church we use proxy for healing when the other person can’t be there. They still receive the healing power of God and at the same level as if they were there in person.

In the Old Testament, God allowed goats and sheep to be sacrificed in proxy for a human life to atone for their sins. In the New Testament Jesus was the proxy for our sins.

In His Love, Rev. Whit


Healing is the children’s bread. God desires that we should be whole spirit, soul and body.

III John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

Jesus completed the work of healing and redemption on the cross at calvary

Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed

Jeremiah 8:22 “Is there no balm in Gilead, Is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery for the health of the daughter of my people?

There are many other references that have to do with healing from the scriptures. The person intending to stand healing for another person must base his prayers on Bible principles that guarantee healing. And any prayers said in faith would certain be effective.

James 5:13-16 “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

This is another wonderful scripture you can base your prayers upon when you are standing in the gap requesting healing from God through the Lord Jesus Christ. I remember an instance when a brother wanted to die in a hospital. He confessed his faults to us and we that were elders present prayed. He was healed instantly!. This surprised the medical personnel trusting him. He had an incurable disease. We stood in the gap and in compliance with the above scriptures and God’s Name was glorified.


Psalm 41:4 “I said, “Lord, be merciful to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”

It is also important that we should cry to God to heal our soul because our soul is important. If we are physically healed and our soul is not, we are not destined for heaven. In heaven there would not be sickness or diseases. Remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31). Lazarus with sores on his body got to heaven with his sicknesses while the rich man was in hell. With his wealth and health, he was not allowed in the kingdom of God. This is because his soul was sick while his physical body was whole. You can see the contrast!.

Peradventure the person is not healed physically, it is important that the person’s soul be healed. God is the final arbiter. He has the right to say no and the right to say yes. He is the creator we are the creation. Sometimes when someone is not healed, we should not feel so bad about it. It does not change God or his power. He does all things well for our benefit and for his glory.

It is important for me to ask you: are you healed in your soul? If you have not been born again, it is important that you take a step of faith. If you are healed physically and your soul is not, hell is the destination. Even if you die in sickness and you make heaven after all, you are assured of a place in heaven which is ever lasting. This world will end one day. Where will you spend eternity?

I know of a lady who died of HIV/AIDS. She was prayed for but was not healed. But we are sure that she has gone to heaven. Why? Because she confessed her sins and asked the Lord to forgive her. She had the joy of salvation before her physical death. Remember, there is life after death..


Proverbs 28:13 “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy”.

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

If you are not yet born again, you should be sorry about your sins, no matter how much and resolve not to go back into them again. Invite Jesus in to your heart. He will forgive you and you will be a new creation. II Cor. 5:17.

God bless you!

Rev Debo Adeyemo


Absolutely we can, but when praying, we must remember to include “If It Be His Will.” Because if the Lord intended for the person to come home, nothing is going to stop it. We must then accept that it is the will of the Lord and draw comfort and peace from Him to accept the loss.



We can always pray for healing! We don’t know who will be healed and who won’t! God will not be hindered either way and we have too many examples in Scripture about being persistent in prayer. A good earthly example is Terri Shavio. Many were paying for her to be healed and not loose her life support, but it happened anyway. God allows mankind to have “free will” but NOT to choose the consequences. My sisters husband Al was healed of a very serious cancer 5 years ago as a result of prayer; if we had thought it was “his time to go” we would have “just given up!” It wasn’t and he is doing well now BECAUSE GOD answered all the prayer for him! We find out God’s will BY praying!

Carolyn Wheeler


Yes, we can stand in prayer for this person. For myself, prayer is communication with God, in whatever form that may be. Our deepest prayer is for the goodness of our Creator to be with us, to guide us to wholeness, healing and peace. Wholeness and healing embrace our mind, body and spirit, not physical healing alone. Wholeness, healing and peace bring us more wholly into the presence of God, whether it be in this life or the next. A terminally ill person can feel ‘healed’ and held in the embrace of the Holy, despite their imminent physical death.

Maureen MacLeod


Yes I do believe so. A man very dear to me was hospitalized because of a stroke just weeks ago. He was to the point of which the doctors would’ve declared him dead, if he didn’t have the machines to keep him breathing. The Sunday the entire assembly of God church in Wildwood prayed for him together pleading for his life. When I went to see him one last time, he was purple and no one thought he would make it.

Well a day or two passed and by Wednesday that week he woke up. I’m talking about a man who was pronounced dead. He talked to my pastor’s wife like he had before he slipped of to sleep. Well the next night I went to see him and he said to me and my best friend: “my girls I love you more each day. I walked with Jesus.” He told him he still had work to do. There is a man he has to find.

Well in all it has been two weeks and he is already out of the hospital. When they thought it would take 6 to 8 weeks before he would be out of rehab. And he is doing great and still recovering very rapidly. I think he was meant to get that sick, because I know we all need to discover something meaningful in our life.

P. S If God intend for someone to go home then they will. God never closes a door without opening another.


Yes, we can pray, because we are enjoined to pray for everything. Philippians 4:6. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” But we must pray acknowledging God’s will in the matter. 1 John 5:14,15. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

Too many people are under the mistaken notion that God is obligated to answer any prayer we pray, bur there can be wrong kind of praying. James 4:3. “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

Yours, because of Calvary,

Delmer G. Lawson


Yes, we can stand in prayer for someone healing. What I do is ask the Father if it is His will that the person be healed and then if not that He will give the family strength and grace to go through that door.

Linda Shepherd


Yes, we can pray for someone who is deathly ill but we must pray for the
will of God above all things concerning that person. God knows the best for
each of us.

Beverleigh Pinches


God’s will is sovereign. I’m not sure I agree that all physical healing is in the atonement. Spiritual healing to be sure, but not everyone prayed for is healed (unless one considers the ultimate healing of death). “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8. “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

James tells us about the procedure for healing, James 5:14-20.

“Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”

The passage DOES N0T say that all prayed for were healed, but that the prayer of faith would save the sick. More important to be saved for eternity, than to be healed on a temporary basis.

The Apostle Paul prayed three times for his vision problem to be healed, but God DID NOT heal him. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

God is sovereign, and cannot be dictated to. He does all things according to His will. 1 John 5:14. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” Also see Daniel 4:34,35. “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

Trust this is helpful.

Yours, because of Calvary,

Delmer G. Lawson