Prayers for healing seem to be an interesting topic. I have written and conversed with friends about it in this website. One is Thoughts About Healing Prayers: Do They Help? and another is Healing Prayers – An Inspiring Conversation with My Friend. Here I would like to present two forms of healing prayers, that are actually two sides of the same coin.
These are the prayer of the physician and that of the to-be-healed.
First is a suggested prayer of the physician. It is a contemporary translation of a ~850 years old prayer composed by the Maimonides (Rambam).
The prayer for healing of the sick patient is my own attempt to create a text that will be accepted across a wide range of denominations and religions. It draws language and ideas from both Jewish healing prayers and Christian pastoral care, the anointment of the sick. I thank my friends, the members of the Spiritual Care team at our regional elderly home that suggested editions to my original text.
Maimonides Prayer for Healing of His Patients
A short Introduction
The Maimonides (1137-1204) was probably the greatest intellectual and spiritual figure of post-Talmudic Judaism. In his day job he served as the Muslim Saladin Court’s Physician. Before engaging with patients, he recited this prayer. The text of his prayer speaks for itself, and anything I would add will only diminish its impact.
Ask your physician to read it; it will help both of you. I did ask my surgeon to do that prior to a major surgery he performed on me. After a short silence in which he read the prayer he said: “There is not a single word here that I can disagree with, and I can use all the help that I can get”. The impact of it on me was unimaginable: it calmed me and instilled feeling of assurance that it all will be OK.
The The Hebrew origin follows the English Translation, which I jointly prepared with Dr. Lisa Horwitch.
Maimonides Prayer for Healing
Almighty God, before I start with my holy work to heal the creation of Your Hands, I surrender my plea before You that You will give me the courage of spirit and the energy to do my work with faith and skill; that my drive to accumulate fortune or reputation will not blind my eyes from being present to the task that is before me.
Creator of the Universe, it is well known to all the children of Your Covenant that You are the only one who judges and absolves, inflicts and heals. In Your infinite wisdom, You wanted me, your humble servant of flesh and blood – knowing for myself from where I came, to where I am going, and before whom I am destined to give an account and reckoning – to accumulate knowledge about the human body and spirit, that You in Your great mercy have revealed to us in our tangible world.
And here I am, under Your commandment and mandate, with Your help and guidance, starting to heal this living soul created in Your image. I fully understand that only Your mighty hand carries the burden of decisions about life and death, about healing and sickness, about my success to heal the patient and my inability to do so.
Everlasting Force residing in heaven, may it be Your Will that you grant me, your servant, a descendant of your servants, the desire, energy, and mental capability to continue studying medicine ceaselessly throughout my whole life from wise and compassionate teachers more capable and knowledgeable then I.
May You grant me the honor to be able to view every person who suffers and seeks my advice as a human being, without differentiating between rich and poor, friend or foe, good or evil. In this soul’s suffering, please, allow me to see only the human being before me.
My love of the Torah of medicine will strengthen my spirit. Only the Truth will be the light that illuminates my path. Because every frailty in my work could bring the demise and sickness to this living soul that You created in Your image, please, Oh Merciful and Compassionate God, strengthen and support my body and spirit, and plant a whole holy soul within me.
Blessed are you, Master of all deeds and Creator of all healings.
אֵל עֶלְיוֹן, טֶרֶם שֶׁאֲנִי מַתְחִיל בַּעֲבוֹדָתִי הַקְדוֹשָׁה לְרַפֵּא אֶת יְצוּרֵי כַּפֶּיךָ, אֲנִי מַפִּיל אֶת תְּחִינָתִי לִפְנֵי כִּסֵא כְּבוֹדְךָ, שֶתִּתֵּן לִי אֹמֶץ רוּחַ וּמֶרֶץ רַב לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת עֲבוֹדָתִי בֶּאֱמוּנָה, וְשְׁהַשְׁאִיפָה לִצְבֹר הוֹן אוֹ לְשֵׁם טוֹב לֹא תְּעַוֵר אֶת עֵינַי מִלִּרְאוֹת נְכוֹחָה
אָדוֹן הֲעוֹלָמִים, גָלוּי וְיָדוּעַ לְכֹל בְּנֵי בְּרִיתֶךָ שְׁרָק אָתָה לְבָד הוּא מָעֲנִישׁ וְמְחַנֶן, מָכֶּה וְמְרָפֶּא. בְּרָם בְּחֹכְמָתְךָ אֵין סוֹף רַצִיתָ שְׁאֲנִי, עַבְדֶךָ הָאֶבְיוֹן, בָּשָׂר וָדָם, עָפָר וָאֶפֶר בִּיכוֹלְתִי הָצְנוּעַה וּבְשִׂכְלִי הָקָטָן צָבָרְתִי יֶדָע עָל גוּף הָאָדָם וְעַל רוּחוֹ, שְׁאָתָה בְּרַחֲמֵיךָ הָגְדוֹלִים גִילִיתָ בְּעוֹלָמְךָ הָגָשְׁמִי. וְהִנֶה, אֲנִי בִּפְקֻדָתְךָ, בְּמִצְוָתְךָ וּבְעֶזְרָתְךָ מַתְחִיל לְרָפֶּא יְצוּרֵי כַּפֶּיךָ בְּהָבָנָתִי הָמְלֵאָה שְׁרָק בִּימִינְךָ הָרָמָה וְהָנִשֵׂאת הָהָחְלָטוֹת עָל חָיִים וְעָל מָוֶת, עָל הָבְרָאָה וְעָל חוֹלִי, עָל הָצְלָחָתִי בְּרִפּוּי הָחוֹלֶה וְעָל כִּשְׁלוֹנִי בְּעָבוֹדָתִי
שוֹכֵן בִּמְרוֹמָיו, מֶלֶך חַי וְקַיָם, יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֵיךָ שֶתִתֶן לִי, לְעַבְדְךָ, לְבֵן אֲמָתֶךָ, חֶפֶץ, כֹּחַ וִיְכוֹלֶת שִׂכְלִית לְהַמְשִׁיךְ לִלְמוֹד רְפוּאָה בְּאֵין הָפְסָקָה לְאוֹרֶךְ כֹּל חָיָי מִפִּי רוֹפְאִים נְבוֹנִים מִמֶנִי
תְּזַכֵּנִי לְהַבִּיט עַל כֹּל סוֹבֵל הַבָּא לִשְׁאֹל בַּעֲצָתִי כְּעַל אָדָם, בְּלִי הֶבְדֵּל בֵּין עָשִׁיר וְעָנִי, יְדִיד וְשׂוֹנֵא, אִישׁ טוֹב וְרַע; בַּצַר לוֹ הַרְאֵנִי רַק אֶת הָאָדָם. אַהֲבָתִי לְתּוֹרַת הָרְפוּאָה תְּחַזֵּק אֶת רוּחִי, רַק הָאֶמֶת תִּהְיֶה נֵר לְרַגְלַי; כִּי כֹּל רִפְיוֹן בַּעֲבוֹדָתִי יָכוֹל לְהָבִיא כִּלָּיוֹן וּמַחֲלָה לִיְצִיר כַּפֶּיךָ. אָנָא ה’ רַחוּם וְחַנוּן, חַזְּקֵנִי וְאַמְּצֵּנִי בְּגוּפִי וּבְנַפְשִׁי, וְרוּחַ שָלֵם תִּטַּע בְּקִרְבִּי
בָּרוּך אַתָה, אָדוֹן כֹּל הֲמָעֲשִׁים וּבוֹרֵא כֹּל הַהָבְרָאוֹת
Cross-Denominational Healing Prayer for the Sick
Lord, You created human beings in your Image, and You are able to redeem and heal the sick.
Look with compassion upon our plea to heal the body and spirit of [First Name], son/daughter of [mother’s first name] and [parents’ names].
Support him/her with Your power, comfort him/her with Your protection, shield him/her under Your wings of peace. Give him/her the physical and spiritual strength to fight [or bear up under, endure, live with, heal from, other verbs that better address the particular case] his/her illness. Instill hope in his/her heart. Provide good counsel, wisdom and compassion to all who work in Your name to help heal him/her.
For we pray to you, Lord, and have faith in you for ever and ever.
The original text that was used to form the abovementioned prayer: