prayer for someone having surgery
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How to Pray & Prayer for Someone Having Surgery

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One Saturday night in early June 2019, I nicked my middle finger on a just-washed glass that broke when I stacked a dish atop it. Clean glass. Clean hand. Bleeding was minimal but I covered the wound with a Band-Aid and went about my evening with no worries about the puncture.

By morning, my finger was red, swollen, and painful. I was scheduled to help with a meal at the church after the morning service, so I arrived early and asked the first person I saw, an elder, to pray for my hand.

Before I left church that day, the redness and swelling extended into the palm of my hand. I took acetaminophen for the pain in my hand and prayed for healing.

The next morning, my entire palm was red, swollen, and beginning to extend into my other fingers. I could barely move my finger so I called for an appointment with my physician.

prayer for someone having surgery

Because it was the first day of Vacation Bible School and I was the mission teacher I wanted antibiotics and a recheck a few days later. Instead, I was referred to a hand surgeon, told to cancel all international travel, and scheduled for urgent surgery the next day.

I had far too much going on to deal with hospitalization and an operation. Or so I thought. Horses. Dogs. Ministry. Teaching VBS. Responsibilities. I argued, begged, finally relented. Surgery was scheduled. As a physician, I knew surgery never comes with guarantees especially if severe infection is already present. I went into overdrive to recruit people to pray for me. I wanted comprehensive prayer about everything that concerned me and the surgery.

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How to pray for someone having surgery:

For someone unfamiliar with the world of medicine and surgery, prayers for someone having surgery can be daunting. If you’ve never experienced surgery, you may not have any idea what to expect, much less what to ask God. To begin, consider the person having surgery, their family, employment, insurance coverage, and other responsibilities. Who will cover for them? How will their finances hold up? Keep reading to learn five areas to include in your prayers.

Five areas to include in your prayers for those who are facing surgery:

Prayers for patient and family:

As you pray for the patient and their family, consider the patient’s usual responsibilities. Who depends on them? How will surgery affect their role as caregiver, parent, spouse, employee, wage earner?

  • Both patient and family need prayers for peace, rest in advance of the surgery, and wisdom for the post-op period.
  • Prayers for the patient’s areas of responsibility (home, family, pets, work) to be covered
  • Prayers for caregivers after surgery
  • Prayers for employment to be secure and insurance to cover the expenses of surgery, medication, and therapy

Prayers for the surgical team (surgeon, nurses, scrub techs, anesthesiologist/anesthetist):

As you pray for the surgical team, consider the factors likely to influence their ability to focus completely on the patient and the procedure. What could go wrong? What needs to go right?

  • Restful night’s sleep for the entire surgical team
  • Peaceful morning for the team (you don’t want a preoccupied surgeon, anesthetist, or scrub tech)
  • Prayers for wisdom as they work, quick response to any difficulties that arise, and clear focus on the matter at hand

Prayers for the procedure:

Surgery involves more than the incision and closure. The procedure itself, whether removing a tumor, stabilizing a fracture, repairing a heart valve, or any of the countless possible surgeries, involves people, instruments, medications, anesthesia, and the patient’s bodily functions. A complication-free procedure requires all the elements to work together.

  • Prayer that everything needed will be quickly at hand
  • Prayer that no vital instrument is dropped or contaminated as the tech passes it to the surgeon
  • Prayer for no problems with the anesthesia and that all equipment will work properly
  • prayer for correct medications to be administered appropriately
  • Prayer for all body organs to function normally throughout the procedure

Prayers against complications:

Things happen. Whether in life outside the hospital or inside the operating room, if it can happen, it sometimes does. We do well to pray against complications.

  • Pray for no complications from anesthesia
  • Prayer for no excessive blood loss, inadvertent puncture or laceration
  • prayer for no infection
  • prayer for an accurate count before and after the surgery (instruments and sponges)
  • Prayer for no reactions to medication or anything used during the procedure

Prayers for recovery:

The surgical experience doesn’t stop when the last staple is placed and the patient is rolled out of surgery. Recovery from surgery is often the most challenging part. From post-operative pain to rehabilitation and return of function, the challenges increase in the days following surgery.

  • Prompt healing of the wound
  • Full return of function and range of motion
  • No loss of stamina
  • No infection
  • Easy pain control without any long-term pain medication issues

Does God answer prayers for surgery?

Yes. God hears and answers our prayers, whether for the salvation of a lost soul or a smooth surgical procedure of an ailing friend. He requires faith in the One to whom we pray, prayers according to His will, and confidence that He not only hears but will answer.

“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

What did my friends pray for me? All of the above. How did God answer? I didn’t avoid surgery, but I made it through with an excellent result, a barely visible scar, and, after weeks of physical therapy, a good return of function.

I spent less than twelve hours in the hospital. No complications. Minimal pain. I didn’t cancel my international travel. Instead, less than a week post-op and with sutures still in place, I traveled to Nottingham, England as part of a mission team and didn’t miss a beat.

Did everything turn out perfectly? Mostly. I can make a fist again but I can’t snap my fingers with my right hand anymore. I wasn’t a very good snapper before surgery so it wasn’t much of a loss. Overall, it was a small price to pay for something that could’ve been so catastrophic.

Short Prayer for someone having surgery:

Dear God, We thank you that you are our Healer and you care about all things that concern us. We ask you to be with _____ as they go into surgery and fill them with peace and hope. Be with the surgical team and all those who will interact with ____. May they be rested and fully focused on the surgical procedure. We pray against interruptions, distractions, mistakes, and adverse reactions to medications or anesthetics. Grant a speedy recovery and good pain control with full return of function and no complications. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

What about you? Have you experienced answered prayers for surgery? How did God move? I’d love to hear your story so feel free to leave a comment below.

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