The book of Psalms is the most popular place to find prayers for healing and recovery, but these healing prayers are from a different book of the Bible. In Why You’re Safe Everywhere – Blossom Tip 56 I described how I fell while running, broke my shoulder, and was in the operating room the next day. The orthopedic surgeon used a metal plate and eight screws to re-attach my humerus (upper arm bone) to my scapula (shoulder blade).
The pain I felt while healing and recovering from surgery was more agonizing and intense than having a broken shoulder! When the anesthetic wore off I thought I’d die from the pain (despite my prayers). The doctor warned me that healing and recovery after surgery would be painful, but I shrugged him off with my one good shoulder. I’ve survived ulcerative colitis, gallbladder surgery, and a bunion. How hard could it be to heal after a shoulder operation? Here’s what I learned about praying for healing and recovery after surgery…
If you’re praying for a friend or family member who is healing after surgery, you might be interested in 15 Gifts and Ideas to Help a Patient Recover After Surgery. Don’t just pray for healing; offer practical gifts and support to help with recovery.
My surgeon said it’d take six weeks to heal from my shoulder surgery. It’s been five months and I’m about 95% recovered. I can do three pushups (I used to do 10), and I can jog again. Breaking my shoulder changed my life by slowing me down and helping me see people, places and things differently. Surgery changed not only how I see myself, but how I see God.
When you’re saying prayers for healing and recovery after surgery — whether you’re praying for yourself or a loved one — prepare for dark nights because they are the worst. I couldn’t lie down after my shoulder operation, and it never occurred to me to get a neck pillow (which is an excellent gift for a patient after surgery!). I sat up all night long on the living room sofa, taking pain medication and worrying that I’d get addicted. I prayed, but didn’t really feel God’s presence. I was in too much pain.
And that’s when I learned how to pray for healing and recovery after surgery. You may be surprised by my tips because, as I said, they’re not the usual prayers from the Psalms. In fact, they’re not really about asking God to heal someone after surgery. Rather, they’re about praising Him through the pain and trusting that joy really will come in the morning…
3 Tips for Praying Healing and Recovery After Surgery
Inspired by Exodus 15, this blog post is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project. I’m writing an article for every chapter in every book of Scripture. I started with Genesis — beginning with The Reason You Were Created – Genesis 1 and ended that series with How to Live Like You Really Are Forgiven and Free – Genesis 50. Enter Exodus!
Instead of the typical “God, please heal my pain and help me recover after surgery” prayers, we’re approaching Jesus in a different way.
1. Show up and sing your praises
Exodus 15 is the song Moses, Miriam, and the Israelites sung after God parted the Red Sea and rescued them from the Egyptians. Some say it’s the oldest poem in the world. Today, devout Jewish people recite this entire prayer (Exodus 15:1-21) every morning and say portions every evening — regardless of their health, circumstances, struggles or situation. This prayer praised Yahweh for doing what Moses and Israel could never do alone. God overthrew all the powers of darkness, oppression, bondage, slavery and death! Read Exodus 15:1-21 out loud to yourself. No, it’s not a prayer for healing and recovery after surgery. It’s a prayer of worship, praise, and glory to the Lord God who created everything and who has the power to heal you from anything.
How often do you start your prayers with praise? It’s good to pray for healing and recovery — especially after something as painful and traumatic as surgery. But your spirit, soul, heart, mind and body will thrive if you begin praying with praise and worship. Don’t just say “Our Father, Hallowed by the name” and rush into your prayers for healing. Instead, prayerfully and thoughtfully read Exodus 15:1-21 out loud every morning and every evening. If you’re recovering from surgery, read this prayer when you feel the pain. Read the prayer when you’re scared, suffering, and sad. Ask for healing and recovery from the surgery, but focus on seeing God as He was in Exodus. That is who He still is today! This will change your heart, spirit, mind, soul, and body. You will be filled with the Holy Spirit’s strength, power, love and healing.
2. Speak the truth of what He has done
“The Lord is my strength and my song, He has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him,” sang Moses and the Israelites in Exodus 15:2. The whole prayer speaks the truth of what happened to the Egyptians. This song repeatedly describes what the Lord did to save the Israelites, how He accomplished His purpose and fulfilled His promise to Moses, and how the Israelites felt about God’s work in their lives. They didn’t just speak the truth — they sang, danced, played tambourines and rejoiced! God’s people were experiencing freedom from decades of oppression, slavery and bondage. They suffered physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally for years before they were liberated. And the Jewish people now, as part of their daily life, remember how God freed them from the bondage of Egypt.
What has God already freed or saved you from? A crucial part of praying for healing and recovery after surgery is remembering what God has already done for you. Jesus didn’t just die to save you from eternal separation from God; He died so you could be emotionally and spiritually free to experience infinite joy, life, light, peace, love, compassion, and freedom! The Holy Spirit is yours, always available to heal and help you recover from surgery or whatever you’re experiencing. But healing and recovery is the side dish, the veggies and salad. The main meal is God Himself. Remember how He has already freed and saved you, both as a Christian and as an individual. Speaking the truth of what Jesus has done for you will help you heal and recover from surgery. His light, power, energy and love will infuse your cells and make you whole.
3. Never give up on God
“Then Moses led Israel on from the Red Sea, and they went out to the Wilderness of Shur. They journeyed for three days in the wilderness without finding water. They came to Marah, but they could not drink the water at Marah because it was bitter—that is why it was named Marah. The people grumbled to Moses, “What are we going to drink?” – Exodus 15:22-23. Our beloved Israelites gave up on God three days after singing beautiful, holy, loud praises and declaring that He is their salvation. One Jewish Biblical scholar said they didn’t pray or praise for those three days in the wilderness; this lack of connection with God led to bitterness and complaining. So God tested them.
Do you turn away from God when life is good, then pray for healing when you’re weak or sick? In an earthly friendship this is called “fair weather friends.” People are friends when times are good, then fall away when pain, suffering, or trials emerge. Christians are often the same way with God — we neglect and forget Him when we’re happy and health. And when we need healing and recovery after surgery, we search the internet for tips on how to pray to God for hope, healing and help.
My shoulder surgery changed how I see God. It deepened my relationship with Jesus, and elevated my connection with the Holy Spirit. When you’re praying for healing and recovery after a surgery, don’t focus on what you want God to do for you. Honor the Lord your Creator with humility, awe, love and praise. Glorify Him for who He is.
If God heals you quickly, sing “Hallelujah!” If He doesn’t answer your prayers the way you want, say “Hallelujah Anyway!” For He is God, and He knows what we do not.
“You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your possession; Lord, You have prepared the place for your dwelling; Lord, Your hands have established the sanctuary. The Lord will reign forever and ever!” – Exodus 15:17-18.
With His love,
P.S. Are you struggling with a painful post-operative health problem? Read Not Your Usual Prayers for Healing After Surgery.