As a church community, we should be there for fellow brothers or sisters in Christ who will be having surgery or who have loved ones who will be undergoing an operation. The Bible tells us that we are to bear one another’s burdens. Whatever burden our fellow brother or sister in Christ has regarding their surgery or that of their loved ones, we are to bear it as if it is our own. The Bible also teaches us that we must always put on compassionate hearts and kindness toward other believers as Christians.
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
We pray for healing for the person who needs surgery and wisdom for the surgeon and other medical professionals involved in the surgery. We pray for a fast recovery for the person and that the surgery that has been done shall be sufficient. You can even pray for miraculous healing upon the person before surgery because miracles do happen; there are cases in which a person does not have to go to surgery because he or she has already been healed.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
[1 John 3:18]
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men
[1 Timothy 2:1]
We pray for others because it is one of our ways to show our love for them. Jesus commanded us first to love God and then love others. If we indeed love God, love for others shall proceed from that. That love we have for others is put into action, and praying for others is one of these acts.
What are the things I can pray for?
While healing is the first thing that comes to our mind when praying for someone about to have surgery, healing is not the only thing we can pray for them. There are many different needs and concerns you can pray for whenever someone is about to have surgery. You can pray for each of those needs as you continue to pray for the person along the way.
The things you can pray for concerning surgery are finances, the doctors who will perform the surgery, the emotional well-being of the patient, and recovery after the surgery is made.
Healing is one of the most important things you can pray for. After all, the very goal of the surgery is to make the person well. Therefore, it is essential to know the person’s condition and what the surgery is all about. Though that does not mean you should have expert-level medical knowledge, it is good to know about the problem so that you will know what to pray for. For example, if the surgery is about checking whether a lump is benign or malignant, you can pray for the lump to be gone or for the lump to benign and harmless. The Bible teaches us that our prayers are powerful and they are working.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
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.
It is also vital to pray for the people conducting the surgery—surgeons, doctors, and other medical professionals involved. Pray for God’s grace upon the surgeon(s) and other medical professionals that they shall do their jobs excellently and that God shall give them the wisdom they need to solve the problem. You can also pray for grace that they shall remain calm and proficient even under pressure.
For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
After the surgery, the person still must recover significantly, especially if the surgery is an invasive one such as bypass surgery. Pray for a speedy recovery for the person and that he or she shall be fully healed after the surgery. You can also pray that he or she will need no further surgery. Another cause you can pray for is financial provision. Surgeries are usually not free and could cost much depending on the case. Therefore, pray for financial provision for the patient and his or her family. The Bible says that we are not to be worried about our needs because God knows them and that He is the One Who cares for our needs as we seek His kingdom. God is our good Father Who looks after us.
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
There is a mental, emotional, and even spiritual aspect that you can pray for someone about to have surgery. The patient could be anxious about whether their surgery will go well. In that case, you can pray for the peace of Christ to rule in their hearts and minds. You can also pray for comfort and peace for the family members and loved ones who are also worried about the result of the surgery. A good prayer to have confesses the sovereignty of God and assures the patient that no matter what happens, they are always under the providence of God. You can also pray for peace upon the patient so that even if the surgery fails and results in death, he or she is eternally secured in Christ.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
[1 Corinthians 15:55-57]
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Here is an example of how you can pray for someone who is about to have surgery:
Heavenly Father, You are the God of grace and mercy Who looks after His children. I pray for healing upon [name of the patient], that You would cause every cell in his body to rejuvenate. I also pray for the bone fracture to heal and for health to be restored. I intercede for the surgeon and other medical professionals as he goes through his surgery. I pray that You would be gracious to them and give them the wisdom they need to perform the surgery well and successfully and that they shall do their jobs excellently. I also pray for provision upon [name of the patient] and his family as they pay for the surgery. I thank You because You are the One Who provides for them and sustains them. I also pray that You will cause the peace of Christ to rule in his heart and mind as he goes into surgery. Remind him that he is eternally secured in You and that, in Christ, he has eternal life, and he does not need to fear death. I pray for a fast recovery for him and that there shall be no need for more surgeries in the future. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
What if the person having surgery is not a believer?
If the person is not a believer, then the most important thing you can do for the person is to preach the Gospel, especially if the surgery carries quite a considerable risk. Although we pray for a successful surgery, Christians do not fear even if the surgery fails. After all, even if they die, they shall live because they have eternal life in Christ.
However, those who are not in Christ are different. If the surgery fails and they die, they shall bear the full wrath of God because they didn’t repent and trust in the finished work of Christ. That is why – more than healing, provision, recovery, etc. – preaching the Gospel is what you should prioritize. Healing, provision, and the other things we prayed for a while ago will follow as the person repents and gets adopted as God’s child.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Here is an example of what you can pray for an unbeliever who is about to have surgery:
Father in heaven, You are the God of grace and mercy Who works in the people’s hearts. I pray for [name of the patient] that You would work in his heart, Holy Spirit. Turn his heart of stone into a heart of flesh and soften his heart so that he may receive the Gospel and repent from his life of sin. Open his spiritually-blinded eyes so that he may see the value of Christ and his need for a Savior. Give me boldness as I preach the Gospel to Him, and use me as Your mouthpiece. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Remember that we pray for others because our very motivation for doing it is love. Love should be the heart behind everything we do. It is pointless if what we do is not done out of love. We love and pray for one another because we are all part of one body in which Christ is the head.