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Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 287:

יכולים לנחם אבלים בשבת וכן יכולים לבקר את החולה ולא יאמר לו כדרך שאומר לו בחול אלא אומר לו שבת היא מלזעוק ורפואה קרובה לבא ורחמיו מרובים ושבתו בשלום הגה וי״א דאין צריך לומר ורחמיו מרובים וכו׳ וכן נהגו.

If I understand it correctly, this means:

One may console mourners on Shabas, and one may likewise visit the sick. But he should not say to him as he does on a weekday, telling him rather "It is Shabas, preventing crying out; healing is soon to come; His mercies are great; spend Shabas in peace". Hagaha: But some say it's unnecessary to say "His mercies are great", etc., and [omitting it] is the custom.

Indeed, the prevalent custom when wishing sick people well on Shabas is to say "שבת היא מלזעוק ורפואה קרובה לבא / It is Shabas, preventing crying out; healing is soon to come", as prescribed.

What's the point of saying "שבת היא מלזעוק / It is Shabas, preventing crying out"? Why not just say "רפואה קרובה לבא / healing is soon to come" as a way of obliquely praying for the patient, if that's the purpose of speaking? What does saying "שבת היא מלזעוק / It is Shabas, preventing crying out" accomplish, and how does it do so?

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Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/27485. –  msh210 Apr 3 '13 at 15:22
It's not clear to me how these are not the same question. –  Seth J Apr 3 '13 at 15:32
@SethJ, the other question asks about the referent of the phrase (what it's referring to): who is crying out? what sort of crying out is it? The current question asks about the phrase itself and why we say it. –  msh210 Apr 3 '13 at 15:43
Ah, I need to read more slowly. –  Seth J Apr 3 '13 at 16:13
Maybe it's so the patient isn't offended when you don't pray for him more directly. –  Double AA Sep 22 '14 at 17:39

1 Answer 1

I believe that if one was to say only רפואה קרובה לבא it would seem as a prayer, but when he begins with שבת היא מלזעוק he is emphasizing that it is not a prayer but rather a blessing. (Something like a disclaimer.)

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