This post is part of a prayer challenge, 21 Days of Prayers For Your Friends.If you would like more information about the full challenge with daily email prayer guides, I invite you to find it here.
Times of sickness are unavoidable in this fallen world.
Some illnesses are fairly minor. Viruses and infections, colds and flu, chicken pox and pink eye.
Others are much more serious, threatening our physical, emotional, or mental well-being and in the worst cases, our very lives.
I’m writing this post with great care, because I’ve been there, and in many ways I’m still there, walking with loved ones through various illnesses.
My husband had a brush with cancer. I have a dear friend with Lyme’s, and another good friend with lupus. I have loved ones with various other chronic health issues, some with depression, and still others with mystery illnesses that are yet undiagnosed.
But I’ve never been in your friend’s shoes.
So I don’t want to offer you or your friend empty clichés. I don’t want to take their pain lightly. I don’t want to write as though I completely understand what they’re going through, because I don’t. I’ve walked the path of pain, but I haven’t walked their path.
I’m convinced that the very best thing you and I can do for our friends who are sick is to commit them to the One who knows all things, and to remind ourselves of His complete and utter goodness toward them.
Even if it doesn’t always look the way we expect it to. And even if it doesn’t look the way we want it to. And especially when it doesn’t look the way we think it should.
Today I want to encourage you, my fellow believer, to pray for good health, even as I remind you with great gentleness that the healing of our souls has already been made possible, and the complete healing of our bodies and minds in perfect health will only ever come in heaven.
I urge you to ask for your friend’s sickness to be removed even as I whisper assurances in your ear that times of trial bring growth and refinement and strength and the sweetness of His presence like we’ve never experienced it before.
To that end, it’s my earnest desire that praying the Scriptures below would be an encouragement to your heart as you pray for your sick friend and encourage her to press on.
Isn’t that what true friends are for, after all? While you may sometimes feel helpless to come alongside your friend in an effective way, your daily prayers are really the first and best way you can help sustain them during this tough time.
Please join me in these powerful prayers for the dearly loved sick person in your life.
Get-Well Prayers For a Friend
1. Give the LORD praise for being the God of all flesh, and the One who asks, “Is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27) Agree with Him that the answer is a resounding NO! Nothing is too difficult for Him, and even the things that are humanly impossible are possible with Him (Mark 10:27).
Claim these truths on behalf of your friend or family member, especially the one with a complicated diagnosis or even a terminal illness, asking the Lord to accomplish His purpose for their lives.
2. Thank God for knowing your friend intimately, for seeing them in their mother’s womb, and for knowing every facet of their body, their mind, and their life (Psalm 139:13-16). Praise Him that no aspect of their well-being is a secret to Him, and that nothing takes Him by surprise.
Ponder the truth that His presence is always with them (Hebrews 13:5) and that they are safe in His loving arms.
3. Acknowledge to God that decay is part of this broken, sin-inflicted world. Ask God to help your friend not lose heart as their body is decaying, because their spirit is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Thank God in Jesus’ name for this continual restoration of your friend’s spirit that is made possible through Christ Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray that they will not lose heart, and ask God to show you how to be a good friend during this time.
4. Remind God of His promised grace that is sufficient, and of His power that is made perfect in weakness. Ask that He would enable your friend to embrace weaknesses during this difficult time of illness, knowing that weakness opens the door for the power of God to rest upon them (2 Corinthians 12:9). Beg God to make His mighty power very real to your friend.
5. Praise your Savior for His invitation that all who labor and are heavy-laden should come to Him. Ask that your good friend would come to Him in their times of need, and claim His promised rest on their behalf (Matthew 11:28).
Pray that they would cast all their burdens on Him because He cares for them (1 Peter 5:7). Marvel that God’s care for your friend is so personal and intimate. Entrust your dear friend’s physical healing and emotional healing to the good care of our Lord Jesus Christ.
6. Praise God for His promise that He doesn’t withhold good things from those who seek Him. (Psalm 34:10)
Ask that He would grant your friend His protection from harm and His provision for every need during these hard times, from the most basic (physical nourishment, water, and safe shelter) to the more complex (spiritual nourishment, relationships, and fulfillment).
Pray that your gracious God would restore your friend’s good health.
7. Ask God to grant your friend spiritual eyes that see the blessing that accompanies suffering. Pray that He would help them rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put them to shame, because God’s love has been poured into their heart through the Holy Spirit who has been given to them (Romans 5:3-5).
Entreat the Lord to accomplish His will in your friend’s life, and that your friend would be fully surrendered to Him.
8. Pray that God would give your friend power when they are faint, and strength when they are weak. Remind God of His promise that those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:29-31).
Ask Him to help your friend wait on Him, and pray that He would grant them a speedy recovery.
9. Rejoice that one day, the Lord will wipe away every tear from your friend’s eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:3-4).
Spend some time pondering the delight that will be ours in eternity, free from illness, grief, and any kind of harm. Ask that God would keep this hope fresh in your friend’s heart (and in yours!).
10. Thank your Savior for being wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities; ponder the wonder of our peace with God being secured through the punishment He endured, and that our healing was made possible by His stripes (Isaiah 53:5).
Thank Him for understanding your friend’s pain, and that He can sympathize with their suffering. Ask that this reassurance would be a source of comfort to your friend during their time of distress.
Dear Heavenly Father, You are the LORD, the God of all flesh, and nothing is too difficult for You. Sometimes You show Your goodness through healing, Almighty God, and other times You show Your goodness by strengthening us to endure suffering.
I pray, dear God, that You would increase my faith and open my eyes to see Your purpose for the life of my dear friend. I often feel like I don’t have the right words to pray for them, so I thank You for so many Bible verses that allow me to lift my sick friend to You, the Great Physician, in such a powerful way.
I ask, dear Lord and great Healer, that Your healing hand would restore my friend to full health. Please grant Your healing touch, and strengthen them during this trying time. Thank you that Your presence is with them and their whole family every step of the way during this challenging time.
In closing, my heart echoes the psalmist’s short prayer:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
It’s in the name of Jesus, my Savior, that I pray. Amen.
If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to sign up for the rest of the prayer challenge! It will be a source of blessing in your life (and your friend’s life) as you continue to pray the Scriptures over her.