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 loved ones with chronic illnesses like Lyme’s, lupus, and depression, and 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 her pain lightly. I don’t want to write as though I completely understand what she’s going through, because I don’t. I’ve walked the path of pain, but I haven’t walked her 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 healing, 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 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 friend and encourage her to press on.
Prayers For Your Friend’s Health
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 friends, especially those with a complicated diagnosis or even a terminal illness, asking the Lord to accomplish His purpose for their lives.
Thank God for knowing your friend intimately, for seeing her in her mother’s womb and for knowing every facet of her body, her mind, and her life (Psalm 139:13-16). Praise Him that no aspect of her well-being is a secret to Him, and that nothing takes Him by surprise.
Acknowledge to God that decay is part of this sin-inflicted world. Ask God to help your friend not lose heart as her body is decaying, because her spirit is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16). Thank God for this continual restoration of her spirit.
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, knowing that they open the door for the power of God to rest upon her (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Praise your Savior for His invitation that all who labor and are heavy laden should come to Him. Ask that your friend would come to Him in her time of need, and claim His promised rest on her behalf (Matthew 11:28).
Praise God for His promise that those who seek Him will lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:10) Ask that He would grant your friend His protection from harm and His provision for every need, from the most basic (physical nourishment, water, and safe shelter) to the more complex (spiritual nourishment, relationships, and fulfillment).
Ask God to grant your friend spiritual eyes that see the blessing that accompanies suffering. Pray that He would help her rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put her to shame, because God’s love has been poured into her heart through the Holy Spirit who has been given to her (Romans 5:3-5).
Pray that God would give your friend power when she is faint, and strength when she is 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.
Rejoice that one day, the Lord will 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). Ask that God would keep this hope fresh in her heart (and in yours!).
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.
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, and other times You show Your goodness by strengthening us to endure suffering. I pray that You would increase our faith and open our eyes to see Your purpose for our lives, and for the lives of our friends. In closing, our hearts echo the psalmist’s:
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
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.