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20 Prayers for the Dying

Cathy Baker

Published: Jul 25, 2022
20 Prayers for the Dying

Whether you are praying for someone on their deathbed or praying from afar for someone you know will pass away soon, here are some prayers you can pray over them.

Several women in our former church surrounded a friend’s bed as her cancer battle came to an end. They took turns reading Scripture, singing, and praying throughout the day and night. Their voices ushered her into heaven.

We may not be able to surround a loved one’s deathbed, but, thankfully, the power of prayer knows no boundaries.

5 Prayers for the Dying

The following prayers are for those seeking encouragement and hope for themselves as they prepare for a heavenly homecoming. 

1. Creator, You knew the number of my days before one of them came to be. Not one detail of this journey has escaped Your notice or caught You by surprise. Thank You for walking with me, never leaving or forsaking me. Amen. (Psalm 139:16, Hebrews 13:5)

2. Lord, You are my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? You are the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Amen. (Psalm 27:1)

3. Heavenly Father, I receive the peace You give me—steadfast, everlasting, and joyful. Yes, Lord, I receive it! Amen. (John 14:27)

4. Lord, help me to be strong and courageous, not frightened, dismayed, or troubled. You are with me wherever I go. Of this, I am certain. Amen. (Joshua 1:9)

5. “Take My Soul into Your Hand” by Martin Luther:

“O my heavenly Father,

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

God of all comfort,

I thank you for revealing to me

your dear Son, Jesus Christ,

in whom I believe,

whom I have preached and confessed,

whom I have loved and praised.

I pray, my Lord Jesus Christ, take my soul into your hands.

Heavenly Father,

I know that

although I will live this body

and be taken from this life,

I will live with you forever,

and that no one can pluck me

out of your hands.

God so loved the world

that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in him shall not perish,

but have eternal life.

Our God is the God of salvation,

and the Lord delivers from death.

Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

You have redeemed me, O Lord, the God of truth.”

Source: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther by Ernst August Brueggeman

5 Prayers to Pray Over the Dying Person

These prayers for the dying can be used wherever you are—praying by their bedside or praying from afar.

1. Father, as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so You surround Your people both now and forevermore. I pray You will surround _________ with Your perfect peace. Amen. (Psalm 125:2)

2. God of all comfort, I pray You will cover _________ with Your wings, a place of refuge and strength. We rejoice in knowing that You are here and that You are near to _________. Amen. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Psalm 91:1-16)

3. Sovereign Lord, I stand in awe of Your love and care for __________. You hem in____________ behind and before, and You lay Your hand upon _____________, guiding him/her. We are confident that Your right hand is holding __________ fast, now and forevermore. Amen. (Psalm 139:5, 10)

4. Great Shepherd, thank You for the hope that comes in knowing that death is but a mere shadow. You are here to walk through it with ___________ and to lead him/her to a place of perfect rest and still waters. Amen. (Psalm 23

5. Heavenly Father, ____________ has been home in the body, away from you, as he/she has walked by faith and not by sight. But soon, _____________’s faith will come to fruition as he/she will see You face-to-face. As the old hymn says, “What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see, and I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace; When He takes me by the hand and leads me through the Promised Land, what a day, glorious day that will be.” Amen!

5 Prayers for the Dying Person Who Is Lost

These prayers for the dying are for those who cling to the hope of their loved ones coming to salvation before they take their final breath. With their loved one’s final days approaching, the struggle to find hope is understandable, but one only needs to look to the thief on the cross to be reminded that if we have breath in our lungs, it is never too late to recognize Jesus as Lord and Savior. (Luke 23:42-43)

1. God of grace and mercy, I pray You will use this difficult situation to draw _____________ to Yourself. Remove the spiritual blinders, allowing ____________ to see his/her sin and their need for Jesus’ blood to cover them. Amen. (1 John 1:9)

2. Author and Perfecter of our faith, John 10:10 tells of how the enemy comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, and I have seen this full well in _____________’s life. But as their final days approach, I pray in Jesus’ name that the enemy will no longer have a hold on __________’s soul and that he/she will joyfully accept You as his/her Savior and Lord. Amen. 

3. Heavenly Father, to human eyes, ____________’s salvation seems impossible, but I’m reminded in Matthew 19:26 that with You, all things are possible. All things. Flood __________’s heart and mind with a desire to know You, to draw close to You, and to seek a saving relationship with You, Jesus. Amen. 

4. Savior, unravel every lie the enemy has fixed in ____________’s heart and mind. Use me, and others, through the power of Your Holy Spirit, to speak the truth. Amen. (Romans 1:16)

5. God, Revelation 3:20 tells us that You stand at the door and knock. I pray __________ will hear Your voice and open the door, allowing Your grace, mercy, and forgiveness to flow freely into everlasting glory. Amen.

5 Prayers for the Dying Person’s Family

The following prayers are for those grieving the loss of their loved one.  

1. Lord, I pray comfort for ___________’s family. Minister to them in ways that only You can. May they receive Your grace, peace, and comfort, and in the future, be willing to offer that same comfort they received to others for Your glory. Amen. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

2. Jehovah-Jireh, You are the Lord who provides. In the difficult days, weeks, and months ahead, I pray You will provide for ___________’s family in every way. I pray they will sense Your care and Your closeness through every provision. Amen. 

3. Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who helps us in our weakness. There may be times in the coming days when ____________’s family does not know what to pray for, but the Holy Spirit himself will intercede for them with groanings too deep for words. Your tender care leaves me in awe. Amen. (Romans 8:26-27)

4. Lord, I pray You will quicken Isaiah 43:2 in their hearts, confident that You will be with them as they pass through these deep waters of loss. When they pass through the rivers of grief, it will not sweep over them. They will not drown beneath its weight. You are with them, strengthening and comforting them as they navigate their way toward healing. Thank You, Lord. Amen. 

5. God, I pray ___________’s family will be a pleasing aroma of Christ and that it will spread to all those around them as they refuse to grieve as the world does, without hope. Give them a warrior mindset, confident that You will use their faith and deep abiding hope to help bring everlasting life to others. Amen. (2 Corinthians 2:15)

God bless you, prayer warriors. Your loved ones are blessed to have you standing in the gap on their behalf as they prepare for their homecoming. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Cathy Baker Salem Web Network ContributorCathy Baker is the author of Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Beach and Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Mountains. She writes from a tiny studio lovingly known as The Tiny House on the Hill in the Foothills of SC. As an author, Hope Writer, and Bible teacher for over twenty-five years, she encourages women to pause and embrace the seemingly small, mundane moments of their day for God’s glory. She invites you to join her in the tiny house where you’re always welcome to come in and take a seat.

This article is part of our larger Prayer resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray. 

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