When time and distance separate us from loved ones, our hearts ache. But when a loved one, a family member, our children or friends are not well, that distance grows, and their difficulty becomes ours. In times like these, prayer is our comfort.
Sometimes prayer feels like doing nothing, like standing still. Actually, when we pray for loved ones, we are calling on the power that created the universe and everything in it. We are calling on the power that raised Jesus from the dead.
As God's children, we have the promise that when He hears our prayers, He answers. Today, if you have a loved one or family member who is ill or hurting in body and spirit, pray. You may not be able to be present, but you can kneel and lift your requests to God. Paul teaches us to take every anxiety to God in prayer, and peace will be ours (Philippians 4:6). And James, the half-brother of Jesus, reminds us that a prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well (James 5:15).
During this time of deliberate distancing, do you have someone close, a family member or friend, experiencing illness, pain, or difficult days?
Here are 12 prayers of healing for the ones you love:
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1. Praying for Physical Healing
Father God, you alone heal hearts and bodies, minds, and spirits. Today, we ask you to lay your healing hand on our loved ones. We ask for the healing of illness, physical weakness, and of broken hearts and spirits. Your love binds all wounds. You are Jehovah Rophe, the LORD our Healer. Restore our family members and friends to wholeness, erase illnesses, relieve all pain, and even if your desire is different, we will praise you.
If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you. (Exodus 15:26)
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2. Praying for God's Compassion and Concern
Dear God, we know you are aware of the suffering of your children. You hear the cries of your people. You listened to the Israelites in Egypt and saw their pain. Then You had compassion on them and delivered them from bondage. Lord, Father, hear our cries. Have compassion and concern for our loved ones who are sick and in pain. Deliver them from the bondage of suffering, and we will give you the glory.
The Lord said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. (Exodus 3:7)
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3. Praying for God's Mercy to Heal
Father, pour out your mercy to our loved ones. Although we know pain, suffering, and illness are not punishment but a part of human existence, we ask for relief, relief from worry and despair. Help those we love and care for to know you are a merciful God. You are not a god of condemnation but the God of grace and mercy. Have mercy and deliver our loved ones from sickness.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions. (Psalm 51:1)
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4. Praying for Comfort in Suffering
Dear Father, comfort our loved ones during this difficult time. Spread your arms wide and envelope them with consolation and care. You are called the "God of all Comfort," and your Word promises that you will comfort us in all of our troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Today, Father, comfort our loved ones as they endure illness, pain, and problems. Bring comfort to our family and friends so they too can comfort others.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
5. Praying for Patience to Endure
Father God, we are not able to endure hardship for too long. Our strength to persevere in difficulty is actually our weakness, but we know where we are weak, you are strong. Lord, please grant to our loved ones suffering illness, pain, and discomfort forbearance. Give them the ability and strength to await healing patiently, because we know healing will come soon.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
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6. Praying for Strength to Persevere
Father God, as your children, we know You are with us each step of the day. This means our loved ones are not alone and can depend on You during their time of illness. On our own, we do not have the strength to endure, but through the strength you give, we can persevere. This is not our strength or will, but that which comes through the Holy Spirit that lives in us. Father, we ask for strength in our family and friends to reach the end of this temporary circumstance. Father, walk with our loved ones through this illness.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43.2)
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7. Praying for Restoration
We pray for the restoration and renewal of our loved ones. Father God, restore our family members and friends to good health and prosperity. We ask their days to be redeemed, their strength renewed, and their hearts filled with joy. We rejoice in knowing that at the right time, you will make them healthy and strong again.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:10)
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8. Praying for Encouragement
Father God, train our eyes on You. Fix the focus of our loved ones on who You are, the Great Physician, Healer, Redeemer. Encourage the ones we love who can only see difficulties, to look toward you. We rejoice in knowing that our current situation is temporary. Let this truth encourage those who are ill and waiting for healing. May they focus on the eternal and not the fleeting, keeping our eyes on You.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
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9. Praying for Freedom from Worry
Dear God, when we are not well, we worry and despair. How will we take care of our lives, our responsibilities? But Jesus reminds us not to worry. For you feed the sparrows and dress the lilies of the field. Father, we ask today that you would provide for the needs of our loved ones who are ill and suffering. Whatever they need, You can supply. We trust you to care for us, and we give you thanks for every perfect gift.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:26-27)
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10. Praying for Peace During Illness
The absence of turmoil is not true peace. Instead, Father, we know that true peace means we are not at war. It means we are not at war with your will. Give our family members and loved ones peace in their hearts. Help them to see that Your will is best, whether we can see the good or not. We ask that our loved ones rest in the peace that You are sovereign and that everything, even illness, and pain, have a purpose in your kingdom. Father, help us to rest in your peace.
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11. Praying for Rest to Heal and Recover
Father, You have given us the gift of rest. The sabbath is a day of rest, and the Year of Jubilee is an entire season of rest. Lord, give our loved ones the time to rest and heal. Provide help and equip the people around them to carry their burdens. We pray that rest will bring renewal and healing to their bodies, hearts, and spirits.
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. (Jeremiah 31:25)
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12. Praying for Salvation In Christ
When Peter and John were entering the temple to pray, they met the lame man at the gate called Beautiful. Father God, we have nothing to offer our loved ones during this time. We are separated and helpless, but like your disciples, we can offer the name of Jesus Christ. If our family members or friends who are ill do not know Jesus, we pray for them to receive salvation. Silver and gold, and even the most miraculous healing pale when compared to the "surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).
Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (Acts 3:6)
Tamela Turbeville wants every woman surviving abuse to know God loves them, and that they are worthy and wanted. Most of all, healing is possible. She began Living One Word to write and share how God redeems the lives of survivors and you can read more about Tamela and her healing journey at www.livingoneword.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.
This article is part of our Prayer resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. 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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Originally published Thursday, 09 April 2020.