Many people lean heavily on their faith during tough times. No matter their beliefs, it serves as a source of comfort and a routine support system. In particular, when it comes to illness, many people pray to ask for respite, healing, or the ability to soothe one’s soul. Whether it’s done individually or in groups, prayer is the lifeblood of many communities.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Prayers for Good Health and Wellbeing
- Prayers for Mental Health and Happiness
- Catholic Prayers for Health
Whether you want to know what to say when someone is sick, what prayer to choose in the event of a dedicated vigil or prayer circle, or want to include something special in a card, here are some options.
Prayers for Good Health and Wellbeing
Prayers for health are a great way to gather a family together. If your entire family is religious, this can be a way to not only get together but offer good energy as one unit for someone.
1. “In the Hands of God” from Christianity
“More than ever I find myself in the hands of God. This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth. But now there is a difference; the initiative is entirely with God.”
This is a great prayer for someone with cancer, especially when it comes to dealing with medical unknowns or progress in treatments.
2. “Prayer for Life” from Native American Religions
“Our old women gods, we ask you! Then give us a long life together, May we live until our frosted hair is white; May we live till then. This life that now we know!”
Living a long and healthy life is not only a goal for yourself, but also a journey that many wish to take with their spouses. Offering up a prayer like this infuses one with hope that they will live together until they’re old and gray.
3. “Prayer for Healing” from Islam
“Get rid of the hardship and heal, O Lord of the People, you are the Healer, and there is no healing of disease like Yours. Let it be healing that is not betrayed by sickness.”
Many religions, including Islam, refer to God as the ultimate healer. Sometimes sending thoughts of hope through prayer to heal can feel relieving.
4. “His Supplication in Seeking Needs from God” from Islam
“O God, O ultimate object of needs! O He through whom requests are attained ...”
Praying takes humility and faith. It also can give one the opportunity to speak directly and seek things from God with reverence and trust. Prayer itself can be healing as well for some.
5. “Great Spirit Prayer” from Native American Religions
“Help me remain calm and strong in the face of all that comes towards me. Help me find compassion without empathy overwhelming me. I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother …”
This prayer is all about balance. Compassion without being overwhelmed, strength without being overpowering.
6. “For A Sick Friend” from Christianity
“O Holy Spirit, please come like a dove. Shield and protect now the one that I love...”
A dove usually represents a symbol of purity in many religions. With the words in this prayer, people look to God to receive healing and hope for their loved one.
7. “Mend What Is Broken” from Christianity
“Every breath I take, every morning I wake, and every moment of every hour, I live under your power. I ask you now to touch me with that same power ...”
In the Bible, man was created from dust by God. This prayer entreats that same power to help a follower in need.
8. “Healing A Loved One” from Christianity
“I pray for my loved one that they would be held at this time in your loving arms.
Bless the work of the doctors, surgeons, and hospital staff...”
This is a great prayer to say with your loved one before a surgery, or with the doctors if they’re religious. Sending prayers to watch over those who care for your loved one can be similarly helpful and inspiring for those medical workers.
9. “Prayer for Healing” from Judaism
“May the Blessed Holy One be filled with compassion for their health to be restored and their strength to be revived ...”
One of the primary tenets of Judaism is reverence for life, which is reflected in this prayer. Again, it all helps with keeping up the strength and health of a loved one that may be struggling.
Read our guide on Jewish prayers for healing for more.
10. “The Memorare” from Catholicism
“Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.”
This time-honored prayer is a plea to the Virgin Mary for assistance during hard times. As the mother of Jesus, she is seen as a symbol of care, love, and guidance.
Post-planning tip: If a loved one of yours has lost their battle with illness, handling their unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.
Prayers for Mental Health and Happiness
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Taking the time to pray for it can be very relaxing and comforting for some people.
11. “A Buddhist Prayer for Peace” from Buddhism
“May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind quickly be freed from their illnesses. May those frightened cease to be afraid, and may those bound be free.”
This is a great prayer for grieving parents. But it also works for someone with mental health issues who wants a moment of prayer.
12. “A Zoroastrian Prayer for Peace” from Zoroastrianism
“We pray to God to eradicate all the misery in the world, that understanding triumph over ignorance, that generosity triumph over contempt, and that truth triumph over falsehood.”
Many people have issues with religious misconceptions about mental health. This prayer asks for healing and understanding, from everyone involved.
13. “A Hindu Prayer for Peace” from Hinduism
“Oh God, lead us from the unreal to the Real. Oh God, lead us from darkness to light. Oh God, lead us from death to immortality. Shanti, Shanti, Shanti unto all. Oh Lord God almighty, may there be peace in celestial regions.”
Looking for peace with a difficult mental health illness can be an important practice. This Hindu prayer offers up some time and space to feel connected with everything.
14. “Slow Me Down” from Christianity
“Slow me down, Lord! Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind. Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.”
At points, life can feel like an endless stream of events, responsibilities, and work. Asking to slow down in prayer can be its’ own method of looking around at the quiet moments.
15. “Prayer for Calmness” from Catholicism
“As he sat by the river, the eyes of his understanding began to be opened; not that he saw any vision, but he understood and learned many things …”
Taking the time to sit quietly and reflect, especially if you’re in a difficult time, is important for happiness.
16. “Prayer for Peace” from Taoism
“If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations...If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart.”
The goal of world peace can feel daunting, but if you start with yourself, peace can be a ripple effect.
17. “Celtic Peace Prayer from Antiquity” from Celticism
“Deep Peace of the running wave to you. Deep Peace of the flowing air to you ...”
This prayer is a wish for all the peace of nature to flow into you.
18. “Dadirri” from Aboriginal Peoples
“Dadirri is deep listening. Listening to the land. Listening to the spirit speaking through the land.
Listening to the stillness. Dadirri is awareness of the land as a sacred silent awareness of deep springs within me.”
Searching for stillness in life is hard, but when you take time with a prayer like this focusing on the energy around you, it can provide a sense of peace.
19. “Peace” from the Apache Tribe
“Looking behind, I am filled with gratitude. Looking forward, I am filled with vision. Looking upwards, I am filled with strength. Looking within, I discover peace.”
Finding peace within yourself is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
20. “Druid Prayer for Peace” from Druidism
“Deep within the still center of my being, may I find peace. Silently within the quiet of the Grove, may I share peace.”
There is nothing like reminding yourself of the silence of nature, and the silence inside yourself to bring calmness to your mind. It is especially true during a turbulent episode with a mental health illness.
Catholic Prayers for Health
Praying for others, and yourself is a key part of Catholicism.
20. “A Prayer for Healing” from Catholicism
“Lord, You invite all who are burdened to come to you. Allow Your healing Hand to heal me. Touch my soul with Your compassion for others …”
Asking for the grace to share compassion with others is a key part of this prayer. When one is compassionate with others, it provides a sense of healing for everyone.
21. “Catholic Prayer Before Surgery” from Catholicism
“Loving Father, I entrust myself to your care this day …”
In some cases, the unknown can feel especially scary, particularly before a surgery. Offering up a prayer trusting that all will go well takes a lot of humility and faith.
22. “Generational Healing Prayer” from Catholicism
“Precious Lord Jesus, please look upon my physical and emotional health needs with your great love and mercy ...”
Calling together a prayer group and using this particular prayer to focus on a trying time could be particularly helpful. The energy of a group together focused on one aim can be very powerful as well.
23. “Healing Prayer of Isaiah 53” from Catholicism
“Precious Lord Jesus, I thank you for your enduring love. You came into the world to set me free from the power of darkness...You suffered the scourging at the pillar, taking the sickness of humanity upon your own flesh so that I could be healed.”
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross can be a symbol of strength to look up to when your health is particularly fragile.
24. “Catholic Prayer to St. Peregrine” from Catholicism
“O great St. Peregrine, you have been called ‘The Mighty,’ ‘The Wonder-Worker,’ because of the numerous miracles which you have obtained from God for those who have had recourse to you. Ask of God and Our Lady, the cure of the sick whom we entrust to you.”
Many saints are patrons of events, places, and things. The prayer to St. Peregrine can feel particularly pointed in times of dire health.
25. “Healing Prayer of Surrender” from Catholicism
“I release everything into your compassionate care. Please speak to me clearly, Lord. Open my ears to hear your voice.”
Listening to God’s voice is part of prayer and sometimes may be the space you may need to look for hope and healing.
26. “Prayer for Inner Healing” from Catholicism
“Almighty and everlasting Lord, I come before you now in great need of your mercy. You are the doctor and physician of my soul. I humbly beseech thee to send forth your healing power into every area of my inner-woundedness.”
Looking up to God to help with healing in a medical way can help give some support especially when undergoing a particular treatment with a caretaker, whom you are entrusting with your wellbeing.
27. “Prayer to the Divine Physician” from Catholicism
“Dear Lord Jesus, you went about healing all those who were sick and tormented by unclean spirits. You cleansed the lepers, opened the eyes of the blind …”
The stories of Jesus’ many miracles are varied, however inspiring when you are looking for a saving grace in times of illness.
28. “Catholic Prayer for the Sick” from Catholicism
‘Omnipotent and eternal God, the everlasting Salvation of those who believe, hear us on behalf of Thy sick servant …”
Appealing to God’s power and mercy for the sick and suffering puts the power of faith in prayer and another way to submit to humility.
29. “Catholic Prayer for the Dying” from Catholicism
“Most merciful Jesus, lover of souls, I pray you by the agony of your most sacred heart, and by the sorrows of your Immaculate Mother, to wash in your most Precious Blood.”
When it seems as though praying for wellbeing is not enough, sending up a prayer of comfort to help those transition from life to death can feel humbling. If your loved one started end-of-life planning, they might have requested this prayer as part of their own ‘last rites.’
30. “Catholic Prayer for Doctors and Nurses” from Catholicism
“O merciful Father, who has a wonderfully fashioned man in your own image, and have made his body to be a temple of the Holy Spirit, sanctify, we pray you, our doctors and nurses.”
Lastly, praying for the sick is one way of looking for hope, but also saying a prayer for those attending to you helps to send some good energy everywhere. If your medical team is religious, you could ask them to pray with you.
Praying with Others
As mentioned above, you don’t have to use these prayers alone. Hosting a community event or asking your church to gather can imbue everyone with good intentions and some hope for those who are sick or suffering from poor health.
No matter what you choose, the power of community gathering around you is important.
- Our Catholic Faith. “Catholic Prayers for Healing.” n.d., ourcatholicfaith.org/prayer/p-healing.html
- Reform Judaism. “Mi Shebeirach - Prayer for Healing.” n.d., reformjudaism.org/practice/prayers-blessings/mi-shebeirach-prayer-healing
- Harvard Divinity School, “Prayers for Peace and Justice.” n.d., hds.harvard.edu/life-at-hds/religious-and-spiritual-life/peace-and-justice/prayers-for-peace-and-justice
- Xavier University. “Prayers for Healing.” n.d., www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/prayers-for-healing