Throughout the years, the social and psychological benefits of prayer—including some unexplained physical occurrences—have been recorded. Many people who pray also see little disparity between their religious and scientific viewpoints. That means for them, prayer can offer benefits, especially when complemented with positive action.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Prayers for a Seriously Ill Brother
- Prayers for a Less Seriously Ill Brother
- Prayers for a Brother Who’s Recovering From Surgery
The following prayers come from various beliefs and faiths. You'll find familiar prayers and maybe a few that are new to you. You're sure to find something you can use in your daily practice or write in a card for a friend.
Prayers for a Seriously Ill Brother
When a brother is critically ill, prayer might be what he needs. Check out the following healing prayers from Native Americans, Sikhs, and more.
1. “What is Life” from the Niitsitapi (Indigenous Americans)
“What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass
and loses itself in the sunset.”
2. “Prayer for a Person Critically Ill” from Christianity
For a short but powerful prayer, here's one that asks God, Mary, and all of the Saints to gather around your brother to give him courage and strength to endure the suffering and pain coupled with his illness.
3. “Mi Sheberach” from Judaism
The Mi Shebeirach is a Jewish prayer for healing. Traditionally, it's sung in a Synagogue during readings from the Torah. However, there is an increasing call for the prayer to be sung in other venues such as a hospital. If the ill person can't be present, someone stands in for them.
4. “Padmasambhava’s Healing Prayer” from Tibetan Buddhism
“May our longevity and vitality be unhindered by illness, accidents, and suffering.
Please bestow the blessing to fulfill all our sterling wishes and aspirations
One with all Awakened Ones throughout time and space.
Blissful presence and source of all spiritual accomplishments, fierce destroyer of illusion who dispels every obstruction.”
5. “Healing Prayers” from Sikhism
“The [healing] ointment of the Lord’s Name [Naam], is only understood by one who [realizes] the Lord, through the Guru's Shabad.”
6. “Bringing Relief Prayer” from Christianity
If your brother or brother-in-law has been suffering for a long time, this prayer asks two things of God. First, it asks that He heal the sick. And second, it asks that He allow the community to assist in the process.
7. “Dhanvantri Mantra” from Hinduism
Lord Dhanvantri is a popular manifestation of Lord Vishnu. When chanting the Dhanvantri mantra multiple times before dawn, the divine energy created will increase vitality levels to remove fear and disease in one’s mind, body, and soul.
Prayers for a Less Seriously Ill Brother
Here are a few prayers, quotes, and meditations from various religions. They are for those less severe illnesses such as ones of the mind and spirit, as well as colds and flu.
8. Surah 2.286 from Islam
“To Him you shall all return; God’s promise shall be fulfilled. He gives being to all creatures, and in the end, He will bring them back to life.”
9. “Tao Te Ching 23” from Taoist
“To those who have conformed themselves to the Way, The Way readily lends its power;
to those who have conformed themselves to the power, The power readily lends more power.”
10. Untitled traditional Nigerian prayer
Here’s a short saying that gets straight to the point: “God does not leave His child tied up overnight.”
11. “Depression Prayer” from Christianity
This prayer asks that God provide hope for the sick to combat feelings of emptiness and darkness. Although others may not see depression as a real illness, it pleads for them to validate it if only for its physical consequences.
12. “Thy Name is My Healing” from Baha’I
“Thy name is my healing, Oh, my God,
And remembrance of Thee is my remedy.
Nearness to Thee is my hope and love
For Thou art my companion.
Thy mercy to me is my healing
And my succor in both this world
And the world to come.
Thou, verily, are the All-Bountiful,
The All-Knowing, the All-Wise.”
13. “Buddhist Healing Prayer” from Buddhism
Many illnesses manifest themselves physically, but they are often unseen when they are of the mind and spirit. So, these illnesses deserve equal care and consideration; sometimes, they require more patience and compassion. This Buddhist prayer asks for healing from these ailments.
14. “Prayer for My Brother: Prayer of Protection” from Christianity
This prayer asks for God to place a seal of protection on your brother's body, mind, and heart. It requests that he'll be shielded from evil and imbued with the lights of God.
15. “Unnamed” from Sufism
“Beloved Lord, Almighty God!
Through the rays of the sun,
Through the waves of the air,
Through the all-pervading Life in space, Purify and revivify me, and, I pray. Heal my body, heart, and soul.
– Hazrat Inayat Khan
16. “Anger and Frustration” from Christianity
Not all prayers come from a positive mental space. So, when you’re experiencing anger and frustration, here’s a path to prayer acknowledging the truth of your fears but still entrusting the healing to God.
17. Qur’an 65. 2-3 from Islam
“Whoever keeps his duty to God, God will appoint a way out for him, that he cannot foresee. And whoever puts his trust in God, he will suffice him. God brings His command to pass.
God has set a measure for all things.”
Prayers for a Brother Who’s Recovering From Surgery
Any of the prayers in this section can be said or written in a card attached to get well gifts. Look below for one that applies to your faith and traditions.
18. “You Understand Prayer” from Christianity
Although a person praying may not understand the fullness of the pain felt by another, they can ask for relief because God's omnipotence gives Him a better understanding.
19. “A Healing Prayer” from Paganism
“Oh, Great Goddess
Mother of Mercy and Healing
Send the energy of Hygeia
to nourish from Her Sacred Bowl
Send the energy of Brigid
to heal with waters of Her Sacred Well
Send the energy of Demeter
to restore life to withering cells
Send the energy of Quan Yin
to bless the healing with peace
Send Your healing wisdom to the body
to restore its sacred balance
Thank You, Great Goddess
Mother of All Life”
20. Avesta Yasna, 33:12 from Zoroastrianism
“Up dost Thou raise me, O Lord, through devotion dost Thou grant me endurance. Through right powerful vigor, and through good thought leadership.”
21. “In the Morning” from Christianity
Here's a Christian prayer that puts everything into God's hands from the beginning of one's day. It asks for confidence, faith, and healing as well.
22. “Come Holy Spirit” from Christianity
“As they find new strength, uplift each moment fresh with rising faith
And bright new vision, from above.
Come Holy Spirit, come and bless my friend with joy and health
As they wait in prayer, hold them close and safe,
Within your embrace and riches bright with kingdom wealth.”
23. “The Iroquois Thanksgiving Address” from the Mohawk
Like prayer and meditation, gratitude can be a powerful force. Deep within this prayer from the Mohawk tribe, you’ll discover an appreciation for everything from Mother Earth and its inhabitants to the great Creator. Offering gratitude to each of the elements, whether they are the waters or the wind is well-timed for when someone you love is recovering from surgery.
24. “Prayer for Healing” from Muslim
“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.”
25. “Dua for Healing/Cure from Sickness” from Islam
“O Allah, Lord and Sustainer of mankind, remove his difficulty and cure him. You are the only One who cures. There is no cure but Yours. Grant such (complete) cure that leaves no trace of illness. Amen.”
26. “Untitled” from Judaism
“When I feel tainted, God, remind me that I am holy.
When I feel weak, teach me that I am strong.
When I am shattered, assure me that I can heal.
When I am weary, renew my spirit.
When I am lost, show me that you are near.
– Rabbi Naomi Levy
27. “The Invocation for the patient by the one who pays a visit to him” from Islam
As an invocation, the prayer describes God as the only one who can take away disease and offer a cure.
28. Mathnawi 2:682-84 from Sufi Mysticism
The poet, Rumi, wrote this in the 13th Century. He says that God is the one who offers remedies. And although these remedies are hidden, they'll be revealed in one's hour of need.
29. “There is Balm in Gilead” from African American Spiritualism
“There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.
Sometimes I feel discouraged,
And think my work's in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again…”
The Benefits to Prayer and Meditation
Because your brother or brother-in-law has been ill, you’ll want to find a prayer or meditation suitable to your faith and culture. Let’s hope you’ve discovered something to guide you and him through healing and recovery.
- 10 Powerful Prayers for My Brother. (2020). Connect Us. connectusfund.org/10-powerful-prayers-for-my-brother
- 24 Encouraging Prayers for a Sick Friend. (2020). Connect Us. connectusfund.org/24-encouraging-prayers-for-a-sick-friend
- A Jewish Prayer for Healing (n.d.) www.wkhs.com/docs/default-source/spiritual-life-services/a-jewish-prayer-for-healing.pdf?sfvrsn=324fe691_2
- Eleuterio, S. (2014). Buddhist Healing Prayer. Found My Light. www.found-my-light.com/love-well-being/buddhist-healing-prayer/
- Du'a request for brother undergoing heart surgery. (n.d.). Islamic Community of Lancaster. iccl.alminaret.com/dua-request/du-a-request-for-brother-undergoing-heart-surgery
- Healing Words of Wisdom. (n.d.) Roswell Park. www.roswellpark.org/sites/default/files/node-files/page/nid940-prayerbook14467.pdf
- Narayanan, Dr. A. (2018). Dhanvantri Mantra Meaning and Benefits. Times of India. timesofindia.indiatimes.com/astrology/mantras-chants/dhanvantri-mantra-mantra-meaning-and-benefits/articleshow/68205237.cms
- Padmasambhava’s Healing Prayer. (n.d.). Teachings of the Buddha. teachingsofthebuddha.com/healing_prayer.htm
- Prayers. (2020). World Prayers. www.worldprayers.org/archive/prayers/celebrations/there_is_a_balm_in_gilead.html
- Prayer for a Person Critically Ill. (n.d.). Sisters of Mercy. www.sistersofmercy.org/files/documents/resources/spirituality/prayers/Catherines_Prayers-criticallyill.pdf
- Prayers for Strength and Healing. (2020) Reform Judaism. reformjudaism.org/beliefs-practices/prayers-blessings/prayers-strength-and-healing
- Routledge, C. (2018). What Prayer is Good For – And the Efficacy of It. National Review. www.nationalreview.com/2018/04/what-prayer-is-good-for-and-the-evidence-for-it/
- Weintraub, Simkah. (2020). Jewish Prayer for the Sick: Mi Sheberach. My Jewish Learning. www.myjewishlearning.com/article/mi-sheberakh-may-the-one-who-blessed/
- Willowroot, A. (2009). Prayers for Pagans. www.SpiralGoddess.com/Homage.html
- World Healing Prayers. (2020). www.worldhealingprayers.com/2.html
- Muslim Prayers. Jesuit Resource. www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/muslim-prayers#Prayer_for_Healing