Knowing what to say when someone is sick can be a particular challenge. There’s nothing you can do to make it better, but you can still comfort the child or the parents. At times when it feels like your words are not enough, you may want to rely on something else—perhaps some words from a famous poet, or prayers from their religion.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Catholic Prayers for a Sick Child
- Prayers for a Sick Child with Cancer or Another Serious Illness
- Prayers for a Sick Child with a Flu or Cold
- Prayers for a Sick Child in the Hospital
Many religious people rely on their faith to get them through tough times. It helps them feel comforted and connected to something outside themselves. That’s why offering to pray, or giving them some comforting prayers, might be a great way to support loved ones or friends.
Whether their child has the flu, or you want to find prayers for grieving parents, here are a few thoughtful words below to consider.
Catholic Prayers for a Sick Child
Taking the time to find the right prayers for a family’s religion is a tactful and powerful gift.
1. “From the Breastplate of St. Patrick” from Catholicism
“Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me. Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me…”
In Catholicism, Christ is referred to as a shield and a buckler. In the same way, your faith is meant to be a full suit of armor.
2. “Restore My Strength” from Catholicism
“Holy Spirit, drive away from me all forms of sickness and disease. Restore strength to my body and joy to my spirit, so that in my renewed health, I may bless and serve you, now and forevermore...”
The New Testament talks about how believers should be healed from illness. Prayers and anointment can be two of just a few procedures recommended.
3. “Speedy Recovery” from Catholicism
“Living Lord, Your love has held me and kept me through this suffering. Now may your hope and healing lead me quickly to a place of restoration…”
If you’re familiar with Psalm 23, you may know the line: “I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” This prayer offers an echo of that famous Psalm.
4. “To Heal a Friend” from Catholicism
“Think, O' God, of our friend who is ill, whom we now commend to Your compassionate regard. Comfort him/her upon his/her sickbed, and ease his/her suffering. We beg for deliverance and submit that no healing is too hard if it is Your will.”
Historically, illness was much more common and devastating, leading to many early deaths. That’s where many of these prayers originated.
5. “For A Sick Family Member” from Catholicism
“Gracious God, Hold my lovely daughter at this time of illness, watch over her when she cannot sleep, speak your love to her when she is afraid, touch and heal her weak body.”
This lovely prayer is great to do together as a family. If your child is worried about surgery or getting better, this makes a great community prayer, too.
Prayers for a Sick Child with Cancer or Another Serious Illness
Striking a balance between hope and strength, especially with prayers for someone with cancer is tough.
6. “To Soothe Ill Children” from Islam
“I seek refuge in Allah with His total words from the evil Satan, from every poisonous animal and from the evil eye.”
In Islam, many illnesses are thought to come from the above causes. Asking for protection is a way of shielding the child, just like putting locks on the doors or installing a security system.
7. “A Prayer for Healing” from Islam
“Oh Allah, bless and bestow peace upon Sayyiduna Muhammad, and through his rank, remove from me every illness, pain, ailment, and disease, and upon his Family and Companions.”
Asking for blessings on yourself is one thing. However, blessings from Muhummad, one of the most powerful figures in Islam, is even more powerful to invoke.
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8. “Short Prayer for A Sick Child” from Christianity
“Heavenly Father, watch over our child, and grant that he may be restored to that perfect health which it is yours alone to give; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
In Catholicism and according to the Bible, God is the one who created the human body. As such, Christians are responsible to keep that body as a temple, pure and holy—but only if God is willing to sustain and help them.
9. “Mi Sheberach” from Judaism
“May the One who blessed our ancestors—Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah—bless and heal the one who is ill. May the Holy Blessed One overflow with compassion upon him/her, to restore him/her...”
Ancestry is very important in Judaism. This prayer also offers a reminder that God worked miracles for patriarchs and matriarchs, and asks for the same thing.
10. “Prayer to St. Nicholas for a Sick Child” from Catholicism
“We thank God for the great gift of our child and we pray that He relieve this child of pain and free him/her from suffering. Obtain strength when he/she is weary, hope when discouraged, and joy when downhearted...”
Another name for St. Nicholas is ‘Nicholas the Wonderworker.’ Offering up a wish for a child to get better to the patron saint of children gets no better.
Prayers for a Sick Child with a Flu or Cold
Sometimes, even minor illnesses could use the comfort of prayer, too.
11. “Du’a from the Sunnah” from Islam
“Oh, Allah! The Sustainer of Mankind! Remove the illness, cure the disease. You are the One Who cures. There is no cure except Your cure. Grant us a cure that leaves no illness.”
The Du’a submits the situation to the power and compassion of Allah. In the Quran, and as demonstrated by other monotheistic religions, Allah is the one that sustains mankind.
12. “On the Form of the Medicine Buddha” from Buddhism
“By this practice may those who have perfect health be firmly established in that perfect health. May those who do not yet have complete and perfect health be brought to that level of health, well being and strength …”
A Buddhist blessing can be offered to those who are in good health, and those who have yet to attain it.
13. “The Warm Winds” from Native Americans
“May the warm winds of heaven blow gently on your house, and may the great spirit bless all who enter. May your moccasins make happy tracks in many snows, and may the rainbow always touch your shoulder.”
Native American prayers like these are not just for the ill. It’s also a spring blessing, one that’s meant to bring revitalization and rejuvenation across the world.
14. “A Prayer for Healing” from Native Americans
“Mother, sing me a song That will ease my pain, Mend broken bones, Bring wholeness again. Show me the Medicine Of the healing herbs, The value of spirit, The way I can serve.”
There are many Native American prayers around healing and servitude, which are two tenets of compassion in their culture. Compassion, toward each other and all living things, is very important in Native American culture.
15. “Prayer to Brigid for Healing from Sickness” from Paganism
“Great Goddess Brigid may the fires of Your Hearths and Smiths purify me And burn this illness away May the waters of your wells cleanse me And wash my illness away Ease my suffering and light my spirit With Strength and renewal I thank you, Great Goddess...”
Have you heard of the word brigand? It comes from the name Brigid. She was the goddess of healers, poets, smiths, childbirth, and inspiration.
Check out more ideas for prayers for healing if you're looking for more.
Prayers for a Sick Child in the Hospital
Prayers hold a special place in many people’s hearts. They are a symbol of hope and joy, especially during very difficult times.
16. “Hindu Upanishads” from Hinduism
“Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth. Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe.”
The Hindu Upanishads reflect on the cycle of life, like seeing it flow from one extreme to another. This cycle is a crucial part of Hinduism.
17. “Hindu Morning Prayer” from Hinduism
“May all in this world be happy, may they be healthy, may they be comfortable and never miserable. May the rain come down in the proper time, may the earth yield plenty of corn, may the country be free from war, may the Brahmans be secure...”
The word Brahman can mean many things. It can refer to the upper, priestly class, or it can refer to divine beings.
18. “A Prayer for My Sick Child” from Christianity
“Loving Lord Jesus, You are the good Shepherd of the sheep and You are the One Who carries the little lambs in Your arms — and gently cares for those that are weak and afraid. Lord, it is so hard to watch a child in distress and feel helpless to aid them…”
In the New Testament book of John, Jesus tells a parable about a loving shepherd. He’s always there to protect His sheep, and that’s what this prayer asks for.
19. “The Power of Grace” from Catholicism
“Heavenly Father, Lord of Grace, I ask You to guide the physicians who are helping my child. Please grant them the wisdom they need to restore my child to full health. May they be immensely aware of his/her every need and be gentle and understanding. Amen.”
Like in Christianity, God is always in the business of miracles.
20. “Pure and Strong” from Hinduism
“Lord, make me so pure and strong / That all creatures may look upon me with friendship. / And may I also look upon all creatures with friendship.”
The end goal of health for every religion is achieving friendship and harmony with all creatures.
Making Special Prayers
If someone is very religious, they might have mentioned prayers when they started end-of-life planning. Certain prayers hold a place in people’s hearts. And if they want something special prayed at their hospital bed, it’s a great honor to be able to do that for them.
- Xavier University. “Hindu Prayers.” n.d., www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/buddhist-prayers
- Seekers’ Guidance: The Global Islamic Seminary. “What Dua To Recite When Sick, from Habib Muhammad bin Ali al-Junayd.” 10 February 2016, seekersguidance.org/articles/general-artices/recite-when-sick/
- Xavier University. “Healing Prayers.” n.d., www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/prayers-for-healing
- Xavier University. “Catholic Prayers.” n.d., www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/prayers-for-healing
- Xavier University. “Native American Prayers.” n.d., www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/native-american