If you are looking for prayers for a sick family member, we understand that you are walking through a new unknown.
The unknown of a loved one’s serious illness is among the most terrifying things we experience. If you wonder how to pray for a sick family member, we want to help.
Here are twelve prayers for a sick family member and a few general guidelines for forming prayers for those who are ill.
You’ll notice a few similarities in how to pray for each situation, as an accurate diagnosis and wisdom for medical experts are always needed.
Prayers for a sick family member with fever:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
One look at rising numbers on a thermometer is enough to bring fear to the heart of anyone, especially when the numbers surge past normal and keep going.
Fever is not a disease but a sign of something wrong and the “something” can range from a mild viral infection to a life-threatening illness.
Although especially troubling in small children, fever in adults can be equally significant. Knowing how to pray for a family member with fever can be an important skill, especially in the early days of the febrile illness.
While a reduction in fever may be our personal priority, an accurate diagnosis of the cause is more important from a medical standpoint. Once the diagnosis is identified, general treatment of the fever can be fine-tuned to medication more specific for the illness.
Seven things to include in your prayers for a sick family member with fever:
- Accurate clarification of viral versus bacterial cause for the fever (or something non-infectious) and wisdom for the medical team.
- Quick and accurate diagnosis of the causative agent and extent of disease. (For example: Is the problem bacterial meningitis or strep throat?)
- Tolerance of the medication used without side effects or allergies.
- Reduction of the fever.
- Avoidance of any complications from the fever and the illness causing it.
- Comfort for the one who is sick and complete recovery.
- Peace for both patient and family.
Sample prayer for a sick family member with fever:
Dear Lord, we bring _____ to you with a high fever and ask you to give the medical team wisdom to determine the cause of this fever and the best treatment. Help _____’s body to respond quickly to the medication without any side effects or complications. Bring comfort, peace, and faith in the midst of this illness and help us to see Your hand at work. Please bring the fever down and bring complete healing in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayers for a sick family member with an acute or chronic medical illness:
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
The number of possible medical illnesses is vast and probably far greater than most people realize.
Every organ system in our bodies can be affected by multiple diseases with a wide variety of presentations.
When a patient has a medical illness, prayers for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment top our prayer list.
Once a diagnosis is secured, we can pray for the affected organ/body part to return to normal function and for no complications.
Six Things to include in your prayers for a family member with an acute or chronic medical illness:
- Accurate diagnosis and wisdom for the medical team.
- Effective treatment without side effects or complications.
- Preservation/return of function of the affected organ(s).
- Patience and peace for patient and family.
- Faith in the healing power of God.
- Hope in God, no matter the potential prognosis (expected outcome) or amount of damage already sustained.
Sample prayer for a family member with a medical or chronic illness:
We come to you in faith, knowing that you created _____’s body and have a plan that is good.
We ask for wisdom for the medical team, both in diagnosis, treatment, and determining prognosis (what to expect).
Give _____ hope in You and confidence in those giving treatment. Preserve function in all affected organs and help his/her body to overcome the damage this illness caused.
Fill them and our family with faith in Your ability to heal, patience to wait for your intervention, and the willingness to help where needed while _____ recuperates and learns to live with this problem.
We ask for your will and your grace in this situation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Prayers for a family member with cancer
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:6,8
Few diagnoses are dreaded more than cancer. Whether a slow-to-progress chronic leukemia to wide-spread, rapidly-spreading metastatic disease, the diagnosis can stop us and our loved ones in our tracks and fill us with questions. What treatment will be needed and how hard will it be? Will the cancer spread? Can pain be well controlled? How long and how much “good” time do we have with the one we love?
Seven things to pray for a family member with cancer:
- Accurate diagnosis and staging (determining the extent of disease)
- Wisdom for medical/oncologic team in determining the best treatment.
- Faith for the patient and family to remember God is still in control, find peace and hope in the promise of eternity, and for fear to be replaced by power, love, and a sound mind.
- Maintenance of overall health.
- Affected organs to continue to function to an acceptable degree despite damage due to the cancer.
- Limitation of metastases (spread).
- Control of pain while still able to enjoy family and friends.
Sample prayer for a family member with cancer:
We thank you that you are the God Who Sees, The God who Loves, The God of Peace, and the God who Heals.
We call upon your name and ask You to show Yourself strong on behalf of _____.
Give the medical team insight and wisdom into the extent of disease, best treatment, and likely prognosis. Help us avoid despair despite a poor prognosis but put our hope and faith in You.
We pray _____ will tolerate the recommended treatments without severe side effects and that they will be effective in wiping out this cancer. Limit the spread of cancer and allow _____’s body to function longer than expected.
You are sovereign and have a good plan, one that may not be the same as ours. Give us Your will, Your way, Your timing, and the wisdom to accept Your plan in this situation.
May we glorify You in how we navigate this difficult season. In the powerful name of Jesus, amen.
Prayers for a sick family member with disruption of family and finances due to illness:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Even with the best of insurance policies, the cost of deductibles, medication, therapy, other treatments, and lost wages can result in a nearly-insurmountable debt.
In addition, illness can cause problems with child care, including the simple routines of getting children to and from school and preparing meals for the family.
While prayers about the specific illness are important, prayers about the disruptions caused by the illness are also important.
Three things to pray for a family member with disruption of family and finances due to illness:
- Provision for financial needs.
- Help with child care and the routines of family life.
- Peace, absence of fear, and emotional wellbeing for children (and the adults involved as well).
Sample prayer for a sick family member with disruption of family and finances due to illness:
We lift up _____ in this time of illness.
We know You have a plan for good and not for evil to give _____ a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Because of Your promise, we ask you to provide for every expense associated with this illness, from medical bills to personal and household expenses.
Meet _____’s needs for all needs, from child care to errands to household chores, and more.
Give _____ peace that You have everything under control and help all who know about _____’s illness to see You at work.
Be glorified in _____’s response and help all who love _____ to give You thanks and praise for what You do and how You do it.
In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Prayers for a sick family member due to injury
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:5-8
Injuries seem to occur at the most inopportune time.
A tiny prick from broken glass can turn into a full-blown infection requiring emergency surgery almost overnight.
Oncoming traffic can turn into a head-on collision in a matter of moments.
Even what seems like a minor injury can sideline a worker for weeks or longer. Complications. Physical therapy. Lost wages. The expenses add up in no time and can leave a family member discouraged and distraught.
Five things to include in prayers for a sick family member due to injury:
- Excellent treatment of the injury.
- No complications and complete healing and recovery of function and motion.
- Peace, optimism, and determination for the one injured.
- Financial stability despite the injury.
- Willingness to persevere even when recovery seems slow.
Sample prayer for a sick family member due to injury:
We lift up _____ to You and know this injury did not catch You off guard. You allowed it for a reason.
We ask You to accomplish Your purposes through this and to give _____ quick healing and complete recovery.
Provide for finances, protection of employment, and for the willingness to persevere until health and healing are accomplished.
Be glorified in this situation as in all our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Prayers for a sick family member who is dying
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary. light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for things what are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 1 Corinthians 4:16-18
Our time on earth is limited and, sometimes, far shorter than we might hope.
Disease, injury, and the ravages of aging all take a toll, and death is inevitable. The end this side of heaven comes to us all.
Little in life is harder than to face the death of a much-loved family member—especially when death seems (to us) far too soon.
How, then, do we keep our eyes on the promises of eternity (Revelation 21:4-7)and pray for one who is dying?
Seven important points to pray for one who is dying:
- A personal relationship with Jesus as Savior and Lord.
- Right relationships with family and friends and opportunities to make amends where needed.
- Time to convey love and encouragement to those who are dear.
- Comfort and good pain management without sacrificing consciousness.
- Limited suffering.
- Peace and acceptance for both the one who is sick and their family members.
- A focus on eternity and the life to be gained in death.
Sample prayer for a family member who is dying:
I pray for _____, who has an illness that seems to be leading to death.
Grant peace, comfort, hope, and acceptance for _____ and for our family and friends.
I dread the pain of _____’s passing and the loss of _____’s absence from this earth so I pray You will help me and all our family focus on eternity, where there is no sorrow, sickness, or pain.
Help me make the most of the time we have, demonstrate love in every action, and not be a hindrance to _____ in any way.
If it is Your will, we ask for more time, but we surrender _____ to You in every way.
Thank you for the time we’ve had together, for the good memories, and for the love we’ve shared.
May You be glorified in how we face _____’s death and may we demonstrate our hope in eternity with You, even in our sorrow.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
How to pray God’s will for a sick family member:
And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36
When a family member is sick, our response is usually to pray for healing and complete recovery. A much harder pray is to pray for God’s will and not our own.
God’s way is always best, but it sometimes means we relinquish our desires to His wisdom and His way.
Sometimes we want life here on earth but God’s plan is life in heaven for eternity.
In theory, no more pain, suffering, or sorrow for our loved one sounds good, until we realize it also means their physical absence.
Surrender is rarely easy.
One thing to remember about praying God’s will for a sick family member:
Jesus also found it hard to pray for God’s will when He faced the cross, but He did it anyway.
Sample prayer for God’s will for a sick family member:
Almighty God, who lives and reigns forever, I choose to surrender my will to You and trust Your will, Your way, and Your timing. May Your will be done in _____’s life today. You are Jehovah Rapha, the God who Heals, and You will heal _____. I trust You to choose whether healing on earth or in heaven is best. May we glorify and praise Your name, no matter how You decide to heal, nor where. I pray for your strength, love, peace, and joy in this difficult time. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
We hope these suggestions and sample prayers are a help as you pray for a sick family member.
More important than following our suggested pattern, however, is to tell God about your feelings, fears, hopes, uncertainties, and grief. He knows our hearts and is neither dismayed nor defeated by our response to the illness of a loved one. Remember, He cares for you—and your loved one—and stands ready to help in times of trouble.
As you pray, remember the truth of Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:17-21:
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”
Leanna is a prolific writer and passionate intercessor. She has taught and led in the area of prayer and in-depth Bible studies for more than two decades. She has served Global Outreach International as the Director of Intercessory Prayer and Outreach since 2016.
Her ministry priorities include:
SHARING the gospel primarily with high-risk teens
SERVING through providing personal hygiene supplies and water to the homeless community and a feeding program for food-insecure students
EQUIPPING believers to go deeper in the disciple life through retreats, Bible studies, and one-on-one disciplining
SUPPORTING missionaries through prayer and encouragement and connecting senior adults in long-term care facilities with missionaries in the field as prayer partners.