Friends are important pillars in our life, and when their strength is waning or they’re not receiving all there is out of life, it can hurt us too. And in the direst situations, it may feel like there’s nothing that we can do to help, but some are comforted by sharing a quote about faith with their loved ones, and others find solace in offering prayers for their friends who are sick or suffering. If you're looking for ways to ask for healing or to send messages of hope, the following prayers come from an array of religious texts, spiritual leaders, and authors—and they're ones that I have found to be the most poignant. Hopefully they'll bring your nearest and dearest some positivity, too.
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Civil Rights activist and literary titan Maya Angelou wrote in Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer, “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good."
2 of 20
Sarah Jakes Roberts
Sarah Jakes Roberts, author, co-pastor, and media personality, who so happens to be the daughter of author and filmmaker Pastor T.D. Jakes, said in a video posted on Facebook,
“Dear Strong Friend,
I don’t need you to be strong with me. You can let me have all that pain and all those fears. I didn’t create you to be a machine. I created you to feel. I know how hard it is holding all of that within. I created you to be human. I created you to be real. - God”
3 of 20
“We thank You, Father God, that You are searching our hearts and illuminating our relationships. If anyone in our lives is slowing us down and keeping us from our promise or just picking on our promise, reveal it to us…we ask You to help us move in healthy relationships and right community, with people who are for us and not against us, just as they are for You and not against You. In Jesus’s name, amen," Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, wrote in his bible study book, Relationship Goals Study Guide.
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Lifestyle blogger and author Sopha Rush said in an Instagram post, “God, I pray for healing & comfort for anyone dealing with heartache. I pray that they find refuge in You in the midst of their pain. May You continue to give them the strength to keep going. To push through these dark moments & know You are with them every step of the way.”
5 of 20
The founder of the motherhood tribe Live Deeply Rooted went on to say in another post, "God, I want to pray for anyone who is being held hostage by their thoughts that they aren’t adequate enough to do what you have called them to do. I pray you break every chain that wants to hold them back & cause fear to take root. I ask you remove anything that’s not from You.
6 of 20
The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music
“Almighty God, giver of life and health: Send your blessing on all who are sick, and upon those who minister to them, that all weakness may be vanquished by the triumph of the risen Christ; who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen," it says in Enriching Our Worship 2 created by The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music.
7 of 20
Dayspring.com by Gini
"Lord, we come to you today to pray for our closest friends and companions on this earth. We pray that you give them the strength to overcome their battles as well as the insight to help us overcome ours. You know, Jesus, that this world can be tough, and we just ask your guiding hand to work in and through us to say, do and be exactly who you need us to be to guide each other back to your light," it says in a post on Dayspring.com by Gini.
8 of 20
Social media breakout star Tabitha Brown shared a message of positivity to her followers, “I know the weight of the world feels heavy, but you can’t get stuck in this place, okay? It’s time to focus on the light. You’ve been in the darkness for long enough. This is not the end. Life is not over. You’re still living that means you still got living to do. Purpose."
9 of 20
"We ask for your guidance so that we might walk fully in your blessing and goodness today. We ask that your face would shine on us. That you would open the right doors for our lives and for our loved ones, that you would close the wrong doors and protect us from those we need to walk away from. Establish the work of our hands and bring to fulfillment all that you have given us to do in these days. We pray that you would make our way purposeful and our footsteps firm out of your goodness and love," contributing writer Debbie McDaniel said in this women faith blog.
10 of 20
"Dear Lord, I pray for my friend right now. I pray that you will help them with the struggles they are going through in this season. For you know exactly what they need in this moment. Draw near to them and let them feel your presence. Open their eyes, ears, and hearts to you," Carrie Lowrance wrote on Crosswalk.com, an online Christian magazine.
11 of 20
"Father God, thank You that You are our compassionate Father who cares for us. You are our source of wisdom. You say in Your Word that You will give wisdom to anyone who asks. So now I ask for wisdom for my friend as they face this difficult decision in their lives – may they cast their cares on You. Through Your Spirit, guide them in every choice they make. Show me ways I can offer counsel and support to my friend at this time. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen," editor in chief of Connectusfund.com Natalie Regoli wrote.
12 of 20
Regoli went on to say in another prayer, "Lord God, I praise You, for You have poured out Your blessings on my friend. You are good and worthy to be praised. I will pour out thanksgiving and praise to You. Every good and perfect thing comes from You – indeed, You have delighted in giving good gifts to Your children. Make us humble as we realize that we have found favor with You. I ask that we continue to look to You for our daily needs. Thank You for who You are. Amen."
13 of 20
"Dear Heavenly Father, You are our Friend who sticks closer than a brother. You are our example of true friendship – One who laid down His life for His friends. Thank you for the gift of human friendship, which is a tangible representation of Your love and care for us. I pray that You would make me one who encourages my friends to press on in this race called life, and to press in towards You. It’s in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, that I pray. Amen," blog writer Jennifer Clarke said.
14 of 20
The Navigators ministry wrote in a Bible plan, “Lord, when someone asked Jesus which was the “greatest” of all the commandments, He didn’t hesitate—in a nutshell, He responded that we’re to love You and love those around us. In a word, “love!" Grow my love for my neighborhood.
15 of 20
"Reveal yourself dear Lord, this day in the special places where we can be alone. Reveal yourself in the busy places where noise is all around. Reveal yourself in the smiling faces of friends and family Reveal yourself in the sullen faces of people passing by. Reveal yourself dear Lord, this day and by your grace bless this beautiful but fragile world with joy," author and poet John Birch wrote in his book, Ripples of Prayer.
16 of 20
During a 2012 SuperSoul Sunday, spiritual teacher Iyanla Vanzant told Oprah the three prayers she turns to: Help. Help me now. Thank you."
17 of 20
In the New International Version translation of the Bible, it says in the book of Proverbs, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”
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The late Dutch Catholic priest and author Henri Nouwen wrote in his book Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life, “When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand.”
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Lead Pastor and founder of Change Church Dr. Dharius Daniels wrote in his book Relational Intelligence “The soundness of our relationships, whether or not they’re flourishing, sometimes can be determined by whether we are sad when a person leaves but excited when they come back. There’s vitality. There’s veracity. There’s the unexplainable, incommunicable, ‘it’ factor. It’s the ability to say, “I know you more, and I don’t love you less."
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“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up," it reads in the new living translation of the Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter four.