5 Things to Pray for a Suffering Friend

Prayers That Change Things for Friends or Family Who Are Walking through Trials

from 4 reviews

Help to pray for people dealing with grief, illness, emotional distress, mental-health issues, or difficult circumstances.

Part of the 5 Things series.

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It can sometimes be hard to know how best to help friends, family, or fellow church members who are struggling through pain and suffering. But one guaranteed way to love them well is to commit to pray for them regularly. Whether someone you know is dealing with grief, illness, emotional distress, mental-health issues, or difficult circumstances, this guide will help you to pray for them with compassion and purpose.

Each of the 21 prayer themes in this book takes a passage of Scripture and suggests five things to pray for your struggling friend—relevant for whatever their troubles may be. You can use this book in any number of ways: work through it as part of your daily quiet time or pick it up whenever you want to pray for your friend.

Helen Thorne is Director of Training and Resources at Biblical Counseling UK. She formerly worked with the London City Mission and has written Hope in an Anxious World, Purity Is Possible, Walking with Domestic Abuse Sufferers and 5 Things to Pray for Your City.

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Contributors Helen Thorne
ISBN 9781784989873
Format Paperback
First published April 2024
Dimensions 4.3" x 7" x 0.4"
Weight 3.00 oz
Language English
Pages 96
Publisher The Good Book Company

Steve Midgley

Executive Director, Biblical Counselling UK; senior minister, Christ Church, Cambridge

Some struggles last a long time, and some suffering may continue for the whole of a person’s earthly life. Sat next to our Bible, this book will guarantee that when we turn to pray for those in suffering, we are sure to find fresh and important things to pray for.

Sarah Walton

Author, Hope When It Hurts

This practical guide is such a needed tool in your prayer belt as you look to comfort, encourage and walk alongside a hurting brother or sister in Christ. Although you may not have answers to give them, these prayers will equip you with the words and wisdom to lay down the sorrow of a fellow sufferer at the throne of God’s grace. You’ll likely find your own heart encouraged along the way.

Adrian Reynolds

Head of National Ministries, FIEC UK

I love this series, and I love this volume. Helen has done us a great favour by showing how we can pray with biblical depth, hopefulness and clarity for suffering saints. So many of my prayers for friends are simplistic and lack the thoughtfulness that Helen provides. Helen has shown me afresh how Christ-like confidence enables me to pray more meaningfully and with greater expectation. This book is a precious help.

Customer reviews

March 27, 2024

“A Helpful Guide”

In this brief book, Helen Thorne shares themed lists of prayer prompts that people can use to pray for suffering loved ones. Each list focuses on a different theme, such as praying for your friend to be able to express their pain to others, or praying for them to trust in God's faithfulness. The topics include a good blend of spiritual themes and practical issues, and the author connects each topic with a specific Scripture passage, relating all five prayer prompts to a Bible verse and briefly describing a spiritual truth. Each section also includes a few blank lines where readers can write down prayer points for that theme.

The prompts are broad and general enough that they will apply to people in a variety of different life stages, and will apply to different forms of suffering. The majority of the prompts assume that you are praying for loved ones who share your faith, but some of them are also geared towards loved ones with different beliefs, and people can adapt any of the prompts to fit with their needs. I appreciate how generally applicable this book is, and it can be a helpful prayer guide for individuals and groups.

This book is simple but powerful, providing clear direction for how people can care for their friends' needs, take their friends' concerns before God, and pray about their friends' holistic spiritual and emotional health, instead of just focusing on a desired outcome for a particular struggle. The author never makes false promises or guarantees particular results from praying in a particular way, but encourages readers to take hope in the truth that God hears our prayers and cares for us and our loved ones.

Note: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

March 25, 2024

“Helpful Guide”

Sometimes, I can feel at a loss for how to pray for a friend or loved one who is walking through deep waters. This little book practically walks you through a collection of topics that could apply to a variety of situations. Each section was rooted in Biblical truth.

March 20, 2024

“great resource”

Although the title of this book presents itself as basic and simple, there is actually so much more to its content than five things to pray.

The book is structured with an Introduction, a How to Use This Guide, and four sections:

- Speaking Out

- Lookin Up

- Soaking In

- Pressing On

I appreciate Thorne's Introduction and Guide as she lays out some basic reminders and pointers. She makes it clear that every person is unique and thus not every prayer will be appropriate for that specific person. She makes it clear that the book is not comprehensive but only a fraction of what God has given us for prayers. She also emphasizes that prayers are not specific to certain struggles and can be applied to many different situations - that's the power of the Word. She also indicates that even though the book is written specifically for believers whose struggles are "common", it can easily be applied outside of that realm.

The title of this book is quite misleading. As noted previously, there is so much more to this book than simply five ways to pray for someone in a suffering circumstance. Each section includes multiple divisions that begin with a scripture reference followed by short prayers inspired by specific verses from that reference. It also includes a brief journal area for prayer points.

Some of the divisional themes include: Praying that your friend will...

- express their pain to God

- receive comfort from God

- experience healing

This is a wonderful pocket book that can be carried around to utilized in the moment or very intentionally throughout your study times.

I received a copy of this book from The Good Book Company in exchange for an honest review.

March 8, 2024

“Lovely Addition to the Series”

Helen Thorne writes some very encouraging books, and this is no exception. She helps us to walk through how we might pray for a friend who is suffering (with all the varieties of suffering that might include). There are some obvious suggestions and some I wouldn't have even considered to refresh my prayer life! It's also superb value for something that I can use for the next few months, and also grab off the shelf when I have someone specific who I want to pray for.

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5 Things to Pray for a Suffering Friend | Helen Thorne |
$7.99 $6.79