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5 Things to Pray for a Suffering Friend

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

from 10 reviews

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

Part of the 5 Things to Pray 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–Allenson
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

April 11, 2024

“Great Too”

A little book but packed with powerful truths. Just came out this month. We always have circumstances and hard times when we don’t know what to pray for or say to a friend. ⁣

This book rooted in verses gives words of comfort for any circumstance and struggle. ⁣

It’s divided into the categories:⁣
𝘚𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘖𝘶𝘵⁣
𝘓𝘰𝘰𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘜𝘱⁣
𝘚𝘰𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘐𝘯⁣
𝘗𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘖𝘯⁣

💬 𝘔𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘵:𝘩𝘵𝘵𝘱𝘴://𝘸𝘸𝘸.𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮.𝘤𝘰𝘮/𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘭𝘢𝘮𝘣𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘴/

April 10, 2024

“An excellent resource”

“The best kind of a friend is a praying friend.”

Small book- huge impact! This book is divided into 21 themes of prayer, which provide countless opportunities (actually much more than just 5) and ways to pray for a friend.

Use this book as a guide and resource to cover your friend & friendship in prayer. This brief yet mighty book leaves no stone unturned and is helpful when we feel at a loss of what to pray for when a friend is experiencing a difficult trial. This could include anything from mental distress to grief to illness to financial difficulties. Of course, there are battles that may not even be known… cover this too!

This book was easy to read, practical, and a huge blessing to me. I prayed many of the prompts and topics for a specific friend in mind. What better way to honor and love my friend than to cover her entirely in prayer in so many areas I may not have thought of on my own.

There are many other books in this authors series including 5 things to pray for your church, world, city, kids, spouse and more!

Thank you so much to @thegoodbookcompanyusa for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

April 6, 2024

“Helpful guide”

5 things to pray for a suffering friend by Helen Thorne. The book might look small but it is packed full of prompts. It is split into four sections that each with topics/prompts to pray for. Within each of the 21 topics there are five prayer points and a Bible verse to give the reader more clarity on the section. Overall it seemed to me that the prompts are broad enough to be applicable to many people, but there is a section where you can also add in your own prayer points so this could help customize it for your friend’s specific situation.
I love the idea of this book as it is so important to be praying for our friends and to coming along one another so this is a great resource for those who don’t know where to start.

April 4, 2024

“Short but Impactful”

As someone who often struggles to know what to say, and even at times pray, for a friend who is in a prolonged season of suffering, I am grateful for this book.

Thorne shares that the book it isn't mean to be exhaustive, but I felt it covered quite a lot of circumstances and situations we face. There are five "categories," of suffering, broken down into more specific ways in which we see suffering.

I love how each section starts with Scripture, then a prayer, then a place for notes. This book can easily be carried around in your purse, where I plan to keep it to help me pray for those who are suffering.

April 2, 2024

“Lots of helpful ideas for intentional prayers!”

This is a helpful book for ideas to pray biblically and widely for others and themselves, particularly in (but not limited to) moments of suffering and hardships. I appreciate Helen's reminders from the Bible throughout the book, and have used them in my prayers for daily living as well as those around me who are facing different challenges. This would make a wonderful resource for intentional prayer time for individuals or small groups.

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

April 1, 2024

“Great Resource!”

Helen Thorne's book provides practical help in praying for friends during tough times. With clear guidance and biblical insight, it covers various topics like grief, illness, emotional distress, mental health, and difficult circumstances. It's a valuable resource for anyone seeking to support their loved ones through prayer.

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–Allenson |
$7.99 $4.79