Prayer for friend in hospital

I answered my phone at work one morning last October. A call I’d been dreading. “Susan, you need to drive down to the city right away,” Mom said. “The doctors don’t think your father will make it through the night.” My 83-year-old father had slipped on wet leaves near his home in Brooklyn and had hit his head on the sidewalk. He was rushed to the hospital with a fractured skull and brain trauma. The doctors did surgery, but Pop went into seizures and had two severe heart attacks.

I’m a prayer associate for Guideposts Peale Center in Pawling, New York, about 75 miles north of New York City. I train volunteers who serve on the phone line and who write prayer responses on our website, OurPrayer.org. I love my job, seeing daily the power of prayer in others lives. Now I needed to see that power in my life. I sent out an urgent prayer request on the website through my church. Then I drove to the hospital. I found Pop in a coma, his face bruised and swollen, but I hoped somehow he could hear. I whispered in his ear, “Everyone I know is praying for you.”

For five days I sat by Pop’s side, but there was no change. Any hope he’d come out of the coma grew dim. I knew he was in God’s care, but I longed to hear his voice. At the end of the week I had to head home. I bent down and whispered, “Pop, let’s pray together.” I began the Lord’s Prayer. Suddenly Pop’s nurse touched my back. I looked up, and she pointed to my father. He was mouthing the words, his lips moving with mine!

Three weeks later I got another call, a happy one. Pop was awake, but confused about what had happened. I filled him in, telling him about everyone praying for him. “I know, Susan,” he said. “I could hear them.” Pop made a full recovery. Not long ago he took Mom on a trip to Hawaii, leaving me with one more example of the power of prayer.

www.guideposts.org
prayer for friend in hospital

You’ve just found out a family member or friend is in the hospital. You want to show you’re thinking about them. What would help the most? Flowers, a visit? Or maybe something to help them pass the time?

We asked CaringBridge families – the true experts – how to support a friend in the hospital. Here’s what they said:

6 Best Ways to Make a Friend’s Hospital Stay Better

1. Ask Before Visiting

While many people appreciate visits, it’s not always possible due to hospital rules or how the patient is feeling. Call ahead to find out if your friend can have visitors and feels well enough to see you.

  • “I usually make it a practice to not visit someone in hospital, as I do not want visitors (other than immediate family) when I am there.” – Jan
  • “In the local hospital had lots of visits, but after she was moved (about an hour away) she didn’t get as many visits – the visits were great for her (wish she had more), but even better for us because we got to take a little break. We did end up doing some face-time and Skype with a few people for her and that was great as well.” – Joann

2. Help Out Without Being Asked

When it comes to taking care of things back at the house, don’t wait for your friend to ask for help – they have so much on their mind. Just take care of the yard work and whatever needs doing.

  • “Please don’t say this, ‘If you need something please let me know!’ Instead, bring food to the house, mow their yard, purchase a gas card, send cards, and visit when you can. DO something helpful.” – Pat
  • “They did things for our family without asking. They made sure our pets and yard were cared for, they made us meals, and they were there.” – Kayla

3. Give a Goodie Bag & Small Gifts

The most common advice: Give small gifts or a goodie bag to keep someone with a lot of time on her hands entertained.

  • “Give them a goodie bag with things to occupy them…magazines, puzzles, decks of cards, writing and drawing pads, stamps, an iPad, books, lots of books” – Elaine
  • “An occasional flower (no need for a bouquet), a magazine, a cute picture. Small gestures of love.” – Darcy
  • “Lots of movies and books to pass the time. Ask friends to bring healthy snacks and meals and coffee cards!” – Marlana

4. Bring Reminders of Home

Little pieces of home are a way to personalize a hospital room. Their regular pillow, favorite coffee mug, photos, or the local paper can help the new environment and schedule feel normal.

  • “Bring your own pillow and pillow case and a comfy blanket.“ – Marlana
  • “The thing that helped me the most wasn’t a person. It was a red decorative pillow. It smelled of home and helped keep the homesickness at bay.” – Jodye

5. Feed Them

A home-cooked meal in the hospital can be rare, so it’s extra-appreciated. For family of the patient, gift cards to local restaurants give them a change from the hospital cafeteria.

  • “To show support: I think bringing the parents of children in the hospital a nice home cooked meal. There’s only so much fast food one wants to eat plus it gets expensive.” – Nikki
  • “Bring food to the house, that is the greatest gift.” – Janice
  • “All our hospital stays included a plastic box that could fit under the bed filled with favourite snacks and drinks, bottled water, your own mug for the tea.” – Lena

6. Offer Notes and Well Wishes

Whether it’s a card in the mail or a message on a CaringBridge website, encouraging words can go a long way to boosting someone’s spirits.

  • “Just staying in touch was so needed……knowing we weren’t forgotten. Never underestimate how important a note or a text message is. They are vital.” – Toni
  • “As an adult cards were the most appreciated.” – Darcy
  • “First thing would be to sign up for CaringBridge and let everyone know how to get to your page. I was hospitalized in a city far away from my friends and family so in person visits were rare. The joy of the comforting and encouraging words were a tremendous help. It creates a community of people who are caring about you and that is an awesome feeling.” – Jeff

Read all the responses on our Facebook page.

What Would You Add?

How do you show your support when someone you care about is in the hospital? If you’ve had a long hospital stay, what did your friends do that meant the most? Share your tips for how to support a friend in the hospital below.

Are you caring for someone during a hospital stay? If so, consider starting a CaringBridge website for them, where you can share health updates and receive encouragement and support from your community.

Start A Site

www.caringbridge.org

I grew up in Mexico with my siblings, my mother, and my grandmother. Every day after doing homework and chores, I played soccer. I loved soccer! I would pretend that my right leg was one team and my left leg was the other team.

One day when I was playing soccer, I suddenly couldn’t breathe very well. I rested for a few minutes, but I still had trouble breathing. I became so sick that I had to go to the hospital.

The hospital room had many other children in it, but I missed my family and felt very alone. Although I was not a member of the Church yet, I believed in God. Every day I prayed to be healed, but instead I got worse and worse. The doctors thought I might not live.

The doctors finally sent me home from the hospital, but I had to spend the next year in bed. I took many pills and had two shots every day. And I still had a prayer in my mind and heart. I told Heavenly Father that if I got well, I would serve Him all the rest of my life.

Then one day when I was reading in bed, I accidentally dropped my book on the floor. When I leaned down to pick it up, I realized that I was breathing normally. I dropped the book again. Again I could pick it up without any problem!

I got out of bed. At first I was dizzy because I had not walked by myself in such a long time. I looked in the mirror and saw that I was smiling. I knew that I had received an answer from Heavenly Father.

Every day since then, I have tried to do something to express my gratitude to Heavenly Father. When I grew up, I became a doctor to help answer the prayers of other children. And now I am trying to serve Heavenly Father with my calling in the Church.

The answers to prayers do not always come easily, and they do not always come right away. But I know Heavenly Father answers our prayers. He knows our needs, and He knows what is best.

www.lds.org

I grew up in Mexico with my siblings, my mother, and my grandmother. Every day after doing homework and chores, I played soccer. I loved soccer! I would pretend that my right leg was one team and my left leg was the other team.

One day when I was playing soccer, I suddenly couldn’t breathe very well. I rested for a few minutes, but I still had trouble breathing. I became so sick that I had to go to the hospital.

The hospital room had many other children in it, but I missed my family and felt very alone. Although I was not a member of the Church yet, I believed in God. Every day I prayed to be healed, but instead I got worse and worse. The doctors thought I might not live.

The doctors finally sent me home from the hospital, but I had to spend the next year in bed. I took many pills and had two shots every day. And I still had a prayer in my mind and heart. I told Heavenly Father that if I got well, I would serve Him all the rest of my life.

Then one day when I was reading in bed, I accidentally dropped my book on the floor. When I leaned down to pick it up, I realized that I was breathing normally. I dropped the book again. Again I could pick it up without any problem!

I got out of bed. At first I was dizzy because I had not walked by myself in such a long time. I looked in the mirror and saw that I was smiling. I knew that I had received an answer from Heavenly Father.

Every day since then, I have tried to do something to express my gratitude to Heavenly Father. When I grew up, I became a doctor to help answer the prayers of other children. And now I am trying to serve Heavenly Father with my calling in the Church.

The answers to prayers do not always come easily, and they do not always come right away. But I know Heavenly Father answers our prayers. He knows our needs, and He knows what is best.

www.lds.org

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