By Brad Andres
Praying with the dying can be an intimidating thing. The time nearing death can be a very stressful and scary time for families and friends of the ill.
Let’s go over some of the basics of praying for someone who is nearing death. We’ve also included some sample prayers for the dying below to help guide you through this process.
If you do not know the individual, then spend some time getting to know them as a person. Ask them about their family, about their life. Find out what they are proud of, ask if they have any regrets. Discover what they believe the afterlife is going to be like.
(Read Bible Verses about Death, and Bible Verses about Heaven)
Once a rapport is established, albeit however small, then you can move onto the praying part. People need to know you care about them before you pray for them, and taking the time to ask about their life is one way to do that.
Therefore, following establishing a relationship, here are a few things to remember which will help guide you when saying prayers for the ill.
1. Do they know Jesus?
This is the most important question which you need to answer before praying with someone as they are about to pass onto the next life. If they do not know Jesus, you need to introduce them to each other as soon as possible.
In all actuality, if they do not know Jesus, then there is not much point in progressing further. Yes, you will still pray with them, for God’s comfort, peace, and rest, but if they are not going to inherit the free gift of eternal life, then what is the point? The point of praying those things is that maybe something will click, possibly the Lord could grab ahold of their hearts before death, and they may encounter Jesus before their passing. And besides, it is just courteous to bless someone in their dark hours of life.
Prayer To Know Jesus Before Dying
Come into my life.
I believe you died and rose from the grave.
I believe you live eternally in heaven.
Cleanse me from all unrighteousness.
Forgive me of all my sins.
Move into my heart.
I make you my Lord and Savior.
Thank you for your sacrifice.
I accept your gift of eternal salvation.
2. Pray for God’s peace.
Death can be frightening for some, and for others, death can be completely natural. Some who know Christ will face death fearlessly, while some others will be terrified. The same goes for those who are not in a relationship with Christ; some will be unafraid and some will be frightened.
As stated earlier, it will be good practice to pray for God’s comfort and peace regardless of that person’s level of relationship with Jesus.
A Comforting Prayer for the Dying
Help discover your peace.
Let them receive your comfort.
Help them to be at rest knowing that you care for them,
and that you love them.
Calm their soul as they move into the afterlife.
May they spend eternity with you;
may they live forever in your presence.
3. Pray for the Family
Just as death may be hard or easy for an individual, so can it be the same for any remaining family or friends. Sometimes when you have the opportunity to pray with the dying, you will be alone. Othertimes, family and friends will be present. Regardless, even if you pray this as you leave, it is still thoughtful to pray for those who will be mourning the person’s passing.
A Prayer for the Family of the Dying
Bring this family peace.
Provide them with your comfort.
Let them know you tenderly care for each and every one of them.
Lead them to be reunited with their loved one some day.
Sit with them in their mourning.
Let your presence provide rest.
Thank you, for the gift of life that brought to the world.
May he rest peacefully with you for eternity.
A final note to remember is that this time is an emotional and stressful time for all associated with the dying person. Therefore, you may be given a chance to pray, and you may not be given a chance to pray. Remember to respect all people’s wishes, and know that as you walk with God into the room, you are inviting His presence into the situation. If you pray these prayers on your way back home alone, it still carries power to allow God into the situation.
And we will finish with my prayer for you.
A Prayer for Those Going to Pray with the Dying
Give this person strength.
Grant this person confidence.
Allow them the opportunity to discover if the passing person knows you.
Give them wisdom to know when to speak and what to say.
Let them bring your presence into the room.
Let them carry your love into the situation.
Encourage them with a special gift or your presence.
If you’d like to submit a prayer request for someone who is ill, please do so below.
Brand Andres is a licensed minister and his passion is to help people understand the Bible and maximize
their God given potential for life.
Find him at BradAndres.com, and follow him on Twitter and Google.
Prayers for the Dying – Overcoming the Fear
Are you intimidated to offer prayers for the dying? Death is close at hand and you are there to bring comfort. Can you do it? Do you know how? The very fear you have and the grief you feel is also in the heart and mind of the one who is facing death. Don’t fight that, but embrace it and share it. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” As you mourn with someone who is dying or with someone who’s experiencing the death of someone close to them — you give them comfort, you uplift, you are blessed because you are blessing someone else, and you too will experience comfort.
Prayers for the Dying – Clinging to Life
As you offer prayers for the dying, you may see a struggle in their spirit to live. The health of our spirit is interestingly tied to our struggle to cling to life. The sick and the weak, those with little left to hang onto in the physical realm; will still cling to their life when their spirit is strong. Fighting a fight that seems like a losing battle; the dying will take any kind of quality of life that is offered them.
What are they truly clinging to? What is life? Jesus said He is life (John 14:6); He gives life abundantly or to the full (John 10:10); He said that His words are spirit and they are life and that the flesh is of no avail (John 6:63); and He promises that all who believe in Him have eternal life (John 6:47). The life that we truly cling to and struggle to have is found in Jesus right now; and is fulfilled just beyond the horror of death.
Death comes when the struggle to cling to the flesh gives way. The dying will come to accept the journey that their spirit needs to take. And Jesus knows that journey. He went through it. He conquered it for you and for me (John 11:25). Jesus alone is the judge of who inherits eternal life. So leave it in His loving, righteous, gracious, and worthy hands.
Prayers for the Dying – Offering Hope
There is hope and good news that you can offer in your prayers for the dying. The good news is that death is now swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). We have hope because of Jesus! The return of Jesus to gather His people to Himself and the promise of eternal life is our hope. The Bible often reminds us of how we should long for its coming and cling to its promise to keep us going when life is difficult. For the believer, death is the gateway into the promise of eternal life as we shed our earthly bodies to enter into the presence of God (1 Corinthians 15:50-53).
”Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:3-9, ESV)
Offer this hope to the dying so they can find peace. Jesus will meet them right in their moment of death just as He did the thief on the cross in Luke 23:39-43. Our faith comes up against the fear of death and brings comfort and even joy.
”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13).
Prayers for the Dying – A Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, With heavy hearts we come to You. You are Almighty Creator God; holy and full of grace and love. Our hearts are heavy because of a life that is leaving us. Death engulfs us Lord. Fear is waiting to take us down. Thank You Father, that because of Jesus, You know our pain and sorrow intimately. Thank You that Jesus knows the way through this dark shadow. Take the hand of our dear sister/brother and make Yourself known. Guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Keep that which is Your own and take it into eternity to be with You. In Jesus, death is but a shadow. Jesus has swallowed up its sorrows and pain. Thank You Jesus for the cross. Thank You Jesus for the resurrection. Lord, we are before You, confessing that You are Lord of all; the gate keeper to eternal life. Your grace and love abound even as our sin seems ever increasing. Take our hands Lord and lead us through. We lay our fears at your feet. Your promise is that You — and You alone — will come to take us home. As it says in Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (ESV).
Thank you for the comfort we find in Your presence. Through the Holy Spirit we know Your presence is with us. Send us Your peace Lord; the peace that passes all understanding. Don’t let us waiver and doubt. Give us a faith that is everlasting. We release our lives into Your hands. As we wait and watch, we know Lord that none of us will escape this journey through death. Teach us how to embrace it with faith. Give us strength to hold up those who are stepping closer to seeing You face to face. Take away the fear in the heart of our loved one who will soon see You; let them find peace in Your grace, comfort in Your love, and strength in Your mighty power over death. Comfort us as our grief seems to over power us.
You are a good, just, righteous, and loving Father. Don’t let us grow bitter in this shadow of death. But pierce our hearts with a joy that we can not fathom or understand. A joy that is above all that is corrupted here on earth. Jesus you wept over death and so too, we weep. But it is a grief and a mourning that holds joy on the other side. You are conqueror of all; and so we trust You. We trust that You will do what is right, what is loving. Whether in death or in life Your will is accomplished and You are sovereign. May we know Your presence, Lord. Keep us ever aware of Your loving hand guiding us through all things. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.
Learn More About Dealing With Death
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
– We have all
and deserve God’s judgment.
, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.
, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He
for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was
rose from the dead
according to the
. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your
, declaring, “
Jesus is Lord
,” you will be saved from
and spend eternity with God in heaven.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow JesusYes, I am already a follower of JesusI still have questions
My dear sweet heavenly father I come to you today,
with faith and hope I ask, send an angel Mama’s way.
I know her time is near and soon you’ll take her home,
to stroll across the streets of gold where other angels roam.
It’s hard to watch her suffer and slowly fade away,
help me God to understand, give me strength I pray.
She means so much to all of us, forgive me for my fears,
life will never be the same without her presence here.
My mother is my angel, she taught me how to love,
and told me about you lord and heaven up above.
When she crosses over and steps into the light,
tell her that I love her and when the time is right.
Meet me at the pearly gates where every thing’s brand new,
we’ll walk across God’s meadow lands where skies are always blue.
Somewhere beyond the sunset every now and then,
I pray she watches over me until we meet again.
Between Two Worlds
The time between life and death is considered extremely sacred in Jewish tradition. On one hand, the passage marks the conclusion of the soul’s journey on earth. On the other hand, death heralds the beginning of the soul’s eternal life in Heaven.
Kabbalah teaches that at the moment of passing, every positive thought, word, or deed that occurred during the person’s life is concentrated into a pristine spiritual light. This light is revealed to the world and in the Heavenly spheres, where it continues to shine and have an effect on those above and below.
Prayers for the Final Moments
1) Psalm 121
Hebrew and Transliteration:
A Song of Ascents.
I lift my eyes to the mountains — from where will my help come?
My help will come from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot falter; your guardian does not slumber.
Indeed, the Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.
The Lord is your guardian; the Lord is your protective shade at your right hand.
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will guard you from all evil; He will guard your soul.
The Lord will guard your going and your coming from now and for all time.
2) Psalm 130
Hebrew and Transliteration:
A Song of Ascents.
Out of the depths I call to You, O Lord.
My Lord, hearken to my voice; let Your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas.
G‑d, if You were to preserve iniquities, my Lord, Who could survive?
But forgiveness is with You, that You may be feared.
I hope in the Lord; my soul hopes, and I long for His word.
My soul yearns for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, wait for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is kindness; with Him there is abounding deliverance.
And He will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
3) Psalm 91
Hebrew and Transliteration:
You Who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, Who abides in the shadow of the Omnipotent,
I say of the Lord Who is my refuge and my stronghold, my G‑d in Whom I trust,
that He will save you from the ensnaring trap, from the destructive pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions and you will find refuge under His wings; His truth is a shield and an armor.
You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
the pestilence that prowls in the darkness, nor the destruction that ravages at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right, but it shall not reach you.
You need only look with your eyes, and you will see the retribution of the wicked.
Because you “The Lord is my shelter,” and you have made the Most High your haven,
no evil will befall you, no plague will come near your tent.
For He will instruct His angels in your behalf, to guard you in all your ways.
They will carry you in their hands, lest you hurt your foot on a rock.
You will tread upon the lion and the viper; you will trample upon the young lion and the serpent.
Because he desires Me, I will deliver him; I will fortify him for he knows My Name.
When he calls on Me, I will answer him; I am with him in distress, I will deliver him and honor him.
I will satisfy him with long life, and show him My deliverance.
4) Adon Olam
Hebrew and Transliteration:
Lord of the universe, Who reigned
before anything was created —
at the time when by His will all things were made,
then was His name proclaimed King.
And after all things shall cease to be,
the Awesome One will reign alone.
He was, He is,
and He shall be in glory.
He is one, and there is no other
to compare to Him, to consort with Him.
Without beginning, without end,
power and dominion belong to Him.
He is my G‑d and my ever-living Redeemer,
the strength of my lot in time of distress.
He is my banner and my refuge,
my portion on the day I call.
Into His hand I entrust my spirit,
when I sleep and when I wake.
And with my soul, my body too,
the Lord is with me, I shall not fear.
5) Ana B’choach
Hebrew and Transliteration:
We implore you, by the great power of Your right hand, release the captive.
Accept the prayer of Your people; strengthen us, purify us, Awesome One.
Mighty One, we beseech You, guard as the apple of the eye those who seek Your Oneness.
Bless them, cleanse them; bestow upon them forever Your merciful righteousness.
Powerful, Holy One, in Your abounding goodness, guide Your congregation.
Only and Exalted One, turn to Your people who are mindful of Your holiness.
Accept our supplication and hear our cry, You Who knows secret thoughts.
Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever.
6) V’al Ken Ne’kaveh
Hebrew and Transliteration:
And therefore we hope to You, Lord our G‑d, that we may speedily behold the splendor of Your might, to banish idolatry from the earth and false G‑ds will be utterly destroyed; to perfect the world under the sovereignty of the Almighty. All mankind shall invoke Your Name, to turn to You all the wicked of the earth. Then all the inhabitants of the world will recognize and know that every knee should bend to You, every tongue should swear . Before You, Lord our G‑d, they will bow and prostrate themselves, and give honor to the glory of Your Name; and they will all take upon themselves the yoke of Your kingdom. May You soon reign over them forever and ever, for kingship is Yours, and to all eternity You will reign in glory, as it is written in Your Torah: The Lord will reign forever and ever. And it is said: The Lord shall be King over the entire earth; on that day the Lord shall be One and His Name One.
7) The Shema and verses of unity
At the very last moments, all present, including the person himself (if possible), recite the following passages aloud, and with intense concentration:
translation: Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our G‑d, the Lord is One.
Recite the following verse in an undertone:
translation: Blessed be the name of the glory of His kingdom forever and ever. (Say three times.)
Recite the following verse out loud:
translation: G‑d is the Lord. (Say seven times.)
translation: The Lord is King, the Lord was King, the Lord will be King forever and ever.