What to pray when someone is dying

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.

what to pray when someone is dying

(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?

what to pray when someone is dying

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

Lord Jesus,

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.


It is always a sad feeling whenever someone close dies, one of the most difficult things for most people to do is to find the right things to say when someone dies. It’s also very difficult to find something to say to the people affected when someone close to them dies, those undesirable moments has a way of putting us at a loss for words, it can be very difficult to express how we feel during those times. You can say, “You have my deepest, sincerest sympathy.” “You’re in my thoughts and prayers,” and maybe that’s true. Maybe you actually know what to think or pray on that person’s behalf. What about words like “I understand…”  “I know how you feel…”
Do you really understand? The fact still remains that words can actually go a long way in amending the broken heart. Here are some words to say when someone dies

Good things to say when someone dies

1. “These things are never easy to write, and with a heavy heart I extend my deepest condolences to you during this dark time. I’m here if you need anything.”

2. “I hope that the love and support from your family and friends, including me, gets you through this time. You’re in my prayers.”

.3. “I wish you nothing but comfort and strength. Rest in peace, _________.”

4. “I’ve never really written a sympathy card before so forgive me if this doesn’t come out sounding right. I am so sorry to hear about this loss and am deeply saddened. If you need anything, know that you’re not alone. I’m here for you.”

5. “While there’s nothing I can do to change what happened, I can continue to offer you my love and support.

6. Extending my most heartfelt condolences to you and your family.”

7. “You have my deepest, sincerest sympathy.”

8. “I am praying for you during your time of loss. Know that we are all thinking of you.”

9. “We want to let you know that we are here for you if you need anything. Expect us to call you soon—you are welcome to come over whenever you want.”

10. 1″I know that _________ was well loved and respected. He had great character and a big heart.”

11. 1″Our sympathy is with you in your time of grieving.”

12. “Cheer up. Your (loved one who died) wouldn’t want you to be sad.”

13. “When you love deeply, you grieve deeply,” Heitger-Ewing writes. “Grievers need to be sad in order to get to the other side of grief.”

14. “Focus on all the blessings in your life.” (They are usually incapable of doing this.)

See Also: Famous And Popular Sayings

15. “She’s/he’s in a better place.” (The pain is still very real.)

16. “My deepest condolences to you and your family during this dark time. Please know that our family is keeping you and yours in our prayers and thoughts.”

17. “May all the sweet memories of ___________ bring you solace during this time. I hope that all the great moments that you were able to have with him/her before she/he passed away brings you comfort.”

18. “My heartfelt condolences to you during this time of sorrow. You’re in my thoughts and prayers and I’m here for whatever you need.”

19. “I hope the love and support from your loved ones bring you peace during this difficult time. My heartfelt sympathies to you.”

20. “There is no hurting, no suffering, and no pain in Heaven. While we grieve his/her physical loss, please be comforted by the fact that he/she is in a far better place now.”

21. “Extending my most heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.”

22. “I am at a loss for words. I know there is nothing for me to say that will make your loss easier but know that I am sending you my love and support. I hope you can understand what I can’t put into words.”

23. “Love knows no boundaries. While ________ is no longer physically with us, his/her spirit is always around us. My deepest condolences.”

24. “I have never been good at writing in cards, but I don’t want that to keep me from letting you know the deep sympathy I feel for you at this time.”

More Consoling Things to Say When Someone Dies

25. “Those who love us never go away. I hope you know that even during this dark time, __________ will always be with you in spirit.”

what to pray when someone is dying

26. “The loss of someone dear to us is never easy. I hope all the cherished memories that you have of ________ brings you some light during this dark time. My deepest condolences.”

27. “Please know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. My sincerest condolences for an incredibly great loss. I’ll never forget _________.”

28. “I was so saddened to hear about _________ passing. I hope and pray that you will have strength during this time of loss.”

29. “My deepest condolences to you during this time. Know that you are not alone and that if you ever need to talk, please don’t hesitate to reach out.”

30. “I can’t imagine how you’re feeling right now and I won’t pretend to know the loss that you’re experiencing. Please know that you’re not alone and I’m just a phone call away. If you ever need any support or someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out.”

See Also: Great Things To Say About Family

31. “I’ll bring you some lasagna next Tuesday.” (Or offer another specific way of helping.)

32. “Would you like to talk about your loved one?”(People often want to talk about their loved one, but just need to be prompted.)

33. “How are you doing?” (Make sure you take time to listen to the response.)

34. “It’s been awhile since he/she died. It’s time you get over it.” (Never, ever say this.)

35. “Cherish all of the wonderful memories. They will bring you peace.” (Not particularly helpful.)

36. “Pull yourself together because you need to be there for your kids.” (Instead, you should offer to help with the kids.)

37. I feel your pain.” (Do not say, “I know exactly how you feel.”)

38. “How about a hug?” (Or just give them a hug.)

39. “I’m here for you.” (And then be there.)

40. “We all have to deal with loss”

41. “You shouldn’t feel this way”

42. I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in anyway I can.

43. You and your loved one will be in my thoughts and prayers.

44. Give a hug instead of saying something.

45. We all need help at times like this, I am here for you.

46. I am usually up early or late, if you need anything.

47. Saying nothing, just be with the person.

48. “I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now.”

49. “At least his/her suffering is over”

50. “Things will be normal again soon”

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What to say in English when someone dies

what to pray when someone is dying

Knowing what to say when someone dies is difficult, for native English speakers as well as for learners. You may have strong emotions when someone has died, but you also have to think about how other people feel about it. So there are lots of things to take into consideration.

What to say when you find out that someone has died

First, what would you say if you heard that someone famous has died? You might not believe that it’s true, so you might say:

What? Are you serious?

I can’t believe it.

Now imagine that someone has died who you knew, but who you weren’t very close to. You hear about it from someone else who also wasn’t very close to this person:

A: Hey, did you hear about Sonny Green?

B: What about him?

A: Well, he passed away.

B: Oh, that’s horrible!

Other things that you might say in this situation:

That’s too bad.

Oh, that’s terrible news.

But if the person that you hear the news from is a close friend or family member of the deceased (the person who died), you should show more emotion like this:

Oh my God, I’m so sorry.

Oh, no. No. She’s gone? I can’t believe it.

Talking about the death politely

You have to be careful to be polite when talking about death. For example, people sometimes try to avoid using the words “die” or “dead”:

Nancy is no longer with us.

I’m sorry, Mrs. Fujimura, but your husband has passed away.

It’s not necessary to avoid these words when talking about the death of someone who’s not close to the people you’re talking to. For example, you can talk about the death of someone famous like this:

How did he die?

There are other polite expressions that you can use:

She’s moved on.

He’s left us.

When did she pass?

There are also lots of other creative ways to talk about someone dying that are not as polite. You can use those to talk about your own future death, or the death of a character on TV, but avoid them when someone has just died in real life:

He finally kicked the bucket.

She bit the dust.

Showing your support to friends and family members

When you talk to the family of the deceased, or their close friends, you should show that you care about them and support them:

How are you holding up?

This means both “How are you doing?” and “Are you OK?”

I’m here for you.

If there’s anything I can do, please ask.

Both of these phrases mean that you’ll help them and listen to them.

I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now.

This means that you think that this person feels very sad right now.

Writing to someone whose friend or family member has died

When you write to someone whose friend or family member has died, you usually write a little more formally.

I’m so sorry for your loss.

She will be truly missed.

Please accept our deepest condolences for your loss.

Things that religious people say about someone’s death

People who are religious sometimes say things like this when someone dies:

She’s gone on to a better place.

This means that the person who’s died is now in heaven. Other things that religious people might say include:

He’s with God now.

You and your family are in my prayers. 

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what to pray when someone is dying

Everybody experiences loss — be it of an acquaintance, a colleague, a friend’s friend or someone really close to your heart. In one way or the other, there would have been times when you wanted to somehow console a person who is in pain but you just ran out of words. A death leaves a void that cannot be filled with words; however, the pain can be lessened by the soothing words of people who care for the bereaved. One mustn’t avoid such a situation for this is the time people need maximum support. An expected death can at least make you prepared to face it but it is an unexpected one that makes you wonder for words. At such times, it is not necessary for you to use heavy words or famous quotes and phrases. Your simple words, prayers, care and support means a lot at such times. Consoling can be quite challenging, especially if you are also grieving, but it isn’t impossible. It is alright for you to stay quiet when you fall short of words; you being there is quite a strength for the aggrieved. However, when required to say something, you can take a hint from the following section.

How To Console A Death

  • Losing a loved one is never easy and in this difficult time, soothing words of people around can comfort the person who has lost his/her loved one. The immediate line which strikes your mind, and is also appropriate, when you hear the news of a death is ‘I am sorry for your loss.’ It is a simple sentence which is said by a person promptly after the news of the death when they do not know what else can be said.
  • Expressing your support and help at the time of grief can make the bereaved feel that you genuinely care for them. Do not offer them your help in the heat of the moment and then not turn up when they are in need of it. Say lines like ‘what can I do for you’ or ‘if want any help, I am always there’ only when you mean it. Such lines make the burden of loss seem lighter.
  • If the death was unexpected then you could say, ‘I am so sorry, I just can’t believe what has happened’ or ‘I am shocked to hear this’. However, do not keep saying this over and over again. If the death is shocking to you, it must be devastating for the family, so don’t keep reiterating your shock.
  • It is best to let the bereaved cry. Tell them that it is ok to shed tears and that you are there for them. Crying eases the pain in the heart and makes it easier for people to accept their loss. It is not good for people to keep their sorrow hidden and sit like a stone; just comfort them and give them an opportunity to express their feelings. It will make them feel better.
  • Say ‘I know it is difficult to handle the pain that you are going through’. Every death loss is unique and saying this shows your respect towards the aggrieved. The statement, for this simple reason, holds a lot of value.
  • Share some nice memories about the deceased with the family. Say things like ‘he was a great friend and an even greater human being’. You can refer to the deceased in your conversations; avoiding names never helped anybody console people better.
  • Ask the family about the death. If they are not ready to share their views or are not in a state to talk, then do not force them to. Say something like, ‘Talk to me when you feel like’. That will surely make them feel better and they are likely to come back to you to talk. Lend them your ears at the time they approach.
  • There can be times when you certainly do not understand what you should say. At such times, words are not always important. Give the bereaved your support with non-verbal gestures too. Give them your shoulder to lean on, hug them or put your arms on their shoulder. It is a way of showing your care and says a lot more than what words can express.

What Not To Say When Someone Dies

  • There are people who think that by sharing their own experience of loss with the mourner, they can make them feel better. This certainly does not work. Do not go about telling your tales; it is their time to speak. They would want someone beside who would listen to them and understand their sorrow.
  • Do not say ‘I know what you are feeling now’. You absolutely cannot feel what they are going through. Death is common but the deceased will be valued differently by every individual. It is an insensitive sentence to be used.
  • Do not use phrases like ‘Time will make you feel better’ or ‘forget and move on in life’. The mourners are not asking for any of your advice. Say something which can help them feel better presently.
  • Do not say ‘It was his fate’ or ‘maybe this was God’s will’ or ‘it was his time to go’. Such statements do not console anyone in any way.
  • Do not run away from situations or over-sympathize. Have a comfortable conversation with the person in sorrow.
  • Do not say ‘stay positive’ or ‘think whatever happens is for good’. It is a death; they are always pretty painful.

Expressing sympathy is not the only way to handle the griever. They need your help and care to get over the loss and that can be done non-verbally also. Sharing the pain of loss can heal the wound and help the aggrieved overcome their grief. It is not important if your vocabulary or your speech isn’t that good, what matters is that your sentiments are genuine and you words are soothing.


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