Across the planet, people offer prayers for healing to the God of their understanding with the hope that they and their loved ones will be cured or spared from the ravages of sickness, disease, and misfortune. We ask for relief from mental, emotional, and physical conditions. That we will find the best doctor, make it through a surgery, recover fully to continue our lives. We pray for small favors and miracles. We ask for wisdom to heal the planet and for the welfare of our fellow Earthlings, to heal discord in personal and global relationships that lead to wars in our households and between our nations. We pray for wisdom, understanding, and a closer relationship with the Divine.
Research may show conflicting evidence for or against the power of prayers for healing or whether or not there is even a God or Force to pray to, but those of us who pray understand there is more to prayer than meets the eye.
The results of clinical studies on prayer are inconsistent, but studies do show that spiritual practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and visualization strengthen immunity, feelings of inner peace, and the mind-body connection. In some studies, healing prayers have been shown to increase fertility and pregnancy rates in infertile women, foster the growth of seedlings, improve health outcomes, and cause faster closing of wounds in primates.
The benefits of prayers for healing may be obvious but not always so. When we believe and ask believing, we activate mechanisms within our bodies that facilitate healing. We may activate the placebo effect, feel more relaxed and less anxious or depressed, or go into a meditative state of relaxation. Praying with sincerity and faith touches our hearts in ways nothing else does. It connects us to the One we are beseeching as well as those we are requesting help for. The love and caring we send to them also comes alive within us. Our serotonin levels go up and stress levels go down. These are some of the blessings we receive as a positive side effect of praying for others. When we are on the receiving end of prayers for the sick, feeling the love and compassion of others helps us feel supported and cared for as we go through our trials. Each of these benefits provide a healing effect on body and mind.
When we offer regularly offer prayers for healing negative states within ourselves and replace them with love and compassionate action for others and the Earth, the neural networks in the brain rewire. We become kinder and more mindful of opportunities to serve and be transformed in the renewing of our minds. We can achieve the same outcomes whether the upgrades are attributes to God, subconscious programming, or a combination of both.
In his letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul tells believers to "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) The Greek word adialeiptos translates as "constantly recurring". So pray often, not nonstop.
Jesus showed his disciples that speaking with God happens by oneself and with others. He prayed for himself, for others, and for future generations. He prayed before meals and before and during difficult times. He was in frequent communication with the Father.
When you pray for healing, it is best to come with humility, belief, and faith. Focus on what you are asking for "or something better", not on the illness or condition you want to change. See and feel your body whole and healthy in accord with its divine blueprint. Be relaxed in body and mind as you bring your supplication. Recite your requests and blessings of your choosing once or a few times, whatever feels right to you. You may repeat the verses more than once but do not use "vain supplications" that are only words with no heart and attention in them. Offer gratitude and praise regardless of your circumstances.
Be open to healing prayers and meditations from a variety of traditions. Choose words that resonate with you and the desires of your heart. Use whichever name for the Divine or Source you prefer. Your heart intention and attitude is much more important than the words you speak.
Pray these spiritual prayers for healing when you or a loved one is in need of physical, mental, or emotional well-being. Modify them by changing the pronouns or use the name of the person you are praying for. You may use the prayers as a template and make it your own. Substitute words to fit your situation, your needs, and the name of the God of your understanding.
Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed;
save me and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise.
- Jeremiah 17:14
Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?
Turn, Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.
Spiritualist Healing Prayer
I ask the Great Unseen Healing Force
To Remove All Obstructions
From My Mind And Body
And To Restore Me To Perfect Health
I Ask This In All Sincerity And Honesty,
And I Will Do My Part.
I Ask This Great Unseen Healing Force
To Help Both Present And Absent Ones
Who Are In Need Of Help
And To Restore Them To Perfect Health.
I Put My Trust In The Love And Power Of God.
O Allah, O Lord of Mankind, remove the affliction and send down cure and healing, for no one can cure but You; so cure in such a way that no trace of illness is left.
I beseech Allah, the Great, Lord of the Mighty Throne, to heal me.
I seek refuge and protection in the august might and power of Allah from the pain and illness I am suffering from and I’m afraid of.
You may also meditate on the Names of Allah or repeat them throughout the day. O the most Merciful one, O the Healer and curer, the Compassionate one.
Healing Prayer for Relationships
Saint Francis of Assisi believed in the unity of all life. He cared for people in need and called the plants and animals brothers and sisters. He taught the importance of living in harmony with each other and the natural world. Francis and his monks lived as the poorest of the poor.
In this prayer for healing, you ask the Lord to make you an instrument of peace. relational restoration, and love.The Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are
born to eternal life.
Hindu Prayers for Healing and Peace
In the Hindu culture, the following mantra is chanted repeatedly to invoke healing energies for oneself or others. "Om Shri Dhanvantre Namaha" means "Salutations to Lord Dhanavantre" or "Salutations to the being and power of the Celestial Healer." Lord Dhanawantry, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, is the god of healing and ayureveda.
This mantra can be used anytime you need to find a healing path for sickness or difficult situations. It is often chanted to charge food with energy to help heal the sick or prevent disease.
There are several versions of "Om Shri Dhanvantre Namaha". Here is one. Close your eyes, sit up straight yet relaxed and join in. Play your favorite version in the background as you cook and go about your day or even when you nap.
Hindu Prayer for Peace
May there be peace in the higher regions;
may there be peace in the firmament;
may there be peace on earth.
May the waters flow peacefully;
may the herbs and plants grow peacefully;
may all the divine powers bring unto us peace.
The supreme Lord is peace.
May we all be in peace, peace, and only peace;
and may that peace come unto each of us.
Shanti, Shanti, Shanti!
-the Vedas (the word Shanti means "peace")
Scientific Prayers for Healing
Scientific prayers for healing are not religious but they can be easily adapted to any religion. The following two intercessions are by Dr. Joseph Murphy. They are found in his book "The Power of the Subconscious Mind". You may adapt them for yourself or someone else. Just change the pronouns or use a specific name.“My body and all its organs were created by the infinite intelligence in my subconscious mind. It knows how to heal me. Its wisdom fashioned all my organs, tissues, muscles, and bones. This infinite healing presence within me is now transforming every cell of my being, making me whole and perfect. I have thanks for the healing I know is taking place at this time. Wonderful are the works of the creative intelligence within me.”“This prayer is for [insert persons name and relation to you here]. She is relaxed and at peace, poised, balanced, serene, and calm. The healing intelligence of her subconscious mind that created her body is now transforming every cell, nerve, tissue, muscle, and bone of her being according to the perfect pattern of all organs lodged in her subconscious mind. Silently, quietly, all distorted thought patterns in her subconscious mind are removed and dissolved, and the vitality, wholeness, and beauty of the life principle are made manifest in every atom of her being. She is now open and receptive to the healing currents that are flowing through her like a river, restoring her to perfect health, harmony, and peace. All distortions and ugly images are now washed away by the infinite ocean of love and peace flowing through her, and it is so.”
Prayers for the Well-being of Earth and Our Fellow Beings
Mother Earth and her inhabitants need prayers for healing coupled with compassionate action. Her waters, plants, and atmosphere sustain us all yet we are doing great damage to them. When we care for Earth, we care for ourselves. When we heal the Earth, we bring healing to ourselves.
Pope Francis I included two prayers for healing the Earth in his papal letter named Laudato Si' or "Praise Be to You". The first prayer is for those of all faiths who believe in a Creator God. In the second appeal, Christians ask for inspiration to take up the commitment to the creation set by the Gospel of Jesus.
A simple prayer to pray as you are out and about, watching the news, or videos abut nature and animals is: Just like me, _____ wants to by happy, safe, free... Blessings unto you, ___. I bless you. May you be happy, safe, healthy, and free.
A Christian prayer of union with creation
Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand;
they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.
Praise be to you!
Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,
you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!
Holy Spirit, by your light
you guide this world towards the Father’s love
and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!
Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love,
teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is.
God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the weak,
and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light, help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
-Pope Francis IA General Prayer for the Earth
Most gracious God, we come before you to pray for the wellbeing of the planet. You alone know the full extent of the destruction we have wrought to your beautiful handiwork, and what needs to be done to remedy it. We pray for the people around the globe who suffer because of environmental damage. We pray for the defenseless creatures harmed or made extinct by our selfishness and ignorance. We pray for the oceans, air, mountains, plants, and soil, that life and health may again pulse in them. We pray that we humans have a change of heart and stop harming the planet. Pour out your Holy Spirit on us that we may have the passion and wisdom to work effectively to restore your creation. Guide us in our personal, church and community efforts. Give us strength to continue on with this work when it is difficult and requires sacrifice. Bless the Earth and all its life in every way. We make this prayer through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Buddhist Meditation Prayers for Healing
Buddhism places great emphasis on relieving the suffering of all beings. Believers are encouraged to aid the well-being of their fellow humans and non-humans through right thinking, right speech, meditation, and compassionate action. The following meditation prayers for healing apply to relieving physical, mental, and/or emotional suffering. and promoting well-being.
Metta loving-kindness meditation
Metta, or loving kindness meditation, is a simple meditation from the Buddhist tradition. Even though it is called a meditation, metta is also a prayer for healing and well-being. You bless and wish the best for yourself and others. Direct metta first toward yourself, then someone you like, then someone you are experiencing difficulty with. Add anyone you wish, one at a time. Finish by directing metta toward everyone and all sentient beings.May I be happy and peaceful, may I be safe, may I live with ease in this world, may I be healthy and strong. May you be happy and peaceful, may you be safe, may you live with ease in this world, may you be healthy and strong. ...May all beings everywhere be happy and peaceful, may they be safe and live with ease in this world. May they be healthy and strong."
Feel free to ad lib and use phrases of blessing that are meaningful to you. Feel the words and your intention within your being. See yourself happy, well, filled with love, and safe from all dangers. Repeat these words more than once until you really feel them. Then bring up an image of your beloved and so on. You may continue with the same phrases or use different phrases that represent your loving wishes toward them. If feelings of sadness or anger arise, acknowledge and release them. Soften your heart. As you bless, you are blessed.
Variation: Offer metta for a place. Choose a location on the planet in need of healing. Envision this place and its inhabitants whole, healthy, and full of life.
Contemplate and recite these words to align your mind and heart with the Noble Path.
Tonglen furthers spiritual development by opening the heart and training the mind to be less averse to suffering and pain. During the practice of Tonglen, you breathe in the dense negative energy of ignorance and suffering, transmute it in your heart, and send it out as the pure energy of compassion, peace, freedom, and joy.
Practitioners recommend that you begin with Metta meditation before advancing to Tonglen. This practice can be challenging, especially at first, because it is our nature to resist pain and suffering. If you experience a lot of resistance, offer Tonglen for yourself and include all others who are experiencing the same emotions and pain. You do not have to know or name them, just set the intention to include them. As you become more comfortable with the practice and your aversion to suffering lessens, you can focus on an individual or group suffering with the same problem. For example, offer Tonglen for one particular homeless dog or for all shelter dogs waiting for homes.
- To begin, sit in a comfortable position for meditation. Center and quiet yourself with a few minutes of focused breathing.
- Bring someone who is suffering to mind. Visualize them and their struggle. See them, feel what they are going through as if it were you. Let your heart open with compassion.
- As you inhale, breathe in their pain. Envision what they are feeling as a dark cloud or puff of smoke. Welcome it as your own. As you breathe in say, “May you be free of suffering.”
- Hold your breath for a few moments. As you do, take the dark energy into your spiritual heart where it is cleansed and purified in the light of this loving place. Visualize the pure light of awareness consuming that cloud of misery. Know that as you do this, your own fear, ignorance, selfishness and unwanted aspects of the ego are burned with it.
- Breath out pure, white light filled with peace, well-being, safety, and freedom. Send it to the one you have in mind. Say, “May you have peace…happiness…freedom…safety” or whatever is most appropriate.
- Repeat steps 3-5 several times. Each time, visualize them becoming more and more at ease until they are free from suffering and radiant with life.
- Continue by doing Tonglen for someone else suffering in a similar way.
- End with a few focused breaths. Feel joy and peace in your heart.
You do not have to sit in formal meditation to do Tonglen. Practice anywhere at anytime you see someone, human or nonhuman, or a group of individuals suffering.
Whichever prayers for healing or meditations you choose to say, remember to do so with empathy, compassion, and intention. At the very least, your prayers will change you, and may just bring healing, hope, and peace to the ones you are interceding for.
To help with your own self-healing, experience Guided Meditations for Healing.Sources of Prayers for Healing:
*Pope Francis Climate Change Encyclical Prayers
*Prayer for Healing Sickness
Meditations and Prayers for Healing page updated 12/2020