Blog post

5 Things to Pray for a Suffering Friend


Biblical Counselling UK

This week sees the official launch of our new book, 5 Things to Pray for a Suffering Friend. Here on the BCUK blog, we catch up with the author, Helen Thorne-Allenson.

Tell us a little about your new book

5 Things to Pray for a Suffering Friend is the latest in The Good Book Company’s series of prayer guides. It is a short, simple book that helps us pray more deeply and consistently for friends and family who are facing hardship. Across the book, there are 21 Bible passages and we’ve drawn out 5 ways to pray for those facing difficulty from each passage. So, in effect, the book gives us 105 ways to pray for a suffering friend! And with plenty of space to write notes, it can become a bit of a prayer diary or prayer journal to help us keep on keeping on with our prayers.

Why write a book like this?

Here at BCUK, we are passionate about producing resources that help people turn to the Lord in the complexities of life. And prayer is a key way we can love those who are facing hard times. But prayer is also hard! Many of us get stuck in a rut when praying for other people in hard times. In the rush and busyness of life, our prayers often become limited to, “Please help … “, “Please heal … “, or “Please bless … “. There’s nothing wrong with praying those prayers – in fact, they’re great prayers to pray – but if that’s where we stay, we end up missing so much. In times of suffering, Scripture invites people to lament – to turn to their brothers and sisters – to see God more clearly – to trust him – to grow in perseverance – to seek justice – to forgive – to testify to gospel hope  and so much more. This book aims to help us see the great wealth of prayers that we might pray for those we care about and to engage in that prayer: systematically, passionately and with hearts full of trust.

What is your hope and prayer for the book?

Twofold, I think. Firstly, that it would change the way we pray for people. Rather than getting stuck in a narrow band of prayers, we would pray the riches of Scripture for those who are facing hard things and be spurred on to keep praying and not give up. Secondly, that it would change we way we ask for prayer. All of us face personal hardship at some stage – all of us have the privilege of asking others to pray for us – and, with the ideas in this book ringing in our ears, I hope we can begin to ask people to pray in a much wider and deeper range of ways that chime with God’s heart for us in times of trial. Those two things together could also play a significant part in growing the culture of a church, helping it to become ever more the place of sharing lives, of praying for one another, and of speaking the truth in love to one another. It would be great if BCUK supporters could join in praying for those things for the book, the people who read it and their churches!

Where can we get the book?

The book is available from The Good Book Company website or from other local or online retailers. Priced at £5.99 (or £3.99 for the ebook) it probably won’t break the bank and there are significant discounts if you buy 10 or more so maybe it’s worth thinking about using it in a small group or giving some away as gifts. Once you have a copy, please pray – that’s something our suffering friends need today.


Biblical Counselling UK