Can I Pray for My Elderly Loved One to Pass Away Peacefully?


The decision to go on to Heaven should be based on God’s will for our lives—not on our circumstances, infirmities, or afflictions. But how should we pray when our elderly loved one has determined it's time to be with Jesus?

Q: Can I pray for my elderly loved one to pass away peacefully?

A: If your loved one has determined that it is time to go home to be with Jesus after a long and fulfilled life, then you can pray in agreement. However, if he or she wants to live longer, then it is not right for you to pray for the passing because it is not scriptural to pray for someone to die before they are ready.

Remember, death was never part of God’s original plan for mankind, and He has never stolen any man’s life. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). When God created man, He created him a free moral agent.

According to Deuteronomy 30:19, God has set before each man a choice of life or death, blessing or cursing. The choice has been left for each man to make! In Philippians 1:22-23, the Apostle Paul stated about his leaving this world that he didn’t know which was better—to be with Christ or to be with the Body of believers. He had a choice.

That does not mean we choose for ourselves or others based on circumstances. When facing long-term affliction or lack, there is a temptation to become discouraged, desiring to leave prematurely in order to escape the difficulties of everyday life. The decision to go on to heaven, however, should be based on God’s will for our lives, not on circumstances, infirmities, afflictions, etc. The proper time to make the choice to go there is when the person’s appointed course has been finished and his destiny here on earth has been fulfilled.

The promises of God are for a long, healthy and satisfying life. Psalm 91:16 says, “I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” So our suggestion is to locate and pray scriptures that promise life and to pray in the spirit (Romans 8:26-27). We know that by praying in this way that we are praying according to the will of God. If your loved one has determined that it is time to go, then you can pray for him or her to go through the gates of glory peacefully, to receive a heavenly reward. 

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