7 Gentle Prayers for Eating Disorders

After running competitively for 10 years I’m no stranger to the world of eating disorders. They are vicious illnesses that overtake the minds and bodies of wonderful people who believe they aren’t enough in the body God has given them. Let us all pray for those who are suffering from eating disorders.

In Division 1 running world eating disorders run rampant. There are a lot of pressures to perform well at this level and disordered eating becomes an easy way to keep off the pounds and run fast. However, usually, the speed is short-lived because these athletes’ bodies were malnourished and usually got injured frequently as well.

Luckily, I had a healthy relationship with food and never had an eating disorder, but I know what it’s like to be unhappy with your body. I had 3 kids in 3.5 years. My once-toned distance runner body is now saggy and lined with stretch marks. 

After each pregnancy, my clothes never fit the same. I fed into the lies that I wasn’t beautiful unless I was thin.  Luckily for me, I like food too much so I was able to dive into Scripture and really pray about my identity as a Child of God and what true beauty looks like. These two verses were particularly helpful for me:

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” (Galatians 3:26, NIV).

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30, NIV).

I got a new hobby of thrift shopping and found clothes that made me feel beautiful despite what the world said beautiful should look like. However, some people have more severe body image issues that turn into eating disorders.

Eating disorders can be very dangerous and have long term effects on someone’s body. It’s important to seek help immediately if you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder.

I have given you 7 prayers for those struggling with eating disorders. Feel free to customize them to your specific situation! Please leave prayer requests in the comments so we can pray with you!

Short Prayer for Eating Disorders

Lord, I lift up everyone who is struggling with an eating disorder. Help them to know that they are beautiful no matter what they look like. Help them to know that they are worthy of more than a disordered relationship with food. Help each person to overcome their illness and seek professional help when necessary.

In Your Name, I pray. Amen

Prayer to Overcome an Eating Disorder

Lord, (name) is struggling with an eating disorder. I am so worried about their health. If they keep this up they could have major long term health issues or even death. This is so scary. Please, Lord, bestow upon them the gift of perseverance so that they can overcome this illness.

I know this is not an easy fight so they need You and your strength. May they always remember these words from Scripture, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, NIV).

Help (name) to get the treatment they need. I know it can be hard to accept that they may need professional intervention either with a counselor or at a special facility. Our priority is for them to conquer this illness.

Help them to know that they don’t need to be thin to be beautiful or loved. Help them to know they are loved beyond measure by You, their family, and their friends.

Help them to know their truest identity as a child of God. May their identity as a (daughter/son) of the King be something that helps them to overcome their eating disorder. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.

Prayer for a Friend With an Eating Disorder

Oh God, (name) is struggling with an eating disorder. (He/She) has been a great friend to me through thick and thin so it’s hard to see (him/her) struggling through this. Please heal (him/her) emotionally and physically. 

Help me to confidently put my trust in you. Wrap your loving arms around (name) as (he/she) works to overcome this eating disorder. Help (him/her) to find the proper treatment for her situation. Help (him/her) to feel safe and loved by You and (his/her) family during this difficult time.

If (name) is putting (himself/herself) through this painful behavior (he/she) must be struggling so much mentally, emotionally, and physically. I can’t imagine the pain and emptiness (he/she) must be feeling. 

I surrender my feelings of anxiety and fear and ask that you replace them with hope and joy. It’s all in your hands. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.

Prayer for a Child With an Eating Disorder

Oh God, (name) is struggling with an eating disorder. Where did I go wrong as a parent that my child feels like they have to starve themselves or throw up repeatedly to be beautiful? I am scared that it was something I’ve said or haven’t said. Did I not tell (him/her) enough that they were perfect just the way they were?

I feel like I have failed as a parent. My child is slowly killing (himself/herself) with this torturous behavior. I surely did a terrible job passing on the faith and showing (him/her) how loved (he/she) is by You, me, and all of our family and friends. I don’t want to make this about me, but I feel I’m to blame. 

Help me to confidently put my trust in you. Wrap your loving arms around (name) as (he/she) works to overcome this eating disorder. Help (him/her) to find the proper treatment for her situation. Help (him/her) to feel safe and loved by You and our family during this difficult time.

If (name) is putting (himself/herself) through this painful behavior (he/she) must be struggling so much mentally, emotionally, and physically. I can’t imagine the pain and emptiness (he/she) must be feeling. Please heal (him/her) emotionally and physically. 

Ultimately, I hope this eating disorder is an opportunity to glorify you and witness the faith of others. I pray that there will be opportunities to talk about You and her hope in You and Your will through all of this.

I surrender my feelings of anxiety and fear and ask that you replace them with hope and joy. Give me the wisdom my spouse and I need to handle this situation. We’ve never been in this situation before so It’s all in your hands. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.

Prayer for Those Suffering From Bulimia

Good and gracious God, I lift up all those that are suffering from bulimia. If someone is forcing themselves to throw up they have to be struggling immensely with mental issues. Please heal them of this illness.

Give them the strength and fortitude to overcome the temptations to overeat and throw up. Help them to develop a healthy relationship with food. Please place someone in their life who can help them to manage this disease. Place your healing hand and loving arms around all those suffering from bulimia. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.

Prayer for Those Suffering From Anorexia

Good and gracious God, I lift up all those that are suffering from anorexia. If someone is starving themselves they have to be struggling immensely with mental issues. Please heal them of this illness.

Give them the strength and fortitude to overcome the temptations to starve themselves. Help them to develop a healthy relationship with food. Please place someone in their life who can help them to manage this disease. Place your healing hand and loving arms around all those suffering from anorexia. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.

Prayer for Those Suffering From Binge Eating

Good and gracious God, I lift up all those that are suffering from binge eating disorders. If someone is eating until they are uncomfortably full all the time they have to be struggling immensely for with mental issues. Please help them with this illness.

Give them the strength and fortitude to overcome the temptations to overeat. Help them to develop a healthy relationship with food. If they are binging in secret or feeling ashamed of their food behaviors help them to seek help and guidance. Please place someone in their life who can help them to manage this illness.

This illness could be life threatening if those who are suffering are obese. They truly need a change of heart and a desire to change so that they can live a full life that is glorifying to you. Place your healing hand and loving arms around all those suffering from binge eating disorders. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.

Concluding Thoughts

If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, it’s crucial to get help right away. Eating disorders can have long-lasting effects and can be deadly. It’s important to pray so that the Lord will give you or your loved one the strength to overcome this illness, but oftentimes professional intervention is necessary.

Never hesitate to contact the Eating Disorders Helpline for support and help. May the Lord give you and your loved one the strength they need to overcome their eating disorder. Always remember, no matter what you look like, you are dearly loved by your Creator, made in His image, and more precious than rubies (Proverbs 3:15, NIV).

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