when my arms cant reach people close to my heart, I hug them with my prayers

When my arms can’t reach people close to my heart, I hug them with my prayers.

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When my arms cant reach

When my arms can’t reach people close to my heart, I am sad.

My heart aches when my arms can’t reach people close to my heart. Especially when those I love are going through a difficult time and are too far away to physically hug, I feel sad and unsettled. Although I live hundreds of miles from my mom and our extended family, I always knew I could drive or hop on a plane any time especially when she or a loved one needs me.  Well……Covid-19 has interfered with that plan.

Recently, my mom has been dealing with some health issues. Her doctor is caring for her by phone, but does not want her to come to his office or another medical facility for tests because of the exponential spread of the virus in her area.  Thinking of her suffering and sitting at home all alone because of social distancing brings me to tears.  I am not able to help her and not able to even be with her and give her a hug.

Can you relate? Are you wanting to be physically present for someone close to your heart, but unable at this time?

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I hug them with my prayers

When my arms can’t reach people close to my heart, I pray.

The quote “when my arms can’t reach people close to my heart, I hug them with my prayers” from Sharon Lagueux is a great reminder to pray. Although we may feel helpless in the situation, God can bring comfort and help to our loved ones and to us.

Four powerful prayer principles

Four powerful prayer principles I have learned from Moms in Prayer that I often include while talking with God are:  praise, confession, thanksgiving and intercession. 


During my prayer time, I begin with getting my eyes on who God is.  Reading the Bible is a great place to start to remind ourselves who God is. The Bible teaches us about his character and his nature.

For example, after talking with my mom on the phone about her health issues, I was upset.  Then, I read these verses and turned them into praise to God:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction  2 Corinthians 1:3-4a

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:2

To make 2 Corinthians 1:3 a personal praise, I pray:  I love you, Lord and honor and worship you.  I praise you my God and Heavenly Father because you are the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.  I praise you because you comfort us in all our affliction.

Praising the Lord with Psalm 121:2, l pray:  I praise you, Lord, because my help comes from you, the Maker of heaven and earth.


Secondly, confession is a powerful principle of prayer that brings refreshment.

In Psalm 66, the psalmist gives thanks that God answered his prayer, but suggests that God might not have done so if he had cherished sin in his heart.

If I cherished sin in my heart, the Lord wouldn’t have listened. Psalm 66:18

An example of this can be found in chapter seven of Zechariah.  The word of the LORD came to Zechariah that God’s people had refused to pay attention, had turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing.  They had stopped listening and obeying the Lord, so Zechariah told them that just as the LORD called and they would not listen, so they called and He had stopped listening.  (Zech 7:13)

Let’s consider this and ask the Lord to reveal anything in our lives where we have not listened and obeyed Him or where we have cherished sin in our hearts. 

Let’s pray.  Lord, please show me anything in my heart or life that is not pleasing to you.  I confess this to you now.  I ask you to forgive me and cleanse me.  Forgive me when I have not turned to you to be my comfort and help. Lord, protect me from temptation and evil.  Deliver me from the evil one.  Thank you for your promise that when I confess, you are faithful and just to forgive and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.

When my arms can't reach people close to my heart, I hug them with my prayers.

Give thanks

Giving thanks in this situation may seem unnatural and awkward, yet it is a powerful prayer principle. Choosing to have a grateful heart helps us to focus on what we do have and acknowledge to God that He is a giver of good gifts and worthy of our appreciation.  Though we may not be thankful that our arms can’t reach our loved ones, we can give thanks in the situation knowing that God uses all things for his purpose and his glory. 

Consider everything for which you are thankful and for every answered prayer that comes to mind.  Try making a list and adding to it each day.  Practicing this daily is proven to transform our outlook and build our faith.


Last, but not least, interceding is praying on behalf of myself and others. When my arms can’t reach people close to my heart, I intercede by praying personal prayers from scriptures.  For instance, here are the scriptures from which I based some prayers for my mom:

For I am the Lord your God, who holds your right hand, who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.  Isaiah 41:13 

My prayer: Lord, I pray that you would hold Mom’s right hand.  I pray that she will not fear and that you will help her.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. Therefore, my heart celebrates, and I give thanks to him with my song.  Psalm 28:7 

My prayer:  Lord, I pray that you will be Mom’s strength and shield.  May her heart trust in you and may you help her.  May her heart celebrate and may she give thanks to you in song.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1 

My prayer:  Lord, may you be Mom’s refuge and strength, her very present help in trouble.

As a result, as I talk to the Lord and pour out my heart to Him, who is my mom’s best helper, his peace fills my heart and my trust in Him is strengthened. 

During this time, I have gathered 7 encouraging Bible verses that remind us that God is our Helper!  In addition to reading, meditating and memorizing them, they are great for turning into personal praise, confession, thanksgiving and intercession as I demonstrated above. 

Dear friend, could you use some peace and comfort from God, our Helper today?  Download these verses here: aprayinmom.com

When my arms cant reach


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4 thoughts on “When my arms can’t reach people close to my heart, I hug them with my prayers.”

  1. These are beautiful reminders of the absolute power we hold through the promises of God. I pray for your mom, as I can see her this moment surrounded by an army of angels. God is her refuge and strength! I thank and praise Him for his faithfulness and provision!

  2. Thank you Deborah for taking time to share these verses and thoughts. I am encouraged today and I am going to continue to hide God’s Word in my heart and pray it back to Him to keep me from fear, anxiety and worry. Love you❤️

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