In a new interview, the Australian film-maker described the frequent rehabber Lohan, 26, as a talented actress who had fallen off the rails.
"I have known Lindsay since she was very young," the 50-year-old told Australian interviewer Lawrence Mooney, who hosts talk show Dirty Laundry Live on ABC2, at the Sydney premiere of The Great Gatsby.
"She's a talented girl. I pray that she can bring herself back to the place where she came from because she is a talented actress. I feel for her, I really do."
Lohan began a 90-day stay at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., in early May, a court-mandated stay in her reckless driving conviction.
It's her sixth stint in rehab and comes after she rear-ended a truck with her Porsche on Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu on June 8 last year, then lied to police, telling them she was not driving.
Once hailed as one of the finest young actresses of her generation, Lohan has been unable to salvage her career from the height of its fame during the 1998 film The Parent Trap and later, Mean Girls, in 2004.
Luhrmann had kinder words to say about another tabloid fixture: Kim Kardashian.
"I met her the other night, about two weeks ago," Luhrmann told the program. "I had dinner with her and Kanye at a friend's place. She's an extraordinarily elegant woman, pregnant. I was really struck by her grace."