Christian prayers for the dying

christian prayers for the dying

Prayers for the Dying – Overcoming the Fear
Are you intimidated to offer prayers for the dying? Death is close at hand and you are there to bring comfort. Can you do it? Do you know how? The very fear you have and the grief you feel is also in the heart and mind of the one who is facing death. Don’t fight that, but embrace it and share it. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” As you mourn with someone who is dying or with someone who’s experiencing the death of someone close to them — you give them comfort, you uplift, you are blessed because you are blessing someone else, and you too will experience comfort.

Prayers for the Dying – Clinging to Life
As you offer prayers for the dying, you may see a struggle in their spirit to live. The health of our spirit is interestingly tied to our struggle to cling to life. The sick and the weak, those with little left to hang onto in the physical realm; will still cling to their life when their spirit is strong. Fighting a fight that seems like a losing battle; the dying will take any kind of quality of life that is offered them.

What are they truly clinging to? What is life? Jesus said He is life (John 14:6); He gives life abundantly or to the full (John 10:10); He said that His words are spirit and they are life and that the flesh is of no avail (John 6:63); and He promises that all who believe in Him have eternal life (John 6:47). The life that we truly cling to and struggle to have is found in Jesus right now; and is fulfilled just beyond the horror of death.

Death comes when the struggle to cling to the flesh gives way. The dying will come to accept the journey that their spirit needs to take. And Jesus knows that journey. He went through it. He conquered it for you and for me (John 11:25). Jesus alone is the judge of who inherits eternal life. So leave it in His loving, righteous, gracious, and worthy hands.

Prayers for the Dying – Offering Hope
There is hope and good news that you can offer in your prayers for the dying. The good news is that death is now swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). We have hope because of Jesus! The return of Jesus to gather His people to Himself and the promise of eternal life is our hope. The Bible often reminds us of how we should long for its coming and cling to its promise to keep us going when life is difficult. For the believer, death is the gateway into the promise of eternal life as we shed our earthly bodies to enter into the presence of God (1 Corinthians 15:50-53).

”Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:3-9, ESV)

Offer this hope to the dying so they can find peace. Jesus will meet them right in their moment of death just as He did the thief on the cross in Luke 23:39-43. Our faith comes up against the fear of death and brings comfort and even joy.

”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13).

Prayers for the Dying – A Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, With heavy hearts we come to You. You are Almighty Creator God; holy and full of grace and love. Our hearts are heavy because of a life that is leaving us. Death engulfs us Lord. Fear is waiting to take us down. Thank You Father, that because of Jesus, You know our pain and sorrow intimately. Thank You that Jesus knows the way through this dark shadow. Take the hand of our dear sister/brother and make Yourself known. Guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Keep that which is Your own and take it into eternity to be with You. In Jesus, death is but a shadow. Jesus has swallowed up its sorrows and pain. Thank You Jesus for the cross. Thank You Jesus for the resurrection. Lord, we are before You, confessing that You are Lord of all; the gate keeper to eternal life. Your grace and love abound even as our sin seems ever increasing. Take our hands Lord and lead us through. We lay our fears at your feet. Your promise is that You — and You alone — will come to take us home. As it says in Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (ESV).

Thank you for the comfort we find in Your presence. Through the Holy Spirit we know Your presence is with us. Send us Your peace Lord; the peace that passes all understanding. Don’t let us waiver and doubt. Give us a faith that is everlasting. We release our lives into Your hands. As we wait and watch, we know Lord that none of us will escape this journey through death. Teach us how to embrace it with faith. Give us strength to hold up those who are stepping closer to seeing You face to face. Take away the fear in the heart of our loved one who will soon see You; let them find peace in Your grace, comfort in Your love, and strength in Your mighty power over death. Comfort us as our grief seems to over power us.

You are a good, just, righteous, and loving Father. Don’t let us grow bitter in this shadow of death. But pierce our hearts with a joy that we can not fathom or understand. A joy that is above all that is corrupted here on earth. Jesus you wept over death and so too, we weep. But it is a grief and a mourning that holds joy on the other side. You are conqueror of all; and so we trust You. We trust that You will do what is right, what is loving. Whether in death or in life Your will is accomplished and You are sovereign. May we know Your presence, Lord. Keep us ever aware of Your loving hand guiding us through all things. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Learn More About Dealing With Death

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

– We have all

sinned

and deserve God’s judgment.

God

, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.

Jesus

, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He

died

for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was

buried

, and

rose from the dead

according to the

Bible

. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your

Savior

, declaring, “

Jesus is Lord

,” you will be saved from

judgment

and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, today I am deciding to follow JesusYes, I am already a follower of JesusI still have questions

www.allaboutprayer.org

Privileged to Minister to the Dying

For me, such a visit is always a graced-filled moment, because I am so much aware of the loving care the Church gives to one about to enter eternity. For eleven years, I was Pastoral Care Director for a large Midwestern retirement and nursing center. There were between 80 and 90 deaths each year and I had the opportunity to be with many dying residents. Sometimes the family was present and at other times it was just myself and the dying person. When I use the word dying keep in mind that I’m with a person who in a matter of minutes or short hours will enter eternity and see God face to face. In a way, you might say it is the closest we get to the feel for eternity except when we ourselves experience it.

The Church’s Care for the Dying

The Church is especially caring for the dying. We have special patrons for the dying, particularly St. Joseph. Imagine having Jesus and Mary at your bedside at that moment. As another example, the prayers of the Mass remember each and every person, whatever the state of life or circumstance is. This includes those facing death at that very moment, whether by natural causes, accident or persecution. In a word, the Church prays for all without exception.

As part of the Christian community, the body of Christ, you and I are together with all our brothers and sisters praying for one another. The Eucharist is celebrated around the world from the rising of the sun through its setting. There is never a moment when the Mass is not being offered somewhere on earth, never a moment when we are not praying for one another.

When it comes to assisting the dying into eternity, the prayers of the Church are filled with hope and anticipation of the person’s union with God and reunion with his or her loved ones. I have often felt the presence of the dying person’s deceased loved ones in the room with me, preparing for that magnificent reunion.

Listen to the opening prayer for the dying: “Go forth, faithful Christian, from this world in the name of God the Father almighty who created you, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God who suffered and died for you, in the name of the Holy Spirit who was poured out upon you, go forth faithful Christian.” Note the beautiful image: “Go forth.” It is a true send-off, armed with the prayers of the Church.

Listen further: “May you live in peace this day; may your home be with God in Zion, with Mary the Virgin mother of God, with Joseph, and with all the angels and saints.” The prayers depict a wonderful meeting and heavenly homecoming. Further we pray, “I commend you, dear brother/sister to almighty God.” (It’s like the Church is writing a letter of recommendation for that person.) “I entrust to you to your creator.” The Church is gently handing over its brother or sister to the Lord as a precious gift. “May holy Mary, the angels and all the saints come to meet you as you go forth. May Christ welcome you into his garden of paradise; my Christ the true shepherd welcome you as one of his sheep and acknowledge you as one of his flock. May He forgive all your sins and set you among those he has chosen. May you enjoy the vision of God forever.”

I must tell you that I get chills whenever I recall the opportunities I have had to pray those words at the bedside of one soon to be with God. And remember, I’m not praying them only as Fr. Jim. I’m praying them in the name of whole church. As a believer you are there as part of the person’s family, for indeed, we are brothers and sisters, the very body of Christ.

On this past Holy Saturday, April 3, I received a call from a nearby nursing home asking me to come to pray with and anoint a patient who was dying. The woman was in her late 70s and had just lost her husband about a month earlier. I learned later that she died on Easter Sunday.

Dear Friar Jack: I loved reading your article about Sister Thea Bowman. I am currently doing contract work for Holy Child Jesus School in Canton, MS (Sister Thea Bowman’s alma mater) as their bookkeeper. As I work I hear the young voices, many of them relatives of those that Sister Thea worked with, and I see many pictures of her in the hallways. Please pray for the students and staff who are trying their best to continue the legacy in this tough economy. Thank you. Carolyn

Dear Friar Jack: What a beautiful, stirring article you wrote about Sister Thea. For sure she will be canonized a saint one day in the near future. Thank you for sharing a part of her life with us. Joe

Dear Friar Jack: Too bad you cannot show Sister Thea in her pre-cancer days! I met her in San Diego at an RCIA weekend. She was vibrant, full of the Holy Spirit! At breakfast I learned that she had just discovered her cancer. Sister Thea was a formidable (tall, willowy and positively gorgeous) leader in song and Spirit. Her love of God was exemplary!!! Marylin

Dear Friar Jack: Beautiful commentary on the life of Sister Thea. So sad we had to lose her at such a young age, but we have been blessed by her beautiful spirit and faithfulness to God’s Word. Maryann

A: Dear Responders: I’m struck by the natural spontaneity and enthusiasm of your emails. You seem to capture the spirit of Thea herself, even though she died 20 years ago. Once again, let me remind all readers of Friar Jack’s E-spirations that I keep you, and all your loved ones, in my prayers. Good health, healing and love to all! Friar Jack

www.franciscanmedia.org
christian prayers for the dying

Christian Prayer: A Scriptural Model
A model for Christian prayer is found in the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus Christ himself gave all of us a pattern for prayer:

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13, KJV).

Christian Prayer: An Interpretation For All Of Us
The model for Christian prayer in Matthew 6 is known as the Lord’s Prayer. Many of us have recited this prayer for years, but have never truly meditated on its meaning. The following are spiritual snippets based on the Lord’s Prayer that can help deepen your prayer life with God:

“Our Father” – God wants us to approach Him as “Daddy” (Aramaic: Abba). He wants to take care of us and protect us. God desires intimacy. Remember, He has infinite love and grace. God wants us to be secure in His family as adopted children and heirs.

“Which Art in Heaven” — Look up to God. Fear Him and revere Him. He is all-powerful and can deal with all our problems, even the big ones. But He loves us so much that He doesn’t stay up there.

“Hallowed be Thy Name” — Holy, holy, holy. Approach God with awe and wonder. Save the word “awesome” for God. Live a life that honors Him.

“Thy Kingdom Come” – “Take this job and love it!” Working on behalf of God’s kingdom is the ultimate joy. Bloom where you’re planted. Do everything as unto the Lord. Find your gifts and use them. Be open to God’s leading each day.

“Thy Will Be Done” – God is the potter; we are the clay. God keeps us spinning on His potter’s wheel, shaping and reshaping us as He bathes our lives in tears to make us more Christ-like so He can use us for His will. Surrender daily. Keep your clay moist through daily prayer.

“On Earth as it is in Heaven”Thy will be done – not my will be done!

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” – Trust! God will provide for our needs. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He cares for me.

“Forgive Us Our Debts as We Forgive Our Debtors” — Forgiveness = Surrender. Don’t carry your own backpack – surrender it to Him. Revealing the feeling is the beginning of healing. Act as if you have forgiven and the feeling will follow. In our weakness, God sends His strength and peace.

“Lead Us Not Into Temptation” – Watch for unrecognized temptation. Pray, so you won’t fall. We are tempted every day. It deepens our walk and strengthens our faith – but be careful of spiritual blindness. Open my eyes, Lord, to my blind spots – use honest friends and family.

“Deliver Us From Evil” — The Evil One, Satan. We are saved from death to life. Jesus is more powerful than Satan – God is greater!

“For Thine Is the Kingdom (obedience), and the Power (confidence) and the Glory (joy), Forever” — This is our Father’s world. Everything we have is His. He is the ruler!

Grow More Now!

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

– We have all

sinned

and deserve God’s judgment.

God

, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him.

Jesus

, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He

died

for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was

buried

, and

rose from the dead

according to the

Bible

. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your

Savior

, declaring, “

Jesus is Lord

,” you will be saved from

judgment

and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, today I am deciding to follow JesusYes, I am already a follower of JesusI still have questions

www.allaboutgod.com

Shutterstock.com

Has someone you know recently lost a friend or a loved one? Prayers can help them through their time of grief. The Bible says “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). This verse is more than a notion. There is power in prayer to help us through death and dying.

When someone we care about loses someone in their life, offering condolences, whether they be in writing or in person is never easy because you’re never quite sure what to say. People are often concerned about saying the wrong thing or coming off like they’re not genuine. Because of this, it’s easy to fall into the trap of saying something so generic that it doesn’t come off genuine.

The goal of expressing sympathy is to offer your compassion and concern for the bereaved. The most important thing you can communicate to a person who is grieving the loss of a friend or a loved one is that you’re there for them and will be there to support them in whatever way they need you to. One of the best ways to support someone who has recently loss someone is by praying for them. Here are six prayers for death and dying that you can offer a person has passed away, and also to someone who has suffered the loss of a loved one:

When We are Weak, You Make Us Strong

When our lives are running smoothly and devoid of trials, we have a tendency to rely upon our own human strength – strength that cannot compare in any way to Christ’s almighty and divine strength. However, when our life is beset with difficulties and storms, our strength fades away and we become weak. Yet, in these times of personal weakness, we can turn to Jesus and rely upon His divine strength and through that strength, face and endure these storms: Dear Lord, at this moment, nothing seems to be able to help the loss I feel. My heart is broken and my spirit mourns. All I know is that Your grace is sufficient. This day, this hour, moment by moment, I choose to lean on You, for when I am at my weakest Your strength is strongest. I pour out my grief to You and praise You that on one glorious day when all suffering is extinguished and love has conquered we shall walk together. Amen.

You are There for Us

God is there for us, especially during our times of grief and mourning. Sadly, grief is a part of the human experience. Loss is part of life, and grief is a natural response to loss. But we have the hope of Christ, and we know that He is strong enough to carry our burdens: Heavenly Father, there is none like You. Every day we want to praise You and worship Your glorious name. Today, we weep at the death of our loved one, but Blessed Father, we can rest assured knowing You are there for us, knowing we can find comfort and peace within You, in the midst of our tears and our grief. Lord, we shout Your praises, because You have turned our mourning into dancing. Amen.

We Thank You for Their Life

The Bible tells us that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46). This includes times of loss. This is a time we can use to reflect on the life they lived and thank God for having the opportunity to know them for this particular season of life: Heavenly Father, may Your name be honored. There is none greater than You. You are our refuge and strength. You are always ready to help in times of trouble. We praise You, Lord. We lift our hearts with praise. It is good to sing praises to You; our God; how delightful and how right! Lord, You are great and mighty in power. Your understanding is infinite. We than You, Father, for the Life of our loved one who has gone on to be with You. Thank you for their time on earth and the impact they had on our lives. We are thankful to You and we bless Your name. Amen.

Rescue Them from Their Grief

We know that the Lord is there for us during times of loss, because He promises to be present. We know that when we are feeling loss and discouraged that God hears us and has the ability to rescue us when we feel so low, we don’t know how to lift ourselves up. God has the ability to rescue us during grief: Heavenly Father, you can count the stars and call them all by name. Your power is absolute. Your understanding is beyond comprehension. You support the humble and bring the wicked down into the dust. You comfort those who mourn. We declare that those grieving the death of a loved one; mourning will turn into dancing. We confess that You are their rock, fortress and Savior in whom they will find protection. You are their shield, and the strength of their salvation. Father, You are their stronghold. As they call on You, You have promised to answer. We believe that You will be with them during this period of bereavement, rescue them from grief, honor them, and give them Your salvation. Amen.

We Send Peace for Those Mourning

Peace, by definition, is freedom from disturbance, quiet and tranquility. The Bible reminds us “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). When someone has recently lost a loved one, we can pray for that same peace which passes all understanding to come to them: Dear Lord, we ask You to send Your peace to those persons who are mourning. Continue to surround them with family, friends and loved ones who will offer words of comfort. Give them sweet and restful sleep. Lord, remove the spirit of heaviness, and give them garments of praise. In due time, bless their lives to overflow with laughter and joy again. As they take refuge in You, please help them to put their trust in You. Holy Spirit, we ask that You settle the hearts and minds of those who are feeling any guilt, resentment, bitterness, or anger. Help them not to look back but to press forward. Amen.

www.beliefnet.com

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