Death and dying are parts of life. While some people fear them, others draw inspiration from death.
As nurses, it’s inevitable for us to see some of our patients die and their families deeply grieve for them. Although we can’t bring back their loved ones, there are still ways for us to provide comfort, strength and guidance to the families our patients left behind.
Here are 10 powerful prayers for the departed.
For the recently deceased
In your hands, O Lord,
we humbly entrust our brothers and sisters.
In this life you embraced them with your tender love;
deliver them now from every evil
and bid them eternal rest.
The old order has passed away:
welcome them into paradise,
where there will be no sorrow, no weeping or pain,
but fullness of peace and joy
with your Son and the Holy Spirit
forever and ever.
Prayer for the souls in purgatory
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Prayer for deceased relatives and friends
Almighty Father, source of forgiveness and salvation, grant that our relatives and friends who have passed from this life may, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the saints, come to share your Eternal happiness through Christ our Lord. Amen
Prayers for the deceased for forgiveness and peace and for mourners
Lord Jesus, our Redeemer, You willingly gave Yourself up to death so that all people might be saved and pass from death into a new life. Listen to our prayers; look with love on Your people who mourn and pray for their dead brother/sister.
Lord Jesus, You alone are holy and compassionate; forgive our brother/sister his/her sins.
By dying You opened the gates of life for those who believe in You; do not let Your brother/sister be parted from You, but by Your glorious power give him/her light, joy, and peace in heaven where You live for ever and ever. Amen.
My brother (sister) in faith, I entrust you to God Who created you.
May you return to the One Who formed you from the dust of this earth.
May Mary, the angels, and all the saints come to meet you as you go forth from this life.
May Christ Who was crucified for you bring you freedom and peace.
May Christ, the Son of God, Who died for you take you into His kingdom.
May Christ, the Good Shepherd, give you a place within His flock.
May He forgive your sins and keep you among His people.
May you see your Redeemer face to face and enjoy the sight of God forever. Amen.
Prayer for a deceased friend
I commend you, my dear to almighty God, and entrust you to your Creator.
May you rest in the arms of the Lord who formed you from the dust of the earth.
May holy Mary, the angels, and all the saints welcome you now that you have gone forth from this life.
May Christ who was crucified for you, bring you freedom and peace.
May Christ who died for you admit you into his garden of paradise.
May Christ, the true Shepherd, embrace you as one of his flock.
May he forgive all your sins and set you among those he has chosen.
May you see your Redeemer face to face and enjoy the vision of God, forever.
Prayer for unexpected death
Heavenly Father we know and believe that our times are in Your hands, but Lord it’s so often such a shock to us when a dear loved one meets with a sudden or unexpected death – through an accident or perhaps due to some unforeseen tragedy, which takes the life of someone they loved – long before it would be expected.
Lord, we bring before You today those who are having to go through such a tragic loss and pray that You would be very close to each one that is in mourning today over such a loss – and are perhaps confused or even angry that such a devastating occurrence has overtaken them – without any apparent warning.
You are the God of all comfort Who comforts us in time of need and we pray that for those that are facing such a difficult trial today. Uphold them we pray, and ask that You draw very close to them … raise up we pray, the right people to minister to them and to be a genuine comfort and support at this time of tragedy and grief.
Lord, we don’t understand why our loved ones should suddenly be removed from us through a sudden, unexpected death – but Lord we trust You to soothe away the hurt in time – for shall not the God of all the earth do right…. In Jesus name, we pray,
Prayer for deceased parents
O God, Who has commanded us
to honor our father and mother,
have compassion in Thy mercy,
on the souls of my father and mother;
forgive them their sins,
and grant that I may see them
in the joy of eternal brightness.
Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer after violent death
Father, we bring before You those that have had the devastating experience of having someone close to them that they know and love, suffer a sudden, violent and needless death. Lord how we grieve for those that are having to experience this right now, and we pray that in Your grace You would look down with pity and mercy and meet them right at their point of need.
Lord, You are the one Who was sent to heal the broken-hearted and comfort those that mourn and are heavy-laden. You are the One Who promised that Your grace is sufficient for every eventuality – even for those having to face the sudden and violent death of someone close to them. Draw near to them we pray and lift them up into You arms of love and carry them during this time of suffering and grief for You have promised that underneath are Your everlasting arms.
Lord, as we lift up in prayer those that are having to come to terms with the sudden and violent death of a loved one – we pray that You would use this tragedy to be the thing that starts to draw each suffering soul into the tender arms of their Saviour – the Lord Jesus Christ, in Whose name we pray,
Prayer for a deceased brother, relative or friend
You are, O God,
quick to pardon and desire man’s salvation.
In Your goodness we ask You to grant our deceased brothers,
relatives, and friends everlasting happiness.
With the help of Blessed Mary ever Virgin
and all Your saints,
we ask this through Christ, our Lord.
Prayer to say on the day of a person’s death
O God, Whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, we humbly beseech Thee for the soul of Thy servant N…, which Thou hast this day commanded to depart out of this world, that Thou wouldst not deliver it into the hands of the enemy, nor forget it unto the end, but wouldst command it to be received by the Holy Angels, and conducted to Paradise, its true country; that as in Thee it hath hoped and believed, it may not suffer the pains of hell, but may take possession of eternal joys.
Through Christ our Lord.
See Also: 10 Inspiring Songs To Help With Grief
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We love our sons so much and desire God’s greatest blessings and guidance on their lives. We spend endless hours caring for, teaching, helping, training, protecting and encouraging that we often miss out on one of the greatest resources God has given us to lead them – prayer. The below prayers for your son cover many topics such as self worth, protection, purity and wisdom. These will equip you for the battle against Satan’s attacks and give you discernment for handling situations that arise. You can cast your cares on Jesus and find peace in God’s favor and love for your son as you speak these prayers!
- 1 1. A prayer for your sons discernment
- 2 2. A prayer for your own wisdom
- 3 3. A prayer for a son who has turned from God
- 4 4. Scriptural prayers for your son
- 5 5. A prayer for your sons relationships and influences
- 6 6. A birthday prayer for your son
- 7 7. A prayer for your sons body image and purity
- 8 8. A prayer for your sons self worth
- 9 9. Prayer for your sons purity
- 10 10. A prayer for protection over your son
- 11 11. A prayer for your sons view of money and possessions
1. A prayer for your sons discernment
Lord, I pray that my son will develop an eternal perspective and purpose, not an earthly one. Help him to see life–and every challenge–through Your eyes, eager and unafraid to share with others the good news of Jesus wherever he goes. I pray that they will set his minds on things above, not just what’s going on here, and that he will be rooted and grounded in Your love. I pray that he will come to understand the extent of Your own love for him–that it surpasses all the head knowledge they will acquire in school. I pray he will be filled up with You from morning ’til night.
~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan
2. A prayer for your own wisdom
Lord, Your Word says “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). Lord, I need that kind of wisdom to know when to speak to my son and when to be silent. “Do not let any unwholesome talk, lecturing, judging, or accusing come of my mouth, but only what is helpful for building my son up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph. 4:29). Let me also be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for my anger doesn’t bring about the righteous life that God desires” (James 1:19).
~ Cindi McMenamin
3. A prayer for a son who has turned from God
Dear God,You know our hearts, you hear our prayers, and care about all that concerns us. You understand the burden we carry and how we want, more than anything, to see our loved ones come to you. Help us to remember that you love them more than we ever could. And you desire to extend your great love and forgiveness, your mercy and hope. Thank you that nothing is too difficult for you. Thank you that your power is unlimited and you came to set the captives free. Thank you that you wait, arms open, for the prodigal to return, that you look for his arrival to lavishly celebrate that he’s come home. We praise you for you are Redeemer and Rescuer, Savior and Lord. We know and believe that there’s no pit so deep that your love can’t reach us still. We understand that your mercies are new every morning, and your faithfulness is great.
Lord, we ask that you would halt the plans of the enemy over these we love as we bring them before you right now. We pray that his schemes be demolished and that your plans for good, for a future and hope, would prevail. Would you open blind eyes that they might see your Truth. Would you rescue those walking in darkness and heal the deep wounds of those who’ve been hurt.
We pray for the miraculous intervention of your Spirit to draw them to yourself, to work strong on behalf of our loved ones who are lost and wandering. For you came with good news, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for captives and release for the prisoners. Though we deserved penalty for our wrong, you stood in our place and took the blows on our behalf. You choose to die, so that we can live. Forever and free.
Lord, forgive our unbelief. Forgive the times we’ve doubted that you could ever change a distant heart. Forgive our hard-heartedness, our weariness, or forgetfulness to “pray continually.” Thank you that you never give up on us. Remind us of how you’ve changed our own hearts. How your miracle of life and hope has sprung up deep within our souls. We love you Lord, we need you, and we thank you that you hear our prayers and are at work even now. Powerfully. Faithfully. Miraculously. Thank you for the gift of our Savior, God with us. Thank you for your goodness and love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
~ Debbie McDaniel
4. Scriptural prayers for your son
1. Create in my son a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within him (Psalm 51:10).
2. May my son walk after You, God, and fear You and keep Your commandments and obey Your voice. May he serve You and hold fast to You (Deuteronomy 13:4).
3. May my son be strong and courageous and not fear or be in dread, for it is You, Lord, our God, who goes with him. You will never leave him or forsake him (Deuteronomy 31:6).
4. May my son walk before You, God, as King David walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that You have commanded him, and keeping Your statutes and rules (1 Kings 9:4).
5. Like Timothy, may my son be an example to believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12).
~ Brooke McGlothlin, Proverbs 31 Ministries
5. A prayer for your sons relationships and influences
First, oh Lord, forgive us for the times when we have misplaced our priorities so that we haven’t been available to model a strong relationship with You in front of our kids. Help us to understand the power of our influence in our children’s lives and to reorder our schedule so that we can be available to both directly and indirectly offer the godly influence that our sons desperately need.
Second, while we do pray that our sons would be protected from negative influences, we also pray that you would surround them with friendships and mentor-type relationships that portray what it means to have an authentic relationship with Christ. In turn, we pray that you would raise our sons up to be the influencers of the next generation. We pray that you would allow godliness and righteousness to dwell in their hearts so richly that these evidences of your truth spill out of them and to every person they encounter.
Through it all, we pray that they would not be prone to laziness or complacency, but that they would believe that even a single candle burning in the dark makes a difference and would boldly stand up for truth, even when it’s unpopular.
~ Alicia Michelle
6. A birthday prayer for your son
Dear Lord, on this day that we celebrate ________’s birth, I pray for blessings and joy over ________. You knew everything about him before his birth and You have a plan of prosperity and hope for his life! Let him feel confident and ready for the year ahead knowing that You have an order to his steps and a purpose for his life. Help him to find joy in every circumstance in life, knowing that You work all things out for good. I thank You for ________, for loving him with unconditional love, and for the promises You have spoken over his life. In Jesus Name, Amen.
7. A prayer for your sons body image and purity
Dear Jesus, we weep with you over the number of our kids who are buying into the lie that sexual pleasure is something to experiment with. We pray that our sons would treasure their sexuality as a true gift from You, and that they would honor that gift by saving it as a precious treasure to give their future spouse. We ask that you would help them to be strong in the face of their own desires and that they would choose purity in the face of temptation.
Lord we also ask that you’d protect our sons from the idea that they must do anything and everything (including abusing their bodies through eating disorders, drug abuse, or other harmful behaviors) in order to attaining a “preferred” shape or figure. We pray you’d protect our sons from that kind of destructive thinking, and that if they’re tempted to take these kind of drastic measures, that you’d send someone in their lives to stop them. Help them to remember over and over that their identity is not in how they look on the outside but what you see as their potential and worth on the inside.
We pray that our children would treasure their health as a gift from God and that they would have a passion to eat nutritious food and to stay active in order to do their part to take care of this treasure.
~ Alicia Michelle
8. A prayer for your sons self worth
Dear Jesus, help my son know that we are all born as sinners and separated from God because of our wicked hearts. However, at an early age, him grasp the life-transforming concept that he does not have to live as a sinner under that condemnation.
Teach my son that he has the opportunity to accept a new, beautiful identity that is called “good,” not because of what he has done or what he looks like, but because he is secure in who YOU say they are: treasured, delightful, known and protected. Let him not place their self-worth in accomplishments he may or may not achieve, but let him discover these deeper truths about who You believe he is and build every decision he makes on that sure foundation.
~ Alicia Michelle
9. Prayer for your sons purity
Lord, I pray that You will create in my son a clean heart and that You would constantly renew a right spirit within him, keeping his thoughts and actions pure and motivated by love. Guard him from temptation, and let him know You are always faithful to give him a way out and help to endure. May the words of his mouth and the meditations of his heart always please you and edify others.
~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan
10. A prayer for protection over your son
Lord, I pray Your emotional, physical, and spiritual protection over my son. Keep evil far from him, and help him to trust You as his refuge and strength. I pray You will guard his mind from harmful instruction, and grant him discernment to recognize truth. I pray You will make him strong and courageous in the presence of danger, recognizing that You have overcome and will set right all injustice and wrong one day. Help him to find rest in Your shadow, as he lives in the spiritual shelter You provide for him. Let him know that the only safe place is in Jesus,and that his home on earth is only temporary.
~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan
11. A prayer for your sons view of money and possessions
Heavenly Father, help us to model a healthy example of how to handle possessions and money. Help us to work hard, but to not wear ourselves out in order to get rich so that our children can witness a positive, godly view of hard work and the pursuit of success.
We pray that our sons would persevere in whatever vocation you give them and that they would work with cheerful hearts as if they were serving you directly.
We pray that our sons would see at an early age that money and possessions are a gift from You and thus must be always held with an open hand so that You can use those gifts to bless others.
We ask that our sons would find their value in their true identity as a child of You, not in the possessions they do or do not have. We pray for contentment and gratefulness in whatever situation they’re given—rich or poor. We pray they would have a steadfast commitment to work hard with the talents you’ve given them so that they could support themselves, their families and use their money as a way to bless others in need.
Ultimately, we pray that they would discover that the greatest “wealth” they could possess would be in relationships, especially in a relationship with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
~ Alicia Michelle
We hope these prayers have been able to guide your thoughts and calm your soul as you seek God’s will for your son. Join other moms who are praying for their sons in the comments below and experience the power of a praying community. Gain support and encouragement for the work that God has called you to!
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
Prayer for Healing
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Therefore, we see panikhidas and prayer at home for the dead are beneficial for them, as are good deeds done in their memory, such as alms or contributions to the church. But especially beneficial for them is commemoration at the Divine Liturgy. There have been many appearances of the dead and other occurrences which confirm how beneficial is the commemoration of the dead. Many who died in repentance, but who were unable to manifest this while they were alive, have been freed from tortures and have obtained repose.
How important commemoration at the Liturgy is may be seen in the following occurrence: Before the uncovering of the relics of St. Theodosius of Chernigov (1896), the priest-monk (the renowned Starets Alexis of Goloseyevsky Hermitage, of the Kiev-Caves Lavra, who died in 1916) who was conducting the re-vesting of the relics, becoming weary while sitting by the relics, dozed off and saw before him the Saint, who told him: “I thank you for laboring me. I beg you also, when you will serve the Liturgy, to commemorate my parents”—and be gave their names (Priest Nikita and Maria).** “How can you, O Saint, ask my prayers, when you yourself stand at the heavenly Throne and grant to people God’s mercy?” the priest-monk asked. “Yes, that is true,” replied St. Theodosius, “but the offering at the Liturgy is more powerful than my prayer.”
Therefore, we see panikhidas and prayer at home for the dead are beneficial for them, as are good deeds done in their memory, such as alms or contributions to the church. But especially beneficial for them is commemoration at the Divine Liturgy. There have been many appearances of the dead and other occurrences which confirm how beneficial is the commemoration of the dead. Many who died in repentance, but who were unable to manifest this while they were alive, have been freed from tortures and have obtained repose. In the Church, prayers are ever offered for the repose of the dead, and on the day of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, in the kneeling prayers at vespers, there is even a special petition “for those in hell.”
St. Gregory the Great, in answering in his Dialogues the question, “Is there anything at all that can possibly benefit souls after death?” teaches: “The Holy Sacrifice of Christ, our saving Victim, brings great benefits to souls even after death, provided their sins (are such as) can be pardoned in the life to come. For this reason the souls of the dead sometimes beg to have Liturgies offered for them … The safer course, naturally, is to do for ourselves during life what we hope others will do for us after death. It is better to make one’s exit a free man than to seek liberty after one is in chains. We should, therefore, despise this world with all our hearts as though its glory were already spent, and offer our sacrifice of tears to God each day as we immolate His sacred Flesh and Blood. This Sacrifice alone has the power of saving the soul from eternal death, for it presents to us mystically the death of the Only-begotten Son” (Dialogues IV: 57, 60, pp. 266, 272-3).
St. Gregory gives several examples of the dead appearing to the living and asking for or thanking them for the celebration of the Liturgy for their repose; once, also, a captive whom his wife believed dead and for whom she had the Liturgy celebrated on certain days, returned from captivity and told her how he had been released from his chains on some days—the very days when the Liturgy had been offered for him. (Dialogues IV: 57, 59, pp. 267, 270).
Protestant theologians find the Church’s prayer for the dead to be somehow incompatible with the necessity of finding salvation first of all in this life: “If you can be saved by the Church after death, then why bother to struggle or find faith in this Life? Let us eat, drink, and be merry…” Of course, no one holding such a philosophy has ever attained salvation by the Church’s prayers, and it is evident that such an argument is quite artificial and even hypocritical. The Church’s prayer cannot save anyone who does not wish salvation, or who never offered any struggle for it himself during his lifetime. In a sense, one might say that the prayer of the Church or of individual Christians for a dead person is but another result of that person’s life: he would not be prayed for unless he had done something during his lifetime to inspire such prayer after his death.
St. Mark of Ephesus also discusses this question of the Church’s prayer for the dead and the improvement it brings in their state, citing the example of the prayer of St. Gregory the Dialogist for the Roman Emperor Trajan—a prayer inspired by a good deed of this pagan Emperor.
**These names had been unknown before this vision. Several years after the canonization, St. Theodosius’ own Book of Commemoration was found in the monastery where he had once been Abbot, which confirmed these names and corroborated the vision. See the Life of Elder Alexis in Pravoslavny Blagovestnik, San Francisco, 1967, No. I (in Russian).
Excerpt from The Soul after Death by Fr. Seraphim Rose
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