Prayer for funeral service

prayer for funeral service

Last Updated on May 29, 2018

Biblical funeral prayers are one important way for Christians to honor God, show their trust and faith in him, and proclaim his goodness and sovereignty over all of life’s affairs. In life and in death our hope is in God and in the saving work of Jesus his Son.

So it is right to pray at a Christian’s funeral service. Prayer is an act of worship, an act of trust, and an act of obedience. As such, funeral prayers are profoundly comforting to believers and a wonderful testimony of the deceased’s faith in Christ.

Additionally, because we believe that the Bible is our rule of faith and conduct, it is good to pray Biblical funeral prayers that are taken directly from the Scriptures. This, again, is a way to honor God by proclaiming his word. The Word and prayer are also means of grace by which the Holy Spirit encourages and comforts his people.

Here are ten beautiful and biblical prayers to pray at a believer’s funeral.

prayer for funeral service

Biblical Funeral Prayers for a Christian Funeral Service

Any of these biblical funeral prayers can be read by a pastor or clergy, by a close friend or family member, or corporately by all attendees. You can divide these up into call-and-response readings, where the leader reads one or more verses and the rest of the funeral service attendees read the next verse or two. Corporate prayers invite participation and allow mourners a way to express grief and faith.

However, not all who attend a funeral are believers, so unless the funeral is held in a church and officiated by a minister you may want to preface any corporate prayers, readings, or hymns with an invitation to participate but also note that it is not required. This is an excellent opportunity to present the the gospel as you encourage those who cannot pray along with you to at least listen and consider the words of Scripture. See “Example of Call-and-Response Corporate Prayer” at the end of this article for how to do a prayer in this manner.

1. PSALM 23

prayer for funeral service

King James Version (Traditional)

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

English Standard Version (Contemporary)

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
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.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

2. THE LORD’S PRAYER

prayer for funeral service

From Matthew 6:9-13, where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray.

King James Version (Traditional)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. for ever and ever.
Amen.

English Standard Version (Contemporary)

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Amen.

3. I CORINTHIANS 15:51-57

prayer for funeral service

Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet.

For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

For that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality.

And when this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, then the word that is written shall come about: “Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

4. PSALM 27:1, 3-5

prayer for funeral service

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear:
Though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after;
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion:
In the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me;
He shall set me up upon a rock.

5. ECCLESIASTES 3:1-8

prayer for funeral service

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.

6. II TIMOTHY 2:11-13

prayer for funeral service

This saying is trustworthy:
If we have died with him we shall also live with him;
If we persevere we shall also reign with him.
But if we deny him he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful he remains faithful,
For he cannot deny himself.

7. THE RESURRECTION PRAYER

prayer for funeral service

This is an ancient burial prayer taken from multiple Scripture passages. Traditional and anonymous, it is included here because it is simply the words of the Bible in prayer form.

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. John 11:25-26
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though this body be destroyed, yet shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger. Job 19:25-27
For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For if we live, we live unto the Lord. and if we die, we die unto the Lord. Whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. Romans 14:7-8
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labors. Revelation 14:13

8. THE BEATITUDES

prayer for funeral service

From Matthew 5:3-12, where Jesus pronounced this series of blessings for the encouragement of the saints.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

9. PSALM 116

prayer for funeral service

I love the Lord, because He has heard
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.

The pains of death surrounded me,
And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me;
I found trouble and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
Yes, our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.
Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.
I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.
I believed, therefore I spoke,
“I am greatly afflicted.”
I said in my haste,
“All men are liars.”

What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me?
I will take up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people.

Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His saints.

O Lord, truly I am Your servant;
I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant;
You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And will call upon the name of the Lord.

I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people,
In the courts of the Lord’s house,
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord!

10. PSALM 121

prayer for funeral service

I lift up my eyes to the hills;
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
The Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip;
He who watches over you will not slumber;
Indeed, He who watches over Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you.
The Lord is your shade at your right hand;
The sun will not harm you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm.
He will watch over your life;
The Lord will watch over your coming and going
Both now and forever more.

ADDITIONAL PASSAGES

Here are some additional biblical funeral prayer Scripture passages ideal for reading or prayer at a funeral.

  • Psalm 32
  • Psalm 34
  • Psalm 46
  • Psalm 130
  • Matthew 11:25-30
  • John 5:24-29
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
  • 1 John 3:1-2

EXAMPLE OF CORPORATE CALL-AND-RESPONSE PRAYER

Here is an example of how to do a corporate prayer (where everyone recites the words of the prayer together) in a call-and-response style. From I Corinthians 15:51-57.

Leader

Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet.

All

For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Leader

For that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality. And when this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, then the word that is written shall come about: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

All

“Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?”

Leader

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

All

But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Pin It

prayer for funeral service

(Visited 68,846 times, 124 visits today)

www.usurnsonline.com

OPENING PRAYER

God who creates and re-creates us,

God who laughs with us and weeps with us,

God who walks with us each step of the way, carrying us when our strength fails,

we gather today with hearts breaking with grief, with voices crying out words of lament.

And so we ask that you would move in and around us today.

As we gather to remember and say good bye to

NAME,

be the shoulder we can cry on, the arm we can lean on,

help us to see through the veil of tears that there is hope

for life continuing.

Gracious God, as mysterious and wondrous as you are,

you are also a compassionate God,

as attentive as a hen with her chicks,

as tender as a mother with a newborn child,

as watchful as a shepherd with the sheep,

as protective as a father’s warm embrace.

and so we come into your presence to grieve

NAME’s

death,

asking that your Holy Spirit would be here to ease our pain.

As we give thanks for all that

he/she

added to the lives of those around

her/him,

as we release our tears and anger,

as we say our good-byes, remind us that we are not alone.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

PRAYER FOR GRACE

God of life and death and life beyond death,

we gather together today all too aware of the fragility of life.

We gather today all too aware of the pain in the world,

and of the ways we may not respond to that pain.

We know that we are not perfect,

that we do not always live out Your love as we truly could.

There are times we carry guilt for things we have done,

for things we have not done but could have,

and for things that we only see in hindsight.

Some of this guilt is warranted, and some of it is not,

sometimes we take on things that are not ours.

To deal with the guilt we have earned and the guilt we place on ourselves, we need your grace.

As we open ourselves to you, naming in silence the times we think or feel that we have come short, move in our hearts, remind us that we live in Your grace, remind us that we are loved and forgiven and accepted.

…time of silent prayer… Here is the Good News! Nothing in death or life separates us from the love of God. We are loved. We are accepted. We are forgiven. Thanks be to God. Amen.

worshipofferings.blogspot.com

A selection of funeral prayers that are often used at funerals. This is not a definitive list but it may help you select a prayer (if required) to remember your loved one by.

If you would prefer a prayer that is not included, don’t worry – you can. Simply include the details when you email us on

[email protected]

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven;
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation;
But deliver us from evil;
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed
is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus
Holy Mary, mother of God
Pray for us sinners
Now and at the hour of our death
Amen.

23rd Psalm Funeral Prayer

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul;
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Almighty God, in your great love

Almighty God, in your great love

you crafted us by your hand

and breathed life into us by your Spirit.

Although we became a rebellious people,

you did not abandon us to our sin.

In your tender mercy

you sent your Son

to restore in us your image.

In obedience to your will

he gave up his life for us,

bearing in his body our sins on the cross.

By your mighty power

you raised him from the grave

and exalted him to the throne of glory.

Rejoicing in his victory

and trusting in your promise

to make alive all who turn to Christ,

we commend N to your mercy

and we join with all your faithful people

and the whole company of heaven

in the one unending song of praise:

glory and wisdom and honour

be to our God for ever and ever.

Amen.

Catholic Funeral Prayer

God our Father,

Your power brings us to birth,

Your providence guides our lives,

and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,

their lives change but do not end.

I pray in hope for my family,

relatives and friends,

and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,

Who died and now lives,

may they rejoice in Your kingdom,

where all our tears are wiped away.

Unite us together again in one family,

to sing Your praise forever and ever.

Amen.

Catholic Prayer for a Woman

We beseech Thee, O Lord,

in Thy mercy,

to have pity on the soul of Thy handmaid;

do Thou, Who hast freed her

from the perils of this mortal life,

restore to her the portion of everlasting salvation.

Through Christ our Lord,

Amen.

Catholic Prayer for the Dead

God our Father,

Your power brings us to birth,

Your providence guides our lives,

and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,

their lives change but do not end.

I pray in hope for my family,

relatives and friends,

and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,

Who died and now lives,

may they rejoice in Your kingdom,

where all our tears are wiped away.

Unite us together again in one family,

to sing Your praise forever and ever.

Amen.

Catholic Prayer for the Deceased

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.

Christ be with me

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Christian Funeral Prayer

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.

Body of Christ, save me.

Blood of Christ, refresh me.

Water from the side of Christ, wash me.

Passion of Christ, strengthen me.

O good Jesus, hear me.

Within your wounds hide me.

Let me never be separated from you.

From the power of darkness defend me.

In the hour of my death, call me

and bid me come to you,

that with your saints I may praise you

for ever and ever.

Amen.

Day by Day

Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you

for all the benefits you have won for us,

for all the pains and insults you have borne for us.

Most merciful redeemer,

friend and brother,

may we know you more clearly,

love you more dearly,

and follow you more nearly,

day by day.

Amen.

Eternal God and Father

Eternal God and Father,

we praise you that you have made people

to share life together

and to reflect your glory in the world.

We thank you now for ,

for all that we saw of your goodness and love in his/her life

and for all that he/she means to each one of us.

As we too journey towards death

may we do so in the company of Jesus,

who came to share our life

that we might share the life of eternity.

To him be glory with you and the Holy Spirit

for ever and ever.

Amen.

Father in heaven

Father in heaven, we praise your name

for all who have finished this life loving and trusting you,

for the example of their lives,

the life and grace you gave them,

and the peace in which they rest.

We praise you today for your servant

and for all that you did through him/her.

Meet us in our sadness

and fill our hearts with praise and thanksgiving,

for the sake of our risen Lord, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Funeral Prayer for a Child

God of all mystery, whose ways are beyond understanding,

lead us, who grieve at this untimely death,

to a new and deeper faith in your love,

which brought your only Son Jesus

through death into resurrection life.

We make our prayer in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

Funeral prayer for the family

O God, you do not willingly grieve or afflict your children.

Look with pity on the suffering of this family in their loss.

Sustain them in their anguish;

and into the darkness of their grief

bring the light of your love;

through Jesus we pray.

Amen.

Funeral Service Prayer

Heavenly Father,

you have not made us for darkness and death,

but for life with you for ever.

Without you we have nothing to hope for;

with you we have nothing to fear.

Speak to us now your words of eternal life.

Lift us from anxiety and guilt

to the light and peace of your presence,

and set the glory of your love before us;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Funeral Prayer

Almighty God,

you love everything you have made

and judge us with infinite mercy and justice.

We rejoice in your promises of pardon, joy and peace

to all those who love you.

In your mercy turn the darkness of death into the dawn of new life,

and the sorrow of parting into the joy of heaven;

through our Saviour Jesus Christ,

who died, rose again, and lives for evermore.

Amen.

God be in my head

God be in my head,

and in my understanding;

God be in my eyes,

and in my looking;

God be in my mouth,

and in my speaking;

God be in my heart,

and in my thinking;

God be at my end,

and at my departing.

Amen.

God our refuge and strength

God our refuge and strength,

close at hand in our distress;

meet us in our sorrow and lift our eyes

to the peace and light of your constant care.

Help us so to hear your word of grace

that our fear will be dispelled by your love,

our loneliness eased by your presence

and our hope renewed by your promises

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Living God, you have lit the day with the sun’s light

Living God, you have lit the day with the sun’s light

and the midnight with shining stars.

Lighten our hearts with the bright beams

of the Sun of Righteousness

risen with healing in his wings,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

And so preserve us in the doing of your will,

that at the last we may shine

as the stars for ever;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Lord God, creator of all

Lord God, creator of all,

you have made us creatures of this earth

but have also promised us a share in life eternal:

receive our thanks and praise

that, through the passion and death of Christ,

your child , our brother/sister,

whom we commend into your hands today,

shares with your saints in the joy of heaven,

where there is neither sorrow nor pain

but life everlasting. Alleluia.

Amen.

Lord, in weakness or in strength

Lord, in weakness or in strength
we bear your image.
We pray for those we love
who now live in a land of shadows,
where the light of memory is dimmed,
where the familiar lies unknown,
where the beloved become as strangers.
Hold them in your everlasting arms,
and grant to those who care
a strength to serve,
a patience to persevere,
a love to last
and a peace that passes human understanding.
Hold us in your everlasting arms,
today and for all eternity;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Lord Jesus, our redeemer

Lord Jesus, our redeemer,
you willingly gave yourself up to death,
so that all might be saved and pass from death to life.
By dying you unlocked the gates of life
for all those who believe in you.
So we commend into your arms of mercy,
believing that, with sins forgiven,
he/she will share a place of happiness, light and peace
in the kingdom of your glory for ever.
Amen.

Prayer for funerals

God our Father,
we thank you that you have made each of us
in your own image,
and given us gifts and talents with which to serve you.
We thank you for ,
the years we shared with him/her,
the good we saw in him/her,
the love we received from him/her.
Now give us strength and courage
to leave him/her in your care,
confident in your promise of eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Prayers for Mourners

Father of all mercies and God of all consolation,
you pursue us with untiring love
and dispel the shadow of death
with the bright dawn of life.
Give courage to this family in their loss and sorrow.
Be their refuge and strength, O Lord,
reassure them of your continuing love
and lift them from the depths of grief
into the peace and light of your presence.
Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
by dying has destroyed our death,
and by rising, restored our life.
Your Holy Spirit, our comforter,
speaks for us in groans too deep for words.
Come alongside your people,
remind them of your eternal presence
and give them your comfort and strength.
Amen.

Psalm of Comfort

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: ‘When shall I come and appear before God?’
My tears have been my food day and night, while they say unto me all the day: ‘Where is Thy God?’
These things I remember, and pour out my soul within me,
how I passed on with the throng, and led them to the house of God,
with the voice of joy and praise, a multitude keeping holyday.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why moanest thou within me?
Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him for the salvation of His countenance.

Sudden Death Prayer

God of hope,
we come to you in shock and grief and confusion of heart.
Help us to find peace in the knowledge
of your loving mercy to all your children,
and give us light to guide us out of our darkness
into the assurance of your love,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Thanksgiving for the Life of the Deceased

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us all with the gift of this earthly life
and has given to our brother/sister
his/her span of years and gifts of character.
God our Father, we thank you now for all his/her life,
for every memory of love and joy,
for every good deed done by him/her
and every sorrow shared with us.
We thank you for his/her life and for his/her death,
we thank you for the rest in Christ he/she now enjoys,
we thank you for giving him/her to us,
we thank you for the glory we shall share together.
Hear our prayers through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Lord is here

The Lord is here,
his Spirit is with us.
We need not fear,
his Spirit is with us.
We are surrounded by love,
his Spirit is with us.
We are immersed in peace,
his Spirit is with us.
We rejoice in hope,
his Spirit is with us.
We travel in faith,
his Spirit is with us.

Got more questions? Simply call us on 0800 612 6484 – it is free from a landline – if you have any questions. We are experts in the design and printing of funeral stationery and are happy to help if we can.

Alternatively, you can fill in our contact form and one of our designers will call you back.

Ready to order? Call 0800 612 6484 or use our Contact form

Get in Touch

www.fittingfarewell.uk.com

The Lord Jesus has taken away the sting of death through his resurrection. Believers know that for all who are in union with Jesus, their bodies will be united to Christ after death and they anticipate the hope of the resurrection. The sting is gone. The last enemy is defeated. Death has no victory over the believer.

All of this is true in a spiritual sense—death has lost its sting, victory over death has been won. Death no longer holds us captive, but as a pastor for nearly a decade, I have observed that death and the trials and sorrow surrounding it have stings that catches many families by surprise. We never know when we will be called out of this life. Middle-aged men die; children die; old people die. Unless Jesus returns, we will all die.

There will be mourning; the sting of death will bring pain. But trust me in this—if you are in Christ, the mourning will be only here on earth; you will be face-to-face with your precious Savior, Jesus Christ.

Excerpt from The Stings of Death by Nathan Ehelman

A Funeral Prayer for Comfort 

Dear Jesus, How remarkable it is to have a savior who weeps with me.

Back when I was in elementary school, I loved John 11:35 for its brevity. “Jesus wept.” My friends and I would giggle, pleased that we had discovered the second-shortest verse in the Bible. (The shortest verse, as we gleefully reminded each other, was Job 3:2, “He said.”) I didn’t pay much attention to the context of John 11: the story of how You were en route to the tomb of Your friend Lazarus, in the company of Lazarus’ sisters Mary and Martha, mere days after Lazarus’ death. I didn’t dwell long on the significance of Your tears.

How different that verse looks to me today. Today, as I see the casket topped with flowers that blur at the edges because my eyes go damp every time I look in their direction. Today, as pastors and friends and family members speak about my loved one using the past tense instead of the present. Today, as the words of the hymns catch in my throat and render me mute. Today, as the hope I still hold to be true collides with the waves of sorrow suffocating me.

Today, “Jesus wept” means everything to me. Today, I remember that You wept because someone dear to You and dear to people You loved had died. Even though You already knew the end of the story—even though You knew that death wouldn’t have the final word—still You wept. You didn’t stand aloof, offering textbook reassurances and condescending pats on the head. You heard the stories, clutched the shaking hands, walked to the tomb, and shed tears of your own. You grieved the loss, and You grieved with those who felt that same stinging loss.

Today, Jesus, I am thankful to worship a God who became human enough to weep with me.

I believe that the world wasn’t made for death and loss. I can feel by the cavern in my chest that something is wrong, that this aching sorrow isn’t the way things were supposed to be. And yet I also believe that You, Jesus, are in the business of restoring what has gone wrong. I believe that death won’t get the last word because You’ve already crushed it and declared the power of resurrection over everyone who will receive it.

I believe that this story, like the story of Lazarus, ends in victory. I don’t grieve like someone without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13), because I anticipate new life on the other side of the clouds. And I want to celebrate for brothers and sisters who get there ahead of me, the saints who have sprinted past me into Your throne room. I want to take delight in their delight. Their pain is gone, their needs met, their sorrows overturned, and that thought alone makes me weep for joy.

But knowing the end of the story, knowing the good that’s coming and has already come, doesn’t erase the heartbreak for the meantime. Today, I cry tears that mean a hundred things at once, happy and sorrowful and desperate and hopeful. I trust You to sort them out as You catch them, to hear and answer each prayer they represent.

I cry for those of us left behind, for the lonely ones with hollows in our hearts. I ask You to comfort us, give peace, restore hope, and lavish us with love, family, and belonging. In the depths of loss, meet us with Yourself. 

I cry for the legacy this loved one leaves, for the ways the world has been made different by their presence, for the memories that become both more beautiful and more painful on this side of death. And I pray that the work You have accomplished in this remarkable life will grow deeper, wider, and stronger in the days to come, uninhibited by a weak opponent like death.

I cry for those who haven’t yet accepted Your invitation into eternal life, for those who grieve without hope today. I pray for awakening in their hearts, for a stirring that draws to You. I pray for more attendees at the grand reunion scheduled in the coming eternity.

I cry for all the ways the world has gone wrong, and for all the ways You’re making it right again. I ask that You make me part of Your work in bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth.

I cry knowing You are here with me. And because You are here, even my tears have meaning. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

A Prayer for Those Hurting from Loss

Our hearts are grieving with those who are hurting, for those who have lost loved ones, for those who have suffered such great tragedy at the hands of evil. We ask that you would be their Comforter, that you would cover them with your grace and mercy, surrounding them in peace during this dark time.

We thank you that you alone are our Refuge, our Strong Tower, our Defender, and our Peace. We thank you that no matter what we face, you are still on the throne, you are still in control, and that no evil can ever stand against you. It will be defeated, it will not win. For you alone have won the final victory, and the enemy’s days are numbered.

Thank you God that you are surely with us…thank you that you care…thank you that your Presence is close…and that you weep with those who weep.  We need you. We know and believe beyond any doubt, that your power and love will never fail. In Jesus’ Almighty Name above all Names, Amen.

Excerpt from Prayer for Those Who are Hurting by Debbie McDaniel

Scriptures to Read at a Funeral

I didn’t fully understand the depths of grief until the year my family lost two sisters and a brother within eight months. My brother-in-law lost a five-year battle with cancer, my sister died an agonizing death from a toxic clash of prescribed medications, and my sister-in-law died suddenly from a triple brain aneurysm. God comforted us through those horrible days in many different ways. Friends made hospital visits and attended funerals. Distant relatives emailed sweet expressions of sympathy. Fellow church members sent cards and casseroles. Our greatest source of comfort, however, was the Bible verses we read in the days surrounding our loved ones’ deaths. Here are 10 verses we found especially meaningful.

“He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Isaiah 53:3 – This verse was meaningful to me because it reminded me that while no one on earth could understand my unique pain, Jesus could. Fully God and fully man, Jesus experienced the depths of human emotion during his time on earth so he could identify with our grief. Combined with John 11:35, where Jesus wept at the tomb of his friend Lazarus, this verse gave me unshakeable proof that God was not only aware of my grief, but grieved with me.

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 – Even if I cry river, Psalm 56:8 told me God would collect every one of my tears. The ones I blinked back. The ones I cried silently. The ones that soaked my pillow in the middle of the night. Not a single tear escaped his notice. Each one was precious to him, because I was precious to him.

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me.” Psalm 23:4 – This beloved verse reminds me that death is only a shadow. It passes over for a moment, but it cannot permanently hurt the believer. Eighteenth-century preacher Dwight L. Moody described it this way, “The valley of the shadow of death holds no darkness for the child of God. There must be light, else there could be no shadow. Jesus is the light. He has overcome death.” 

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 – This verse, paired with the New Testament story of Jesus’ last hours on the cross, reassures me that as soon as my loved ones took their last breaths on earth, they took their first breaths in heaven. I don’t have to wonder if they’re languishing in some in-between holding place hoping to one day see Jesus. Like Christ told the thief on the cross when he placed his faith in him, “Today, you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43 NIV). A beloved pastor once described death as walking from one room into the next. The moment my loved ones stepped out of the room called earth, they stepped into the room called heaven. And Jesus was waiting for them there.

“He wil wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!'” Revelation 21:4-5 – The thought of Jesus wiping away my tears once and for all is a precious thought. Think of a world where sorrow is banished and sickness, pain, and death have no home. Picture a place where sin’s curse has been removed, and we’ll never again have to experience the agonizing pain of cancer, Alzheimer’s, or heart disease. No hospitals. No cancer centers. No funeral homes. Just health, joy, and peace.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5 – My pastor shared this verse with me during one of my darkest days. “Right now,” he said, “you feel like you’ll never be happy again, but you will. You may wonder if it’s okay, if being happy somehow dishonors your loved one. Trust me, it doesn’t.” He was right. In time, my family and I did smile again. Even in the midst of our grief. Sometimes we laughed through our tears at the silly things our loved ones had done or said. Other times we’d share a special memory or tell a story that made us feel close to them again. I discovered that there’s healing in tears, but there’s also healing in laughter. My pastor’s words gave me permission to experience them both in my journey through grief.

Excerpt from “10 Scriptures About Death to Comfort” by Lori Hatcher

Gregory Coles is the author of Single, Gay, Christian and an English instructor at Penn State University. Learn more at www.gregorycoles.com or follow him on Facebook.

Photo courtesy: Unsplash.com

prayer for funeral service

www.crosswalk.com

Оценка 5 проголосовавших: 1
ПОДЕЛИТЬСЯ

ОСТАВЬТЕ ОТВЕТ

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here