Prayer for mourning friend

Everywhere in the world, someone mourns

the death of a loved one. Lord, may these

people feel Your love and Your comfort while

they spill or hide their tears. May they find

strength in the hope that with You, reborn

are the souls that have flown like geese

to a better clime. Help the mourners to smile

again in time though in their minds

shall live the legacies of those loved ones.

Had the latter fought earthly battles, let

the living learn from them and even continue

the good causes which have been passed on

like batons in the marathons of life. May the mourners set

their eyes away from pity and lift their sorrows to You.


Lord, I lift my friend to You, I’ve done all that I know to do

I lift my friend to You

Complicated circumstances have clouded his view

Lord, I lift my friend up to You

I fear that I won’t have the words that he needs to hear

I pray for Your wisdom, oh God, and a heart that’s sincere

Lord, I lift my friend up to You

Lord, I lift my friend to You

My best friend in the world, I know he means much more to You

I want so much to help him, but this is something he has to do

And Lord, I lift my friend up to You

’cause there’s a way that seems so right to him

But You know where that leads

He’s becoming a puppet of the world, too blind to see the strings

Lord, I lift my friend up to You

My friend up to You

Lord, I lift my friend to You, I’ve done all that I know to do

I lift my friend to You

Господи, я поднимаю мой друг для вас, я сделал все , что я знаю , чтобы сделать

Я поднимаю мой друг Тебе

Сложные обстоятельства омрачены свое мнение

Господи, я поднимаю мой друг до вас

Я боюсь, что у меня не будет слова , которые ему нужны , чтобы услышать

Я молюсь за вашу мудрость , о Боже , и сердце , что искренний

Господи, я поднимаю мой друг до вас

Господи, я поднимаю мой друг Тебе

Мой лучший друг в мире , я знаю, что он значит гораздо больше к вам

Я хочу так много, чтобы помочь ему, но это то, что он должен сделать,

И Господь , Я поднимаю мой друг до вас

Потому , что есть способ , который, кажется , так прямо к нему

Но Вы знаете, где это приводит

Он становится марионеткой мире , слишком слеп, чтобы увидеть строки

Господи, я поднимаю мой друг до вас

Мой друг до вас

Господи, я поднимаю мой друг для вас, я сделал все , что я знаю , чтобы сделать

Я поднимаю мой друг Тебе

I’m tired of beeps, tired of evil chair beds, tired of not knowing, tired of being tired, tired of Julia’s pain. It’s 5 in the morning, and I am mourning. Maybe it’s the dark of the room, the hum of the annoying air conditioner, the hunger in my gut. But I felt the need to pour out my heart to Jesus right now. I’ll let you join in for the ride.

Jesus, I lift up those who have suffered this way far more than I have. I pray for my friend Shelly, walking through her dad’s cancer recurrence, my friend Twilla who battles her own, my friend Holly who has suffered alongside so many of her children. They are my heroines right now. Please be with each one in tangible ways today.

I give You Julia. You love her far more than I do, and You know what’s wrong. I rest in Your sovereign timing of a diagnosis, and even if we never figure this out, I choose to praise you in this moment. But my mother’s heart is to know what is hurting her. Please, Jesus, show the doctors what in the world is wrong. Or just plain heal her.

Protect Sophie and Aidan during this time. Give them supernatural rest. Calm their fears and nerves. Reveal Yourself to them in uncanny ways. Surround them with people who love You and them. Bring deep, wide community to them. I trust You for that.

Be very near Patrick as he shoulders this. Calm his heart. Help him know that You see all this and will give us all the strength and provision we need to endure.

I give You me. Me who is beyond worried and tired and over it. I need rest. I need You. I need perspective. I need Your eyes upon me, Your grace holding my trembling hand, Your power overwhelming my weakness.

Thank You Lord for friends who are truly, deeply good to us, who shoulder our burden alongside, who weep with us, who provide. Every time I think about the wealth we have in friends, I tear up. God, You are so so so good to provide community. In light of that, I pray You would make me a better community member, to be more compassionate, more understanding, more sacrificial, more hopeful, more of an intercessor for those in trauma. Open up my heart; don’t diminish it. Broaden my influence for Your sake, not mine.

Above all, may Your renown resound in this situation. Your fame. Your glory. Your power. Your goodness. It’s all about You, even if I sit on a rocking chair in the wee hours of the morning, mourning. Thank You for the example of the lament psalms, where the Psalmist started off much like me, then ended his rant with praise. I’m glad there are others in the Bible who riled, felt sad and confused, and threw their pain to the heavens. Thanks that when we hurl it, You catch it and shoulder it.

I don’t know where I would be without You, Jesus. My life is Yours. You have done great, miraculous things in my heart, far beyond my wildest imagination. So I look back on your faithfulness and draw from that like it’s a bank, and I’m spending it today. Help me to be fully alive, alert, and attuned to Your presence in this moment. Help me be a compassionate mother to my children, and a dedicated, cheerleading wife to my husband. Be near our extended families as they watch all this from the sidelines.

Thank You Jesus for prayer. I need it. My prayer of mourning this morning is turning into something wholly different. And for that I’m grateful. Please, please be near Jesus. I need You.



Kaddish is the Jewish prayer for mourners. It’s said every day for eleven months after the death of a family member. After that it is repeated yearly on the anniversary of the death.

It marks a completion. Its meaning is unimportant. The sound of the words, spoken in ancient Aramaic, is what is important. The rhythm. The melody. The comfort of the words.

In Night Elie Wiesel wrote of men reciting Kaddish for themselves as they approached their deaths. He wrote about his anger with G-d. Why should he sanctify a G-d who allowed the crematoria? Still the prayer rose inside him.

As it rises in many of us.

I need your help

I am collecting recordings of people saying and chanting the Kaddish for a soundscape.

Make a sound recording or video of you, your friends, your minion, your congregation, your family saying Kaddish. You can use the microphone on your phone. You can use a better microphone if you have one. It’s okay to send me video files even. Whatever you can do is welcome.

Sending your files to me

You can send me files from your computer or smartphone using the following link:

prayer for mourning friendRecord your reading from your telephone

You can also make a recording of your prayers of Kaddish using your telephone. Here’s how to record your message:

1) Call LifeOnRecord, +1-800-437-3009 by May 1, 2017
2) When prompted, enter your Invitation Number:
3) Record your message after the tone. When finished you can either hang up or press the # key. If you press the # key you’ll be given options to listen to your recording, accept your recording, or re-record it.

If you are not in the US and Canada, find a local number here:

The flower burning in the Day—and what comes after…

Babi Yar (Babin Yar) 2016. Nineteen years before I was born 33,700 Jews were killed in a massacre 2 miles from the center of Kiev in a wooded area called Babi Yar.

A few days after the Germans took Kiev on September 11, 1941, signs began appearing ordering Jews to appear near the site of the Jewish cemetery.

Failure to do so, the signs read, would result in being shot on sight.

The Jews thought it was for resettlement. Another resettlement. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Eighteen days after the Germans took Kiev, the massacre began.

This was one of the first huge mass executions of Jews by the Nazis. It was the beginning of the Final Solution.

The killing continued throughout the war. An uncounted number of Roma and Ukrainians were also killed there.

Who was killed at Babi Yar and how many exactly, may remain a mystery. When whole families are wiped out, there is no one left to count them.

Towards the end of World War II, the bodies were dug up. The bones smashed. What was left, burned. The history of the place was repressed first by the Nazis and then by the Soviets. Still, it would not remain a secret.

Today it is a rambling park. Construction crews work to reshape it. Kitsch sculptures mark the locations where Jews were killed. A menorah. A child with a headless doll. A stack of heroic bodies.

A highway borders the site. There is no west or east. No south or north.

prayer for mourning friend

Broken tombstones from a small Jewish cemetery in Babi Yar. Taken July 13, 2016.

The prayers you share are for them. They will be part of a soundscape (like a landscape painting, but made of sound) that I am creating specifically for the site.

Thank you for participating.

Please share with others.

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