A Prayer for Those Mourning A Loss this Winter
By Meg Bucher
It takes a strength that we don’t humanly possess to move through a season of sadness and despair. The Winter months can carry a blue perspective, especially when the snap of gray winter skies extends beyond our ability to cope without sun-light. God’s Spirit rests upon the frigid air, to comfort those saying earthly good-byes and facing the impossible return to life as usual without someone they held dear.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
Refuge is a shelter or protection from danger, trouble. (dictionary.com) The original Hebrew root-word means to seek or flee for protection; to put confidence and trust in God. (Strongs 2620)
God’s character assures us that though our lives bend and twist, He is the same. When we wander in grief, He is strong. Jesus promised never to leave us, and His presence restores peace to our souls. “God is our shelter and our strength,” the VOICE paraphrase sings,“When troubles seem near, God is nearer, and He’s ready to help. So why run and hide?”
Instead of hiding our grief and attempting to walk through it numbly, we serve a God who wants us to break down to Him. We can crumble at His feet, and He will pick us up. His love is perfect. Christ came down to earth out of compassion for us, and He watches after ever one of His sheep. When one is lame or hurting, He knows! And He rushes to our side.
Praise You for Your omnipotent hand of protection over our lives. Even through we come to You with downcast hearts, we know in full confidence that You are able to lift us out of our grief. You are our Healer. You know our hearts, from our aching hurts to our feelings of despair. As the frigid winter air freezes the ground, our hurting hearts tend to harden. Mourning isn’t easy, and we’d often rather go it alone, or avoid it all together. When we wish to close everyone off and isolate our hearts, empower us to bring the broken pieces of our hearts to You.
Death is difficult, but we are promised to be reunited with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in heaven. For those of us that mourn the loss of a fellow believer, we know that our pain is temporary, and that theirs has now passed away to eternal peace with Christ in heaven. Though it’s difficult to say good-bye, we know that Your presence is more than enough to restore our peace and fuel our continued perseverance of Your purpose for our lives on this earth.
Forgive us for wallowing times of despair and hopelessness. Holy Spirit, translate the groaning of our heart to the Father that sits above all in sovereignty. Relieve feelings of anger, confusion, depression, anxiety, and all other maladies of the heart and soul the coincide with grief and mourning. Help us to adjust to life without the one we mourn.
Thank You for the time we were granted with their sweet soul while their time on earth ran it’s course. For the ways they helped us grow closer to You, and challenged us to follow the course You set out for our lives. For those of us saying goodbye to mentors and teachers, seeds of doubt that we can walk as courageously without them will temp us to falter. But the remnants of their love for You will carry on in our lives in ways that we may never comprehend. Help us to retain their memory, Father. May our memories be swift, and our grief be short.
We know that every life is numbered perfectly by You, and we trust You first with the our lives, and the lives of the ones we love on this earth. Help us to let go, knowing every life belongs to You, first. Bless us with an appreciation of the mark they left in Your honor on this earth, Father. May they rest in the peace of Your arms, until we see them again.
In Jesus’ Name,
Meg encourages others to seek Him first through her life as a stay-at-home mom, career as a freelance writer, teaching Emoti-moms Weekly Bible Study, and leading the kids worship teams at her local church. She resides in a small, Northern lake town with her husband of ten years, two daughters, and their Golden-doodle. Megwrites about everyday life within the love of Christ on her blog,
Perhaps social media has increased our awareness, but chances are you or someone you know is enduring a season of grief right now: the death of a loved one, friend, neighbor or coworker.
Loss always produces grief. There is no escaping it. If you try to deny it or postpone it, it will only gather force and become more debilitating the longer you try to suppress it. That is one reason prayer is an indispensable resource for a grieving heart. While intelligible prayer may seem impossible in the early days of a deep loss, one or more of the following prayers may become helpful as the shock begins to subside:
“If we can get Guideposts inspirational stories into the hands of people who may not have a devotional life, they can share the true-life stories of how God works in the world. The joy of Guideposts is their free, donated magazines to my hospital. –Rob C., Director of Pastoral Care.
1) Pour out your grief.
“Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief” (Psalm 31:9, NIV). My heart is broken, my mind exhausted. I cry out to you and hardly know what to ask. All I can do is tell you how I feel and ask you to “keep track of all my sorrows. . . . all my tears in your bottle. . . . each one in your book” as I pour them out to you (Psalm 56:8, NLT). Amen.
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2) Ask for comfort.
Jesus, You said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4, NIV). I am mourning; send me Your comfort now. Wrap around Your arms around me and hold me tight. Send angels of mercy to me. Shower Your comfort on me through those around me, and keep far from me those whose words and actions are no comfort. Amen.
3) Ask for healing.
O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, hurry to help me. Please take the consuming anguish I feel right now; take it from me and hold me in Your arms. Heal my broken heart and bind up my wounds (see Psalm 147:3). Amen.
4) Ask for peace.
Jesus, You told Your followers, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well. . . . Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:1, 27, NIV). I need Your peace. I need “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” to guard my heart and mind (Philippians 4:7, NIV). I need peaceful sleep. I ask for peaceful thoughts and emotions to rule my days and nights. Amen.
Read More: The Garden That Healed Our Grief
5) Ask for hope.
Lord, the Bible says You are “close to the brokenhearted and those whose spirits are crushed” (Psalm 34:18, NLT). Draw close to me and rescue me. Help me not to grieve like those who haven’t discovered Your kindness and mercy, who have no hope (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13); lift me up and give me hope once more. Help me to believe that tomorrow will be better, and the next day will be easier, and that a day will come when I will feel a surge of energy and expectation for what You are doing and where You will take me. Amen.
As the prayers above suggest, you may find special comfort in reading and praying the Psalms during a season of grief. They can help you take the time to grieve well and to pray as much as you are able.
Prayer for Those Who Mourn Bless those who mourn, eternal God,
with the comfort of your love
that they may face each new day with hope
and the certainty that nothing can destroy
the good that has been given. May their memories become joyful,
their days enriched with friendship,
and their lives encircled by your love.
–c 1991 Vienna Cobb Anderson, Adapted from “Prayers of Our Hearts”
Make Me Brave for LifeGod, make me brave for life: oh, braver than this.
Let me straighten after pain, as a tree straightens after the rain,
Shining and lovely again.
God, make me brave for life; much braver than this.
As the blown grass lifts, let me rise
From sorrow with quiet eyes,
Knowing Thy way is wise.
God, make me brave, life brings
Such blinding things.
Help me to keep my sight;
Help me to see aright
That out of dark comes light.
El Maley RachamimGod full of mercy who dwells on high
Grant perfect rest on the wings of Your Divine Presence
In the lofty heights of the holy and pure
who shine as the brightness of the heavens
to the soul of _______.
who has gone to his eternal rest
as all his family and friends
pray for the elevation of his soul.
His resting place shall be in the Garden of Eden.
Therefore, the Master of mercy will care for him
under the protection of His wings for all time
And bind his soul in the bond of everlasting life.
God is his inheritance and he will rest in peace
and let us say Amen.
Prayer for Bereaved ParentsGod, you sacrificed your son so that we and our children would transcend physical death. We know that you grieved when he was crucified and that you grieve over all the atrocities done by men — especially in your name. You know and understand grief as you know and understand all. You know best how to comfort these parents. Lift their hearts up to you and fill them with your peace. Your understanding is beyond our human comprehension, but give them the knowledge and faith to endure even that which they can’t understand. Let them be aware of you always God, and help them to remember that your Love is Life that can never really be taken away.
—Beliefnet member anacleo7
Love Is Stronger Than DeathLove is stronger than death.
So, I must be content to know that
love is not affected by death-
it doesn’t end, it doesn’t diminish,
it doesn’t change.
Instead, love is immortalized
and eternalized through death.
And the possibility of that love ever
being damaged or broken
is eliminated forever.
I’ll put my trust in love.
–c 2002 Mary Hollingsworth, “Little Taps on the Shoulder From God”
Entering Into the Gate of Heaven
Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening,
into the house and gate of heaven,
to enter into that gate, and dwell in that house where there shall be
no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light;
no noise nor silence, but one equal music;
no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession;
no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity;
in the habitation of thy glory and dominion,
world without end. Amen.
A Prayer for the DeceasedGo your way to the land of the Ancestors,
where they wait for you with open arms,
there on the edge between this world and the next.
See; there they stand.
Ancestral spirits, welcome this one
to the place where we all must go.
–c 2002 Ceisiwr Serith, “A Book of Pagan Prayer”
Do Not Lose Heart
Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles
are achieving for us an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.
–2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Funeral PrayerO Allah, forgive and have mercy on him (or her). Grant him ease and respite. Make his resting place a noble one, and facilitate his entry. Cleanse him with water, snow and coolness, and purify him of wrongdoings a white cloth is purified of grime. Grant him an abode finer than his worldly one, and grant him entrance to Paradise and protect him from the chastisement of the grave, and protect him from the chastisement of the Fire.
–Muhammad, reprinted from “Remembrance and Prayer: The Way of the Prophet Muhammad”, by Muhammad Al Ghazali (trans. Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo)
A Commendation at the Time of DeathDepart, O Christian soul, out of this world;
In the Name of God the Father Almighty who created you;
In the Name of Jesus Christ who redeemed you;
In the Name of the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you.
May your rest be this day in peace,
and your dwelling place in the Paradise of God.
—Book of Common Prayer 1979
“The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of the fool is in the house of pleasure.” (Ecclesiastes 7:4)
Prayer For Those Who Mourn
We post this on the morning after the horrific massacre in Las Vegas. It was scheduled before we knew what had taken place.
Life is a precious gift. It is fragile. Those who mourn the loss someone or something most dear to them understand this. They are considered wise. Mourning is the 2nd Pillar in Wisdom’s House.
Nothing compares to the loss of human life, especially when it is senseless and evil. Our hearts and prayers go out to the many families who are suffering tremendous personal loss.
What we share today is hope and comfort from the Lord. Our example can not even begin to compare to what has happened in Las Vegas.
When we lost a business that was dear to us, we mourned the loss. We were also on the brink of financial ruin, but soon after our loss we experienced God’s favor and matchless grace.
It was through a former customer that God blessed us with a new business and worked supernaturally to give us favor. Our business prospered.
Did we deserve this? No. But Jesus promised us that we would be comforted.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
We experienced God’s unmerited favor and matchless grace.
Were we wise because we mourned, or did we mourn because we were wise?
Mourn With Hope
It comes down to your heart attitude. When you are wise you understand that life is a gift from God and loss impacts you.
You’re grateful that you don’t get what you really deserve, but have favor with God. He loves you so much that He sent His Son Jesus to remove all that stands between you and God.
As you’re doing business you see the people you interact with as precious in His sight. You see ways God wants to bless them through you and what you have to offer. You develop loving relationships. You mourn when there is a loss.
Loss and pain are common to all mankind, but the wise have a promise from God. They are blessed. They will be comforted. They will experience God’s favor and matchless grace.
You are not blessed because of your loss. You are blessed because of His loss, which demonstrates to us how much you are loved by the Father in the midst of your loss. He knows your pain and suffering.
Mourn With Wisdom
The wise experience the pain of loss, and are confronted and healed through it, being able to comfort others.
The wise person builds a business whose purpose is to help others. The question we need to ask ourselves is, am I in business more for me or am I in it more for other people?
Fools live for the next high. They live to satisfy their fleshly desires from moment to moment with little thought about life or death. It is self-centered living.
The fool is left with worldly pleasures that temporarily numb the pain of loss, but ultimately add to his sorrow. But even fools (like us) can be saved when someone shares the good news of Jesus Christ with them.
Thank You Lord!