For Those Grieving the Loss of Loved Ones
Dedicated in loving memory of Pastor Bertril Baird, who was like a grandfather to me.
Jehovah Jireh, there is none like You. Every day I want to praise and worship Your glorious name. Today I weep at the death of my friend/family/loved one. But Blessed Father, I can rest assured knowing You are there for me. I know I can find comfort and peace within You, in the midst of my tears and grief. Lord, I shout Your praises, because You have turned my mourning into dancing.
Psalm 18:22 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer. My God, my strength, in whom I will trust? My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Matthew 5:44 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Comfort in times of loneliness
Console me Lord as I grieve today. Give me Your strength, Heavenly Father. Remind me of Your promises. Comfort me when loneliness strikes and I feel lost. I pour out my heart to You today Lord, for I am broken, shattered and weary.
Heavenly Father, I need You. I am crying out in desperation, in search of that peace that will soon emerge as I cling to You.
Console those of us who are grieving today, give us Your strength oh Heavenly Father. Click To Tweet
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Revelation 21:44 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Mending the broken heart
Jesus, my Savior, my friend. You are the resurrection and the life! You wept at the loss of Lazarus, yet You are capable of overcoming death and the sorrow of death. Help me as I feel despair, to find hope in You.
Mend the broken-hearted. Reward us with the consolation of Your presence and Your love. Set us free from this burden on our hearts, dear Lord. Help us to emerge whole and brand new as the circumstances strengthen us.
Even in the midst of my grief, I declare that all I pray for will come to pass, in Jesus mighty name, Amen!!
Mend the broken-hearted, reward us with the consolation of Your presence and Your love. Click To Tweet
1 Thessalonians 4:13-15 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who are asleep.
As I wrote on Monday, I love to pray for people, particularly strangers. Here’s my Friday gift for you. May these prayers become yours. May they hit both the heart of God and your heart. And if you feel a friend needs one of these prayers, feel free to forward this to them.
With affection and prayer,
A prayer for those grieving:
Jesus, we seem to face far too much loss these days. In times like those, we choose to rest our heads on your sacred shoulders. Weep alongside. Lift our heads. Rejuvenate our vision. Bring us back to a place of play. Of wonder. This world is dark, but we recognize right now, in this moment, that You are glorious light. Please, please shine down on us so we can see You at work. Replace our mourning with dancing. Hold our hands, our hearts, our dreams. Amen.
A prayer for those overwhelmed:
Jesus, we want to have a less hectic life. We’re tired. So tired. Life feels like an out of control carnival ride, dipping, careening, swaying. We want to get off and rest! Help us this week to find ways to do just that. Bring respite and quiet where there’s chaos and hollering. May You become our haven, our settled place. Forgive us for preferring hurry to You. Forgive us for giving into worry instead of choosing to give You every single stress. We need time, Jesus. Time to reflect, rest, and rejuvenate. And we trust You to provide it. Amen.
A prayer for those who are broken:
Jesus, please be with my friend reading this prayer. You know every wound, every joy, every fear, every dream. Heal old wounds. Heal new wounds. Rejoice alongside. Alleviate every haunting fear. Fulfill God-sized dreams in Your timing (and help us be patient in the waiting). Help us all to see the power of Your resurrection this month. Give us eyes to see where new life springs in our hearts. Rejuvenate when we’re weak. We need You Jesus. Amen.
We recognize there are many among us who have only just crossed the invisible boundary marking their own before and after, who are looking at calendars today saying This time last week, things were still normal.
For those who have witnessed the kind of scenes that could haunt for a lifetime, we pray for a sanctified memory and a holy imagination. Release them from the haunting, we pray.
For those who begin to shake when the low light of evening sends shadows long across the yard, we pray for comfort.
For those whose sadness feels sharp like fear, soothe the jagged edges and bring relief.
For those who wait in the darkness groping for answers and finding only more questions, we pray for peace.
For those who have experienced loss but carry an odd-placed sense of responsibility, who can’t shake the unexplained guilt that lingers in the air around them, we pray You might calm the chaos and awaken their heart to Your love.
One day in the future, some may begin to feel like they should be over it by now; they may grow tired of going through the whole thing again, or feel pressure to heal already; for these we pray for the courage to let grief do her sacred, invisible work.
We recognize the many layers of sadness present among us, both the kind that settles like a cloud over a nation after terrible loss and the kind that bursts unwelcome into our homes.
May Your presence fill up and overflow the gaping holes that are left in the wake of tragedy.
Live out Your Name among us, Emmanuel. Remind us you haven’t left us alone.
When we can’t do anything, we do what we can. First-responders offer medical care. Reporters offer perspective. Musicians write songs (my friend Christa Wells shares this one for free for Paris and anyone grieving). As for me, I write prayers. We may be small, but we are not helpless. Come Lord Jesus.
Losing someone you love is painful.
Losing someone you struggled with is confusing.
Part of you is relieved they are gone.
Part of you thought you’d feel more free.
Part of you is still sad, lost without the tension between you.
May you allow all the feelings to come through you.
May you free yourself from judgment about how you ought to grieve.
May you laugh one moment and cry the next, without even knowing why.
May you heal the brokenness within you that could never be healed between you.
May you free yourself from the need to pretend that it was other than it was.
May you tell your own truth, without the need to prove it to anyone.
May you allow others to have different truths.
We’re all such a mix of stardust and broken glass;
May you come to peace, accept wherever you are in your grief,
Allow it to move, allow it to change, allow a new story to emerge.
May you be free.
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Rev. Meg Riley
Meg has been a Unitarian Universalist minister for more than twenty years. As a UU kid in West Virginia, she quickly learned to enjoy being “different,” which has served her well in a “different” life. Meg lives in Minneapolis, where she enjoys walking by lakes, gardening, reading and writing. She also lives online, where she enjoys hanging out, keeping up with people, and playing the occasional game of Scrabble. She is the parent of a teenager, and the companion of a number of four legged friends.
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