While death is celebrated in many religious circles as a rite of passage into the next life, family members and close friends of the deceased will still grieve for their loss. Include a brief sympathy note in your next church bulletin to notify the congregation of the loss, as well as to offer your condolences and prayers to the family.
Acknowledge the issue but don’t give too many details. For example, announce that “Betty Jo has passed,” but don’t get into details about a long struggle with cancer or alcohol abuse. If in doubt, contact the spouse or child of the deceased to ask how much information the family is comfortable sharing with the congregation.
Offer your condolences. (See Reference 2.) Remind the grieving family that the congregation mourns with them and that you will be praying for them during this difficult time.
Keep the note short. (See Reference 1.) Aside from the issue of space in a church bulletin, a lengthy letter is not necessary to convey your sympathy for the grieving family. Announce the death of the person and extend your deepest condolences to the family.
Avoid comments about the spiritual state of the deceased. While the loss of a relative or friend who is part of another religion is difficult, comments about the person’s spiritual status may make the situation even more painful for relatives.
State the family’s preference for gifts. Some grieving families enjoy receiving meals or flowers, while others prefer to have a donation made to a charity in honour of the deceased. If the family would like monetary donations to help with funeral costs, state this at the end of the note.
Offer a short scripture reference for the family. If the deceased had a favourite verse, select this, or choose a passage you feel characterises the loved one who passed. If room does not permit for you to share the actual passage, simply print the reference so readers can look up the verses later.
What a wonderful thing friendship is! Do you have that one person in your life that you can confide in about anything and they will keep it a secret and pray for you? Do you have that one friend who knows your darkest secrets and will help hold you accountable? Friendship is a beautiful thing when it is done right, meaning, no gossiping or emotional beat downs. True friendship is a mutual nurturing of each other’s soul for the cause of Christ. Here are 7 different prayers you can pray for your friends or for friendship in general.
Gracious Father in Heaven,
You have given me the most amazing spouse ever! I am proud to call him/her my best and dearest friend! Father, today I vow to show my spouse how much I love them. He/She listens to me when I am stressed. He/She rubs my shoulders after a long day of work. He/She takes the time to maintain our relationship emotionally, physically and spiritually. We spend time in the Word together! We sing praises to You together! I love my spouse more than words can say! I praise You, O Lord, for providing me with my best friend as my spouse! My cup is truly overflowing with blessings! Amen
I am so depressed. I long to have just one friend who really understands me and who will not judge me. Lord, my church is full of men and women that seem wonderful but I have yet to actually build a concrete friendship with one. Please give me an opportunity to build one of these friendships, Lord. I pray that next weekend I can find someone to start a meaningful friendship with. If not, I will still follow You, Lord. May Your will be done always. Amen
You have the power to do as You please and right now my brother, Your child, is under attack by Satan and his legion of demons. Father, I understand that all tests come because You allow them. May my friend find true knowledge through this trial quickly. Lord, I pray that You help my brother in Christ to stay strong. May he keep strong in prayer and in the Word! I will walk with him through this entire ordeal and when it is over, we will both say it is well. Amen
You are the potter and I am the clay. Lord, You know who my dearest friends are. I want them to see Jesus when they see me. Lord, please mold me in such a way that You can use me to be the feet of Jesus to them. Whatever the need is, I want to be there for them, Lord. I want to pray with them and for them. I want to study Your Word with them. I want to sing praises to You with them. I want to listen to them with a compassionate heart when they are hurting. Lord, may I always be willing to push pride off of me and allow You to shape me into someone who lives like Jesus does! I love you, Lord! Amen
Praising God for Friends
I want to thank You for giving me the wonderful circle of friends that I have. You have surrounded me with people that really love You and that want to know me more each day! Thank you, Lord, for they have all shown me so much love and I am truly grateful for their friendship. Thank you for providing me with friends that hold me accountable in my walk with You as I hold them accountable as well. Lord, I praise Your holy name for blessing me with such amazing friends! I love You, Father! Amen
This isn’t Goodbye
My time has come to leave this world and my strength is failing. Thank you for the many loved ones in my life that You have grown so close to me. My friends throughout this journey of life have been there for me through so many things. They prayed for me when I lost family members. They sat with me and listened to me when times were rough. I helped them with financial difficulties when I could. I pray for them daily, Lord. We have grown so close over the years and this time is so difficult. I am ready for Glory, Lord. I am sad that I will be apart from those I love for a while. Please, Lord, give them strength to stay strong, run the race, and finish well! I will be at the finish line waiting for them! This is not goodbye, but only a short separation from them. Thank you for the life You have given me here. I can’t wait to see Jesus face to face! I love You, Lord! Amen
He Calls me Friend
What a friend we have in Jesus! He calls me His friend! Lord, I praise You for sending Jesus to die on the cross to save me from my sins. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Jesus laid down His life for me and I can’t say “thank you” enough to Him! I want to love like Jesus does, Father! Jesus, my friend, is worthy of all honor and praise! Words can never express how great His love is for us, but I thank You, Father, for sending Jesus to us! Without His sacrifice we would still have a rift between us, Father. He tore the veil! Thank you for the wonderful friend we have in Your Son, Jesus! Amen
These are 7 different prayers relating to many different facets of friendship. I pray that no matter where you are at in your walk with God, you will continue to spur one another on in your friendships. “Iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) May God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!
Take a look at this other article that includes prayers:
7 Inspirational Prayers
Resources – The Holy Bible, English Standard Version “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. YouTube video “Friend of God” by Phillips, Craig and Dean
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