Prayers for loss of a child

Rick Thyne is a spiritual mentor and old friend. Ever since that day he came to talk to our Sunday school class and some rowdy teen lodged a balled-up program at him and he caught it with one hand, never missing a beat, I’ve been putty in his hands.

He was the youth minister back then, and I was a freshman in high school. Our friendship has lasted over many years, through emails, phone calls, lunches, heart-to-heart talks and books passed back and forth.  

“You’re all about Jesus,” I used to tell him. Nobody I ever knew had greater passion for Jesus. He used to read the book of Mark from beginning to end, over and over again, savoring all of Jesus’ counsel. He’s probably read it hundreds of times by now.

He’s seen plenty of joy in life and much sorrow. In all the years of saying the Lord’s Prayer, I wonder if he’s stopped and paused over that phrase, “Lead me not into temptation” or the more recent translation, “Save me from the time of trial.”

He’s seen his faith tried and tested, never more than when his 24-year-old son, Jesse, was killed in an accident in Africa while serving in the Peace Corps. Talk about a time of trial.

Jesse was the youngest child of three, an adopted sprite, musical, off-beat, earnest, ready to make his mark in life by serving the poorest of the poor deep in the damp equatorial heat of Guinea, a calling that surely honored his father’s own instinct for “the least of these.”

There he died in a horrible traffic accident in the back of a ramshackle taxi going too fast on a blind turn, hit by a truck, killed violently and instantly.

Because Rick is a man of faith, because Rick has a probing theology, because Rick prays constantly even when he’s not sure his prayers are heard, he has grappled painfully with what this all means. Where was God’s grace then?

At the graveside service for my dad, Rick offered a phrase that all of us found comforting, “Think of your dad as one of the balcony people now,” he said. Gone, but not gone. Dad was up there in a balcony someplace, looking down on us, encouraging, looking out for us, always there.

That’s something he got from going to church as a teen, and feeling the support of the congregation, especially those looking down on him from the balcony, those blessed folk who are always there.

Dare I say that Rick will always be one of my balcony people, in death and in life? Not just for the good times we’ve shared but also for the tough, trying times, and for the way he’s shared himself.

He’s written a book about those times, The Awful Grace of God. It doesn’t offer simple pat answers, but in ways that Rick might not even realize, it shows the awful presence of God.        

On March 8 and 9, the Kindle edition of the book is free and the paperback is at a deep discount. (To get the discount, use code NN2Y2MHM at checkout.)

His book will always be a reminder to me of how essential it is to pray to God during the toughest times, and tell God the truth. God can’t reach out to us unless we reach out to him with what’s on our minds, even if what’s on our minds seems baffling and anger-making.

Then the grace of God works through us.

Words of Sympathy for loss of child: There are no words that can explain what the loss of a child means to a parent or parents. When a child comes into the family there are hopes and expectations that the parents have for this child and parents would do anything to make their children excel. However not all children reach a ripe old age as hoped and many times friends and family lose children who brought joy into their lives.

Sharing their grief and loss is one way that you can show them that you care. Being there for them is very important and sometimes finding the right words to say can be very difficult. Brief and heartfelt messages can give hope to the grieving parents. Just speak what is in your heart with love and compassion, considering that they are facing a very painful moment when they have so many questions that do not seem to have any answers.


  • Brief as your child’s life was, may we ever remember the joy the child brought to all of us. Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your child.
  • This child has been plucked from our midst and planted in God’s garden. May you ever take comfort in knowing that your child is in safe hands. I am very sorry for your loss.
  • My heartfelt condolences to you for the death of such a wonderful child who brought so much joy and happiness to all around. I am so sorry and if there is anything I can do to help make this grief even a little bearable please let me know.
  • May God hold you and your family at this painful moment and give you comfort as you mourn the untimely death of your child. I feel for you and you are all in my prayers.
  • For the brief time that I knew your child he/she touched my heart. Like you, I will always treasure those wonderful memories of those beautiful smiles. Condolences for your loss.
  • We will all miss this wonderful child that lived among us albeit briefly. My heart is with you and your family during this difficult moment.
  • No words can express the pain that you are going through and my prayer for you is that God will give you strength to face the coming days ahead without this lovely child.
  • The love and joy that this child brought to us all is something I will forever miss and treasure. I am very sorry for your loss.


  • No matter how brief your baby’s life was he/she left a permanent footprint in all our hearts. My sincere and heartfelt sympathies for losing your baby.
  • We had this baby for a short time but we learned what love is in those few days that he/she lived among us. May God of all comfort make this grief bearable and flood you with His love. We love you and are praying for you.
  • In our hearts we will forever carry the picture of your perfectly beautiful baby. Our heartfelt sympathies are with you during this painful time.
  • I am thinking about you and praying for you during this painful moment as you mourn the death of you baby. Whenever you are ready and need me for anything, I am here for you. I love you all.
  • One step at a time is all you need to take as you go through this difficult moment of losing your baby. I am always here whenever you want or need to talk or if you need me for anything else.
  • Your baby’s life may have been very brief, but he/she has curved a niche in our hearts and lives. Sorry for your loss.
  • May God be your strength and help in these trying times as you mourn your baby. My friendship and love are with you always.


  • My deepest sympathies for the loss of your beautiful daughter. Her beauty brought us radiance and we will miss her terribly.
  • I share your anguish and pain upon the loss of your daughter who has been plucked from us like a bud that did not get a chance to blossom. May God comfort you and your family.
  • Learning about your daughter’s death was heartbreaking and I cannot imagine the anguish you must be feeling right now. Should you need me for anything at anytime please let me know, for you are not alone.
  • Your daughter carved a niche in many people’s hearts and we feel great loss at her death. We want you to know that we share your grief and our prayers and love are with you always.
  • Though your daughter’s life was short she lived it to the full and blessed many people. God comfort you at this painful moment as you prepare to live without her beautiful smiles in the days to come. My sincere condolences to you all.


  • Children are arrows in the family quiver and the loss of your son is the loss of a precious arrow. We will miss him and share in your pain as you grieve.
  • Your son’s death has filled me with deep sorrow as I remember the hopes and expectations you had for him. May God hold you up in this painful moment.
  • Your son may be gone but he has left footprints in our hearts and lives and we will forever treasure the precious memories of him. Please accept our deepest sympathies.
  • We celebrate the life of a very fine young man who we will miss terribly. May his memories be a blessing to your whole family.
  • Deep anguish fills our hearts when we remember your son who left a mark in all our hearts and lives. Our prayers and love are with you and may God give you grace to face the days ahead without him in your family.

Losing a loved one can bring about a sudden feeling of shock and trouble. Reciting a traditional prayer for comfort can help to bring you consolation and reassurance. Here is a look at some great prayers for loss of a loved one.

Prayer #1

Comfort me with Your love O God
Wrap me up in Your strong embrace
Shelter me from the storm O Lord
Envelop me in Your tender care

By day I pour out my heartbreak to You
By night I give you my racing thoughts

In You I take refuge
In You I will not be afraid
For you hold me strong, You hold me safe

Calm my fearful heart O God
Still my anxious mind O Lord

For all my life is found in You
All my being is given to You
All my hope begins in You

Prayer #2

Lord, at the moment nothing seems to be able to help the loss I feel.
My heart is broken and my spirit mourns.
All I know is that Your grace is sufficient.
This day, this hour
Moment by moment
I choose to lean on You,
For when I am at my weakest Your strength is strongest.
I pour out my grief to You
And praise You that on one glorious day
When all suffering is extinguished and love has conquered
We shall walk together again.

Prayer #3

Our Father in heaven, may Your Name be honored. There is none greater than You. You are our refuge and strength. You are always ready to help in times of trouble. We praise You, Lord. We lift our hearts with praise. It is good to sing praises to You, our God; how delightful and how right! Lord, You are great and mighty in power. Your understanding is infinite. We thank You, Father, for the life of our loved one(s) who have gone on to be with You. Thank You for their time on earth and the impact they had on our lives. We are thankful to You and we bless Your Name.

Prayer #4

Father, You can count the stars and call them all by name. Your power is absolute. Your understanding is beyond comprehension. You support the humble and bring the wicked down into the dust. You comfort those who mourn. We declare that those grieving the death of a loved one; mourning will turn into dancing. We confess that You are their rock, fortress, and Savior in whom they will find protection. You are their shield, and the strength of their salvation. Father, You are their stronghold. As they call on You, You have promised to answer. We believe that You will be with them during this period of bereavement, rescue them from grief, honor them, and give them Your salvation.

Prayer #5

Father, we ask You to send Your peace to those persons who are mourning. Continue to surround them with family, friends and loved ones who will offer words of comfort. Give them sweet and restful sleep. Father, remove the spirit of heaviness, and give them garments of praise. In due time, bless their lives to overflow with laughter and joy again. As they take refuge in You, please help them to put their trust in You. Holy Spirit, we ask that You settle the hearts and minds of those who are feeling any guilt, resentment, bitterness, or anger. Help them not to look back but to press forward.

Prayer #6

Father, forgive the bereaved for any sins they have committed through thoughts, words, or deeds. Forgive them if they have not meditated on Your Word to find comfort. Father, forgive them if they have not been totally submissive to Your perfect will for their lives. Forgive them for any hurtful things they may have said or done to the deceased. Lord, help them to forgive the deceased if necessary. Please remind them of anyone they need to forgive; and help them to forgive quickly.

Prayer #7

Loving Father, I am finding it so hard to even get up out of bed to start the day, knowing that I have to face it alone and without the one I love so dearly – I know that without Your grace and sufficiency I could never get through the day – but I thank You that You have promised to be with me and to provide me with Your strength for the day as well as bright hope for tomorrow.

I can’t imagine tomorrow being anything but a day filled with pain – as I do not have my loved one beside me, but I ask that in Your grace You will give me the strength to get through today, step by step – knowing that You are there to carry me, even when my heart seems to fail from the grief and pain that I am going through.

Thank You that You have promised to carry our pain and thank You that Your grace is sufficient for every eventuality in our lives. Give me the strength and to cope with the loneliness I feel and help me to move forward in my life-plans, knowing that You are with me, to support and strengthen.

Give me hope for tomorrow – for my hope and my trust is in You, Lord. Hold me close I pray and thank You for always being with me and the great comfort that I have in knowing You, as my own dear Saviour and friend.

Prayer #8

Loving Lord and Heavenly king, I want to lift up some dear friends of mind that are going through much grief at the moment and are finding it so difficult to come to terms with all that has taken place in the last few days…

I humbly ask that You would come to them and provide the comfort they need to come to terms with all that has happened – and the strength to face the reality that things will never be as they were.

Lord I know that their grief seems to be overwhelming them and I am hurting for them, and know not what to do to help – and so I am coming to You to in prayer, to ask that You will meet each of them at their point of need and help them to turn to You at this sad time.

I pray that as the day passes Your healing touch will comfort and succour them in this time of distress and may this be a thing that causes each of them to draw closer to You, knowing that You alone can heal the broken-hearted and bring joy out of pain.

Thank You Lord for being there for me and into Your hands I place each one of these dear ones who have such sadness in their hearts – I KNOW in Whom I believe and an confident that You will bring good out of this situation – and to You be all the praise and glory, Amen

Prayer #9

Loving Lord I am filled with grief and sadness at the loss of my precious loved one – and yet that pain is tinged with gold, knowing that they trusted you as their Saviour and that they are now in Your presence.

I know that I am going to miss this precious one, who has been my strength and my joy for so long, and thank You for the precious times we had together.

Often Lord I expect my dear one to just be there, or walk through the door – and then remember that they have gone home to be with You. At times this is quite hard and yet I know that I must not grieve as those that have not hope in Jesus – but rejoice knowing that the day is coming when we will be together with You and You will wipe away all tears from our eyes – but at the moment my loss is like an open wound – and I pray that You will heal my brokenness and the loneliness I feel… and draw me every closer into Your arms of love my Lord and my God.

Thank You for all You are to me and may I rest in You in Jesus name, Amen

Prayer #10

My heart is reaching out to you,
For what you’re going through;
I’m thinking of you frequently
And praying for you, too.

If there’s something I can do,
Anything at all,
Think of me thinking of you,
And don’t hesitate to call.

Prayer #11

When someone we love passes away,
We ache, but we go on;
Our dear departed would want us to heal,
After they are gone.

Grief is a normal way to mend
The anguish and pain in our hearts;
We need time to remember and time to mourn,
Before the recovery starts.

Let’s draw together to recuperate,
As we go through this period of sorrow;
Let’s help each other, with tender care
To find a brighter tomorrow.

Prayer #12

If we could bring you back again,
For one more hour or day,
We’d express all our unspoken love;
We’d have countless things to say.

If we could bring you back again,
We’d say we treasured you,
And that your presence in our lives
Meant more than we ever knew.

If we could bring you back again,
To tell you what we should,
You’d know how much we miss you now,
And if we could, we would.

Prayer #13

If there was ever a time in my life I was weak, it was the days, weeks, and months after my daughter died. To know that God’s strength was at it’s best when I needed it the most gave me courage to take another breath. It seems impossible to “glory in my affirmities” when you don’t feel you have the strength to go on with your life, but God’s grace *is* sufficient. There is power through Christ Jesus to sustain you when nothing else can. You must allow Him to carry the burden – there are things too big for us to handle on our own. We cannot as mothers (and fathers) get through the loss of a child and retain any sanity without His help.

I don’t think it’s wrong to ask “why” – I have many times over the years. But you have to recognize God’s authority and know that whatever purpose there was for your child, it was fulfilled during the time you carried him or her. We don’t understand all of it, and honestly I don’t believe we have the capacity to. But I take comfort knowing that one day, God will hold me close and explain it to me in a way that I can understand.

Prayer #14

Praise God that He is close to those who are suffering. He knows the pain we’re going through and He keeps us from being consumed by it. I know without a doubt that had it not been for the grace of God, I would have come through my daughter’s death a bitter and downtrodden woman. But through His love and compassion, He saved me from being crushed by the weight of the burden I carried. My heart still aches for my baby and it’s been seven years since she died – the ache has dulled some with time, but I don’t believe it will ever go away completely. I still cry at times talking about her, but I rest in the knowledge that God is near and will continue to carry me if I allow Him to. It’s a choice – a conscious decision you have to make. You have to acknowledge that you need help getting through it, and God is the only answer.

Dianne Gray, head of the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation discusses the five stages of grief and the classic book, ‘On Death and Dying.’

Losing a child is one of the hardest things that anyone can ever experience. We expect to lose the elderly and middle-aged people. No one is ever prepared for the loss of a young child or baby. When this happens, you normally send sympathy messages for loss of child. If you are uncertain about what to write, we have some ideas to get you started. You can also modify the following messages to make them a little more personal.

1. We wanted to extend you the deepest sympathy in your loss. We hope that comfort and peace will find you during this difficult time.

2. Although it is difficult to see beyond the sorrow today, hopefully there will come a day when you can look back on your previous memories with fondness and love.

3. I feel like I was truly blessed to be graced by the presence of your (son/daughter’s) big heart and wonderful personality. It is a mark of amazing parents that (she/he) existed. My heart goes out to you and your family during this very difficult time.

4. Death leaves heartache behind that is impossible for one to ever heal. Love leaves behind memories that no one can ever steal.

5. I know that we never truly lose the people that we love the most. They live with us for the rest of our lives within our heart.

6. Although there are no words that could ever ease the loss that you now bear, just remember that you are always close to us in our hearts and prayers.

7. It is impossible for me to express how depressed I was to hear the news. Though there is nothing that I could say to make this better, know that you are always in our thoughts.

8. I love you. I am so sorry about your loss. In times like these, all we can do is turn to our faith. Faith is the ability to believe even when it is completely beyond our power or sense of reason to believe anything. We can just have faith that (Name) was on this earth for a reason. Your connection to (him/her) will never be broken.

9. My words are completely inadequate to tell you the deep sorrow that I feel for your loss. Your child was an inspiration and a ray of sunshine to everyone who knew (him/her). I just feel so blessed that I was able to know (his/her) beauty. I will keep his spirit and memory alive through every action I take.

10. Heaven is a place close by, so there is never a reason to say goodbye. Hold close to your memories and allow them to guide you during this dark time.

11. The joy and love that your child brought into our lives are things that I will always treasure and miss deeply. I am so sorry for your loss.

12. Life is never measured by the breath that we take, but by all of the moments that take our breath away. (Child’s name) is one of those people who shines so brilliantly that (he/she) takes everyone’s breath away.

13. We were deeply saddened when we heard of your loss. The loss of a child, especially such a wonderful (girl/boy), is always so heartbreaking. Our heart aches for you and your family. (Name) was a bright soul that will be terribly missed by all who knew (him/her).

14. I keep struggling to find the words to express my grief, but the right words seem impossible to find. Just know that I am thinking of you and your family in every moment.

15. Words could never explain the pain and sorrow that we feel about the loss of your (son/daughter). (Name) will be greatly missed by everyone who knew (him/her). We just wanted to express to you our deepest sympathy.

16. Nothing can bring back an hour of glory in the flower or splendor in the grass. We will grieve, but we will also find strength in the memories and loved ones that remain behind.

17. I imagine that the pain of losing a child is more far reaching and deeper than anyone could ever experience. I could never offer words of condolence or sympathy that could possible comfort you during such a time. Just know that my heart and prayers go out to you know.

18. We are so saddened to hear of your loss. We will cherish all of the memories and times that we spent together. We may not be able to be with you physically in this hour of grief, but we are with you in spirit.

19. No words could ever express the pain or grief that you are going through. I just pray that God will give you the strength and courage you need to face the days ahead.

20. We wanted to send you our love and condolences at this time. Our heartfelt prayers go out to you, and we hope that you may somehow find the strength you need to make it through each day.

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