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.
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:
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.
Ask the OurPrayer team to pray for you!
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.
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.
I’m a young Christian, from South Trinidad, seeking the wisdom of the Word and God’s blessings on my life. A journey, that’s just begun, but living to the Glory of God.