Our world has been shaken. My husband’s older brother and only sibling, Ken, dropped dead in his bathroom. We still don’t know why. While we wait on autopsy results, we shake our heads in disbelief at how someone who appeared to be the picture of health could just die so suddenly.
My husband and I, his parents, his children, extended family and many friends are all flooded with grief. We have great joy in knowing Ken is with Jesus enjoying the best days of his eternal life. We celebrate our hope of joining him there. Meanwhile, we miss him greatly.
Grieving together is not new to our family. Ken’s oldest daughter, Leigh Ann, died ten years ago after a tragic car accident. So we smile through our tears knowing that father and daughter are completely whole and reunited in the presence of our Lord.
The shock of death seems to steal our breath and with it our ability to think clearly. I’ve noticed that it has been hard for me to think of how to pray for the people I love so dearly and myself. I’m thankful that my faith is deeper than my grief. I’m so much more thankful that God knows precisely how our brains function in times like these and He has mercifully given us the Holy Spirit to pray for us.
But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words (Romans 8:26b NLT).
I see in Romans 8:26, God’s deep compassion for us. I imagine the Spirit so filled with love for us, knowing our weakness in grief and relentlessly praying so that we can experience God’s comfort.
I am documenting the following Scripture prayers for grief and lossso that you and I both can find them when tragedy strikes and we can’t find our way through the fog of grief to the words we want to pray.
Note: You can reword these into prayers for those who are grieving and don’t feel like they can pray for themselves.
Prayer for Grief and Faith
You are Immanuel, God with me. Thank You for being with me now as I mourn the loss of _________. Isaiah 7:14
You are the God of all Comfort and I willingly receive Your comfort now. I do not know what Your comfort will look like or feel like, but I trust it even so. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, Isaiah 66:13, Isaiah 49:13
My heart is broken but You are near. My spirit is crushed, but You are my rescuer. Psalm 34:18
Your Word is my hope. It revives me and comforts me in especially now. Psalm 119:50
My soul faints, but you are the breath of life within me. Job 33:4, Ezekiel 37
You are my help, the One who sustains me. I am weak but You are strong. Psalm 54:4
You bless those who mourn, and I trust You to bless me and my family with all that we need. Matthew 5:4
You will rescue me from this dark cloud of despair because You delight in me. Psalm 18:19
Prayer for Loss
Thank You Lord for providing people to weep with me. Romans 12:15
Thank You Lord for surrounding me with Your goodness and mercy even today as I grieve. Psalm 23:6
I trust that You are my source of joy and I will not weep forever. Psalm 30:5
I’m thankful, Lord, that You have not hidden Your face from me. Thank You for hearing me when I cry to You. Psalm 22:24
Lord, I am thankful that You know what I need before I ask You. Matthew 6:8
Thank You, Lord, for being my strength and my shield. Psalm 28:7a
Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to cast my anxieties on You. 1 Peter 5:7
Petition for Hope and Strength in Grief and Loss
Here’s my broken heart, Lord. I need Your healing touch. Psalm 147:3, Isaiah 61:1
I am weary and heavy-laden and in great need of rest from You, Lord. Matthew 11:28, Psalm 62:1
Protect me from the evil one and his offerings of depression and anxiety. Hide me under the shadow of Your wing. Psalm 17:8
For Your name’s sake, deliver me from thoughts of weakness, hopelessness and helplessness. Psalm 109:21-22
When my heart sinks low, send Your word and heal me, Lord. Psalm 107:20
Help me, Lord, not to panic and make unwise decisions. I need Your help to be still and acknowledge You as my source of my wisdom and stability. Psalm 46:10
Help me to guard my heart, Lord, so that I am not easily offended by people who say the wrong things or avoid me because they are not sure what to say. Proverbs 4:23
Help me, Lord, to receive Your comfort from the people who are drawing near to me. I do not want to dismiss Your servants who bring me Your comfort. Romans 12:15
My mind feels like fog and then sometimes it is a whirlwind. Guide my thoughts with Your counsel, Lord. Psalm 73:23-24
Deliver me, Lord, from the fear of _________. Psalm 34:4
A Prayer for Comfort When You're Grieving
I come before you today with a heavy heart. Sadness overwhelms me. I feel surrounded by a dense fog that I fear will never lift. Like David, "my tears have been my food day and night" (Psalm 42:3).
For however long this season of sorrow lasts, I pray that you would show me more of your love and grace. Help me not to run from whatever you want to do in my heart. Help me to trust that you are at work and to rest in your faithfulness. I want to say along with David, "I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul" (Psalm 31:7).
Father, grant me gospel joy; help me to rejoice in Christ even as I grieve. Envelope me with the peace and comfort only you can provide. As the days move into months, may this burden lessen. As the months move to years, use me to encourage and bless someone else who must walk a similar path. Help me to point them to you as the God of all comfort.
I know that you are always with me and that your love never ceases. Help me to find refuge in you and nowhere else.
In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen. (taken from Your Daily Prayer)
Praying over Grief with Songs
Sometimes it is hard to find the strength to voice our prayers. In those moments, we can listen to the following songs with a “yes, Lord” in our hearts.
Here is a YouTube playlist of prayers for the grieving heart. You can let these songs bypass your unsettled mind and begin to nurture your soul with God’s truth about who He is to you and who you are to Him.
Jennifer O. White is the author of Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God's Armor After the Wedding Dress and Marriage Armor for the Praying Bride. She knows firsthand the power of praying God's Word when fighting for your marriage. Follow her blog at Prayerfully Speaking for prayer inspiration and a renewal of your faith to believe God is able to do more than you can ask or imagine.
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