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6 Prayers for a Grieving Spouse

Beth Ann Baus

Crosswalk.com Contributor
Published Jan 18, 2024
6 Prayers for a Grieving Spouse

Grief has many faces. It can come in the form of heartache, from losing a loved one to losing a job or getting an unwanted diagnosis. Grief is not a one-size-fits-all emotion and can present itself in many ways. For instance, you might notice a lack of appetite, mood swings, personality changes, and fatigue.

Because grief is complicated and sometimes life-altering, it can be a challenge, not just for the one grieving but also for their spouse. You may feel at times that you are living with a stranger and don’t know how to best care for them. My advice, above all else, is to pray.

Because a husband and wife become one, it is appropriate for your prayers to be for you both. You are in this together. May the following prayers give insight into what your spouse is feeling and give you direction in going before the throne of grace.

Related: How to Love and Support Your Spouse When They Are Grieving

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A woman praying, The Joy of Loving God with 'All Your Soul'

1. A Prayer for Understanding

Father God, I hardly recognize my wife these days. The woman who once greeted the day with a smile can now hardly get out of bed. The woman that was once vibrant and full of color is now dull and grey. She seems distant and distracted. I don’t know who she is anymore, and I don’t know what to do.

Remind me that her grief is causing brain fog and that I need to be understanding when she forgets something. Remind me that the distance between us isn’t her giving me the cold shoulder; it’s her being lost in thought. Remind me that she didn’t choose this and that she would rather have the energy she’s used to having.

Give me empathy. Give me understanding. Give me wisdom on how to help her through this. Remind me that you will sustain her, not me. Draw her close to you, Father. Show her how to lean into you during this dark time.

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Sad couple parents crying grief and worry

2. A Prayer for Patience

Father God, I see my husband grieving, and he doesn’t know what to do with all these new emotions. He’s never hurt this way before and can’t find the words to describe it. He’s shutting down and shutting me out. I feel excluded and unnecessary, unable to provide comfort.

Remind me that grief affects our bodies as well as our minds. Remind me that less affection doesn’t equal less love. Remind me that his body is tired, and our marriage bed requires energy he just can’t muster right now. Remind me that, while this makes me feel unsettled and insecure, this isn’t about me. Help us both to rely on you during this time.

I pray that, while I feel he’s shutting out those around him, he isn’t shutting you out. I pray, Lord, that you would allow your Spirit to minister to him. I pray that you would lead him to lean on you, me, and our church family. Remind him that he’s not alone.

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Woman leaning on her bed

3. A Prayer to Resist Temptation

Father God, my wife is grieving. I’ve seen her be sad, but I’ve never seen her in such despair. There are destructive patterns from her past that I fear will surface again. Please keep her from self-harm or from numbing herself with alcohol. Please give her the strength to run to you for comfort instead of the comforts of this world.

Remind me that she is yours, that she is a new creature and is no longer a slave to sin. Remind her that your grace is enough, that you will sustain, comfort, and walk with her through this darkness. Remind her that you offer lasting comfort that can’t compare to the ways she has comforted herself in the past.

Keep her close to you. Keep her eyes on you. Make honoring you in her grief a priority. Help her fall on her knees and fall into your arms rather than fall into sin. Give her the strength to resist temptation when I know it is knocking on her door.

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Husband and wife walking away after a funeral

4. A Prayer for Acceptance

Father God, this grief that my husband is experiencing is deeper than I could have imagined. I realize now that he will never be the same person. This grief has changed me, too, and I fear that we will grow apart. I never expected that we would grieve differently and, in the process, become different people.

Remind me that this is not uncommon. Remind me that people change and that change doesn’t have to be scary. Help me to adjust my expectations and to trust you. Help my husband to trust you as well. Draw us both closer to you, increase our faith, and renew our joy in you.

Please help the change we are experiencing to be change for the better. Allow this grief experience to give my husband more compassion towards others who are suffering. Let his suffering be useful for your kingdom. Let him see you in new ways and deepen his love for you.

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A young black man praying, Why we must choose to change

5. A Prayer Against Lies from the Enemy 

Father God, you know that my wife is grieving, and you know that the enemy is feeding her lies. She thinks this grief is a punishment from you, and so she continues to punish herself. I don’t claim to understand your ways, as they are higher than my own. But I know this grief is a result of living in a broken world, not because she has done something to deserve this.

Remind me that grief is complicated. Remind me that she may be feeling shame or guilt over something I don’t know about. Help me not to shame her more in my responses. Give me compassion for her feelings even though I don’t understand it.

Please speak through me; give me the words to point her to truth. Allow your Spirit to speak to her and to keep her rooted in the truth of your Word. Give her clarity and confidence in your love for her. Let her feel your comfort; keep her from running from you out of fear and anger.

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6. A Prayer for Longsuffering

6. A Prayer for Longsuffering

Father God, you know that my husband is grieving. I see him going through the motions of life but not engaging with it. I see a dark cloud hovering over him even as he goes to work and interacts with me and our children. His countenance has changed. He rarely smiles or laughs.

Remind me that he has to work through this grief in his own time, not mine. Remind me that I can show him the love of Christ by being longsuffering and not pushing him to “move on” or to “get over it.” Give me strength and perseverance in this dark season. Help me to make our home a safe place where he feels free to grieve.

Please wrap your loving arms around him. Remind him of your love. You are the great comforter, and I ask that you would comfort him. Allow the dark cloud to lift in your perfect timing. Allow him to show our children how to grieve well and how to have joy in you even though he is unhappy.

While all our grief stories are unique, one common denominator is that we are made to be relational, and God allows us to be there for one another in good times and in bad. If nothing else, we can pray to live out 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 affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Pray for your spouse and yourself that your grief can be used for the good of God’s people and that, in time, you can comfort others with the comfort you have been given.

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Beth Ann Baus is a wife and mother of two adult sons. She is a freelance writer and author of Sister Sunday, My So Much More, and His Power, Our Weakness: Encouragement for the Biblical Counselor. In her writing, Beth often pulls from her own experiences of abuse, anxiety, depression and OCD. Beth has a heart for homeschooling, women’s ministry, and is an ACBC-certified Biblical Counselor. She loves serving alongside her husband and pointing couples to the Word for strengthening their marriages and home life. You can find more from her at www.bethannbaus.com.

Originally published Monday, 22 January 2024.