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10 Prayers on the Death of a Loved One

When a grieving heart struggles to express its loss, these Bible verses will help.

Prayers for grieving
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My mother died when I was 14. I remember kneeling at a crude altar at a Christian camp and praying for God to spare her. When she died soon after that, I felt like I had used up all of my prayers. I had no words left.

Regardless of how old we are when a loved one dies, it can be hard to pray. Our thoughts and emotions are so clouded with grief that even forming a complete sentence in prayer can seem like an unrealistic goal. Since my youth and over years of pastoral ministry, I’ve relied on a handful of prayers, most of them from the Bible. These verses will help a grieving soul to express the heart’s desire:

1)  In the words of David, the man after God’s own heart, “I will go to him [her], but he [she] will not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:23, NIV)

2)  The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord! (Job 1:21, NLT)

3)  I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8, NIV)

4)  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me…. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:4, 6, ESV)

5)  Remember [him or her] according to Your loving devotion, because of Your goodness, O LORD. (based on Psalm 25:7, NIV)

6)  Let him [her] live with You forever and find protection under Your wings, my God. (Psalm 61:4, CEV)

7)  God, Your word says “the memory of the righteous is a blessing”; let the memory of my loved one linger long and bless many. (based on Proverbs 10:7, ESV)

8)  Let the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. (based on Philippians 4:7, NIV)

9)  Flights of angels sing him [her] to his [her] rest. (William Shakespeare, Hamlet)

10) When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
       When sorrows like sea billows roll;
       Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know:
       It is well, it is well, with my soul. (Horatio Spafford)

Words never come easily when grieving the loss of a loved one, so remembering and repeating such prayers as those above can help to lighten the weight of sorrow at times when the need is greatest.

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