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A Prayer for the Bereaved

A Prayer for the Bereaved

Father in heaven, I acknowledge that you are the one who bestows good gifts and you are the one who recalls them again. It is by your hand that each of us is brought to life and by your hand that each of us is called into death. You are the one who gives and you are the one who takes away. And so I bless your name.

Father, it has been your will to take away one that I love. And even while I acknowledge that you make no mistakes and you commit no wrongs, still it hurts so much. Still my mind is bewildered, still my heart is broken.

But even as I weep, I pray that I would not grieve as one who has no hope, as one who has no faith, as one who has no confidence in you.

I pray that in my sorrow I will be quiet of spirit so that I can listen attentively to hear each of your precious words of consolation.

I pray that in my sorrow I will be reverent and honor you for doing no more than what is your sovereign prerogative, your divine right.

I pray that in my sorrow I will be confident, assured that there is as much of your love in the taking away of this blessing as there was in the giving of it.

I pray that in my sorrow I will be meek, continually bowing the knee to you in humble submission.

I pray that in my sorrow I will be grateful so that even as I lament the blessing that has been taken, I will be thankful for the countless blessings that have been given and that remain.

I pray that in my sorrow I will be holy and never fail to plead that, by your grace, you will sanctify this grief to me and use it to make me more like Christ.

I pray that in my sorrow I will be composed so I am ready to do whatever you call me to do and to bear whatever you call me to bear. Whatever mission is wrapped up in this bereavement, I pray that I would accept it and do it in your name and for your glory.

I pray that in my sorrow I will be trustful so I can look to the future with a sure and steady confidence, looking forward to the day when you dry each of these tears.

Father, I have received so many of your blessings with smiles of gratitude, and I release this one now with tears of sorrow. Let me offer just one prayer more: That in my sorrow I will be patient so I can bear with this grief for as long as you call me to and remain faithful to the very end—to the end when I will hear those wonderful words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

It’s in the name of Jesus Christ, my living, reigning, sympathizing friend that I pray. Amen.

I composed this prayer some time ago when reflecting on some of my losses. It is inspired by “Sorrow for the Death of Friends” by John Angell James


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