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Prayers for Coping with Loss

Prayers for Coping with Loss

Losing a loved one is one of the most painful experiences we can face in life. Whether it’s a close friendfamily member, or even a pet, feeling their absence and learning to cope without them takes time and process. The healing journey of grief is highly personal, but faith and prayer can provide comfort, strength, and guidance along the way.

Importance of Prayer in Dealing with Loss

Prayer serves numerous purposes during grief:

  • Connects us to God and a higher sense of meaning amid loss
  • Offers a source of comfort and reassurance
  • Provides a space to express emotions we may otherwise keep bottled up
  • Allows us to request strengthcourage, and perspective to press onward
  • Fosters a continuing spiritual bond with lost loved ones

Regular prayer and reflection are valuable both privately and within a community of faith. Even nonreligious people may find comfort in engaging with their spiritual self during bereavement.

Types of Prayers for Coping with Grief

There are many types of prayer that can aid us on the painful yet transformative path through grief.


Pouring out sorrows, fears, anger, and confusion openly to God. The biblical Book of Lamentations models crying out in distress.

  • Example prayer: Lord, my heart is broken. I feel so lost without my wife. This pain and loneliness are more than I can bear. Please be close and comfort me in my anguish.


Humbly bringing specific needs and desires before God. Jesus encourages boldly petitioning our Heavenly Father.

  • Example prayer: Father, please grant me strength for today and each day forward without my son. Help me through waves of grief when his memory overwhelms me. Guide me as I seek a new normal without his presence.


Praying on behalf of others also mourning the loved one’s death. We stand together through mutual prayers during loss.

  • Example prayer: God, surround my motherless niece with Your loving arms. Grant peace to my brother-in-law as he grieves his daughter. Bless and comfort relatives and friends hurting from this tragedy.


Expressing gratitude for the meaningful memories, influence, and gifts from the loved one’s life. Remembering the blessing they were helps process the loss.

  • Example prayer: Lord, thank You for the joy and laughter my grandfather brought our family over the years. I’m grateful for the strength and wisdom he imparted that still guides me today. Though I miss him terribly, help me focus on Your grace shown through him.


Bringing the loved one symbolically before God, trusting they are at peace in His presence. This maintains the connection despite physical loss.

  • Example prayer: Most merciful God, I surrender Aunt Bethany into Your compassionate hands. She loved and served You faithfully throughout her life. Comfort her now in the heavenly home You’ve prepared for her, where one day I pray we will meet again.

Scriptural Sources of Solace

The Bible offers many passages of comfort and reassurance applicable for coping with grief:

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” (Revelation 21:4)

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love…He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” (Psalm 103:8,10)

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

Holding fast to such passages reassures us of God’s sovereignty, presence, comfort, and redeeming grace, even amid loss.

Prayers from the Funeral Liturgy

Various poetic prayers from funeral liturgies touch on common grief themes. These may resonate when mourning:

In Sure and Certain Hope of the Resurrection

When we were baptized in Christ Jesus,
we were baptized into his death. We were buried therefore with him by Baptism into death,
so that as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live a new life.
For if we have been united with him
in a death like his,
we shall certainly be united with him
in a resurrection like his.

This reassures us our loved one will share in Christ’s resurrection, as will we in time. Death does not have the final word.

Lord of All Hopefulness

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever child-like, no cares could destroy,
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

This hymn petitions God to instill hopeful joy within us despite crushing grief.

Oh God, Who Gave Us Birth

Oh God, who gave us birth, You are ever more ready to hear than we are to pray.
You remember all our names and know our every thought.
You know our path before we walk it, our days and nights before we live them.
Your love for every one of us exceeds all bounds and hopes and dreams; and in the end, enfolds us all forever.

These beautiful lines remind us of God’s intimate, compassionate care through all seasons of life and even beyond.

Journaling Prayer Prompts for Coping with Grief

Recording thoughts and prayers in a grief journal often brings comfort amid bereavement. The process can clarify emotions, perspective, thankfulness, hopes, and the continuing spiritual connection with the deceased.

  • When I think of [loved one], I remember/miss/give thanks for…
  • If [loved one] were here now, I would want to say/ask/tell them…
  • Today, grief makes me feel…
  • God, I desperately need strength and comfort with…
  • I never realized how much [loved one] taught/gave me…
  • Healing will happen slowly as I…
  • I hope I can honor [loved one]’s memory by…
  • When I picture where you are now, I see/think…
  • Please grant me peace knowing that…

Adding our own soulful words and reflections enhances more formulaic prayers. By pouring out grief to God alongside gratitude for our loved one’s gifts, the sting of loss gains perspective. Their legacy continues shaping who we become.

Over time, the acute wounds soften. Cherished memories emerge that make us smile again when weeping subsides. We realize death did not negate that profound love and influence nurtured in life. The imprint upon our souls remains as we carry beloved ones with us in spirit. And healing comfort touches brokenness through the mysterious alchemy of prayer.

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