Prayers in grief and loss are a lifeline when you’re navigating waves of pain. Prayer shifts our focus from our circumstance to God, our comfort and hope in the circumstance. Prayer unburdens a heavy and overwhelmed heart. And prayer in the loss of a loved one keeps us tethered to God, anchoring our faith and turbulent emotions.
Sometimes, when we have no words for prayer, we can pray scripture or borrow prayers.
Praying scripture in grief is a reminder of God’s truth and faithfulness. God welcomes our lament—honest prayer where we cry out to God with our emotions, struggles and questions. Or maybe you want to know what to pray for someone who is grieving.
These ten prayers are based in some of my favorite Bible verses for grief. If words are hard right now, borrrow these prayers for comfort in loss, for strength in grief, and more to uplift your heart and usher in the peace that passes understanding.
A Prayer of Comfort in Loss
(Praying scripture of Deuteronomy 33:27 and Isaiah 61:3)
Lord, grief feels like it is pulling me under with waves of hurt and despair and I’m overwhelmed by sadness, heartache, and even physical pain. But you are God over this storm and I trust you in it. While I didn’t see this coming, you did and you have good for me here and comfort for me even in this place of deep loss. Help me lean on your all-sufficient grace breath by breath as you walk with me in this. Thank you for your love holding me and your everlasting arms carrying me through this so I don’t have to bear this alone. You are my dwelling place. Quiet my hurting heart and let me find beauty for these ashes, blessing for this mourning, and praise instead of despair. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A Prayer for Strength in Grief
(Praying scripture of Psalm 34:18)
Lord, this grief is too hard for me and I cannot do this. I’m facing so many new things and so many hard tasks. They are overwhelming me and I need you desperately. You have promised to be strength in my weakness and I am counting on you. I look to you to do what I cannot. Order my steps to take care of what I can today and leave the rest in your hands. Give me strength to endure the hard emotions and the deep missing, as I cast every single care on you. Help me sleep well so that I can wake rested and ready for the day and help me to nourish my body through this deep grief. In the strong name of Jesus, Amen.
A Prayer for Grief and Sadness
(Praying scripture of Psalm 46:1)
Dear God, I am overcome with sadness. I know you are my refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble and so I lean on that promise as I navigate this place of suffering. My heart is so heavy and my world feels so dark. Relieve my heart of this heaviness and help me see your light shining in the darkness. Uphold me with your comfort and surround me your infinite love. Be my hope when the enemy whispers hopelessness. I don’t know what my future holds, but I trust you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A Prayer for Hope in Grief
(Praying scripture of Psalm 73:26 and Romans 15:13)
Lord, though my flesh and heart may fail, you are the strength of my heart and my portion. I need you desperately. Oh God of my hope, fill me with your joy and your peace so that I can overflow with hope again. I don’t look to my circumstances which feel impossible but I look to you alone. I will fix my eyes on you when I don’t know what to do because nothing is impossible for you. Give me hope for this day as my daily bread so I can show up for my family and for the tasks needing my attention today. Help me make your voice louder than the enemy’s lies and root my hope in your unfailing character and unflagging faithfulness. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A Prayer When You’re Brokenhearted
(Praying scripture of Psalm 34:18 and Psalm 56:8)
Father, my heart is utterly broken, but you have promised to be close to the broken-hearted and save those crushed in spirit. Wrap me in your presence and uphold me with your comfort in my sorrow and distress. You are my only hope and though I don’t understand the whys of my circumstances, I trust you. You see every tear I cry and you have counted every one of my tossings. Redeem them Lord for you and for your purposes. Take what the enemy means for evil and use it for your good and your glory, molding my broken heart to look like yours. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A Prayer for Grief and Loneliness
(Praying scripture of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Father, when my night fills with aching loneliness, fill me with yourself. Keep me from filling the emptiness with anything that is harmful or becoming dependent on anything that would numb that loneliness. When moments in my day remind me of who I’m missing, give me grace to move through that gaping loss. You have promised to comfort us in every trouble and I ask you for your compassion and comfort. Give me eyes to see others who need your comfort and a heart to reach out to them. Use this loneliness to draw me closer to you, to depend more on you, to seek more of you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A Prayer for Grief and Anxiety
(Praying scripture of Psalm 23 and 2 Corinthians 10:5)
You are my Good Shepherd and I lack nothing. Help me feel your presence and know that you are with me as I walk through this valley. Thank you for going before me and for preparing a table of your goodness and blessing in the presence of my enemies. I trust the way you are taking me even though this hurts and I would have chosen different, because this path is for your glory, not mine. I call out the lies making me afraid and I take them captive to the truth that you are for me, that you are good, and that you will fulfill your promises. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
A Prayer When God Feels Distant
(Praying scripture of Psalm 139)
Lord, I know your eye is on me even though I can’t see you. And though I don’t see your hand, your hand is hemming me in, behind and before. Thank you that you have laid your hand on me. You know my deepest needs, you know my hardest struggles, and you know the longing of my heart. Help me perceive you and discern how you are moving in my life. Draw me to you in a fresh way and to your Word. Open my spiritual eyes to meet you in scripture and restore the joy of my salvation. Keep me anchored in your love when everything around me is shaking. I ask all of this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
A Prayer for a Grieving Friend
(Romans 12:15, Psalm 147:3)
Lord, today I weep with my friend who is weeping. I lift her to you and ask that you would bring comfort as only you can. Heal her broken heart and bind up her wounds with your kindness and goodness, with your compassion and your love. Stand with her and strengthen her when she feels weak, give her wisdom as she makes hard decisions, and sustain her with your moment-by-moment grace. Help her to trust you in this and to lean on you with her hard emotions and hard questions. Cloak her with the peace that passes all understanding as you carry her I this. Thank you for your infinite mercy that will meet her fresh every morning. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A Prayer for Grief on Annivesaries and Birthdays
(Praying scripture of Psalm 126:5-6, 1 Thessalonians 4:13)
Heavenly Father, this day is especially hard because it’s an anniversary/birthday of one I loved and today I’m reminded of all that’s missing. But I know Lord that I do not grieve as one without hope. You are my hope, not only for eternity but for an abundant and fruit-filled life this side of eternity. Only you can take what feels shattered and bring joy again. So I give you every piece of my broken heart and all that I’ve sown in tears and ask you for joy again. I have wept and done the hard work of grief. Fill my heart with a new song of joy. Lift my head and my heart to be able to live well in the days you’ve given me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Need more hope and encouragement from scripture?
I’ve been enjoying this beautiful Hope & Encouragement Bible. This Bible has wide margins for recording sermon notes or your own Bible study notes. It has a lay-flat seam (perfect for Bible study) and it’s filled with encouraging truths next to key verses as well as 52 Dayspring devotions. You get this Hope & Encourgement Bible in a set with the 100 Days of Hope & Encouragement devotional journal. This journal has 100 devotions along with journaling space to write out prayers or record personal application. Find out more about this set here!
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