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For Those Who Mourn
(John 11:35, Psalm 23)
Merciful Lord, source of our being, love of our hearts, when you shared our human condition, you wept for the death of your friend Lazarus. You know the shock, the anguish, and the profound sadness we also experience at the ending of a life precious to us.
Remind us that our loved ones are no less precious to you. Because you also loved them, their lives are not truly ended with the death of the physical body.
To the grief-stricken, the valley of the shadow of death is a lonely place to travel. Walk with them, Lord. Guard their hearts and minds against despair. Sustain them through the long journey back to joy.
In the midst of things they may not understand, help them to cling to you in faith. Help them to entrust their loved one to your never-failing love. Help them to come to terms with any “unfinished business” in their relationship with the one who has died.
Throughout their season of sorrow, provide them with friends who are patient and understanding. Equip each of us to become such a friend, someone willing to listen over and over to the memories and the grief.
As friends, we mean well when we say, “Call if you need me,” but the effort of the call may be too great for our friend. Instead, make us aware of what needs to be done, and prompt us to do it with quiet grace.
Give us the wisdom not to impose our own expectations on the grief process of others. Give us the grace to keep our mouths shut if our friend seems to be “getting over it” more slowly, or more quickly, than we think proper.
Grant us words of comfort and truth, that we may encourage our friend to turn to you with whatever pain, anger, or regret he or she carries.
Help each of us to grow in faith so that when it is our turn to leave this life, we may fall asleep peacefully in you, confident that we shall awaken to the wonders you have prepared for all your children.
This we pray in the name of the resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.
If you have questions or comments, email Tony Grant
Copyright 2000 York Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
Last Modified: 1/17/04