A Prayer For You: Losing Someone

For as much as we would like to think of ourselves as individuals, independent and able to make our own way in the world, we are often surprised by just how overwhelming our own reactions are when we are faced with losing someone close.

We do not need to have lived very long before we learn from pain-filled experiences how deeply we are connected to other people, especially those whom we share a fundamental connection with. We underestimate the importance of close relationships at the risk of great hurt. Parents, children, siblings, close relatives, deep friendships, and lifelong partnerships, are bonds that connect us all at the very deepest level with those closest to us.

We call it love, family, a connection yet the bond can be so strong that we begin to see the other person in us and something of us in them. The Bible writers talk of marriage as two people becoming ‘one flesh’ and many will vouch for the truth in these simple words. This is how God intends us to be, wholly relational, living connected lives, caring, loving, sharing, and putting up with each other.

But we know that things go wrong. Relationships break down, people get sick, and life is vulnerable, especially for the old and very young. Sometimes our relationships with a parent, a child, or a partner do not work out in the way they could have, should have, or might have done. Couples separate and distance is introduced into relationships that depended on the bond now broken. Diseases take people from us too soon, just as miscarriage can steal the hope of a life unborn. Grief follows death, but before that, the process of loss begins, of letting go of the one we cannot let go of.

The world changes with every new life born and when we each reach the end of our time in this world. Loss can happen suddenly, propelling us into a new world in which they no longer live. But it can happen over longer seasons too, and we find ourselves seeing them slip away from us, powerless to prevent their going and struggling to navigate this new world full of uncertainty and pain.

If something I have said here resonates with you, then I hope you will know that others recognise your pain. So, shall we pray together to the God who made us this way, who shares our pain and offers hope to hurting hearts.

Loving Father, thank you that made us to bear your image, made us like you, relational beings designed to be deeply connected to each other and to you. Thank you for this precious gift which allows us to experience the greatest joys of living in relationship, of knowing that we are loved, and experiencing love for others.

But, Lord, we know too the pain of losing someone, of hearing the news that makes everything different, of navigating a distorted world where nothing is certain except the fear of loss and the emptiness we fear will follow. We feel it in the first breath of the morning as we ready ourselves for the day ahead, in the evening as we reflect on the day that has passed, and in the night when dreams and darkness distort our thoughts.

As chaos threatens to engulf us, where once there had been certainty and order, Lord help us to cling to you, the one who knows what we do not know, who sees all things both past and future, and who loves us with a compassion we cannot comprehend. Help us to see you in the darkness, help us to feel your presence in the emptiness, and help us to trust that you are big enough to hold us, and the ones we love, both now and through all time.

Loving Jesus, it is hard to entrust the care of someone we love so much, to another. Either to the medical world for the hope of cure, or to you who have power over life and death. It is hard, too, to let go when holding on is all we know how to do. We feel powerless, crushed, and unloved as we watch the life that is everything to us slip through our fingers, and in our white knuckles and clenched fists we see only absence.

Yet Jesus, we know that you entrusted your life to your Father, and were willing to face death, and even pass through it for our sake. You reassured your friends, who could not comprehend what lay ahead, that the pain of death however powerful it may be, is not your last word. Because you are life and have overcome death, and you will lead us through it too to the life you promise beyond.

Sometimes, Father, we are left alone because the one we love has chosen to leave. We question things we have done and said and not said and not done, and blame falls easily when it feels like there is nothing else we can do. So, Lord, we ask that you will stay with us as we learn to live without the todays and tomorrows we had hoped for. It can be so hard to understand why these things happen, and simple answers don’t answer all our questions. Yet, Jesus, we know that you too experienced betrayal and abandonment by those closest to you, and we find comfort in knowing that you share our hurt and confusion because you know how it feels.

So, Father, we entrust our todays and tomorrows, ourselves, and the ones we are losing, into your care, knowing that your compassion is big enough to hold us, your care is great enough to strengthen us, and your all-encompassing love is sufficient to heal us. And, thank you Jesus, for having experienced all that we face and for sending your Spirit to be with us until the final day when at last we shall all be reunited with you.


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4 thoughts on “A Prayer For You: Losing Someone

  1. You replied to this comment.

    1. Hi Trisha. May you know his comfort, grace and peace through your pain. I’m happy to chat further too.

  2. Thanks so much for these profound and sensitive pastoral thoughts and prayers. God bless you.

    1. Thank you Phil. Grace and peace, Charlie

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