Death, bereavement, loss – whatever the word we use to describe it, it hurts. For you it may be something recent, raw, a present reality that overwhelms the everyday. Or maybe your loss was some time ago and you have had to live on without them, meeting moments you should have met together, being places where they should have been, and you grieve both the one you have lost and the future you should have had together.
And yet, Jesus described those of us who have lost someone as being blessed, because he promises that he will give his strength, and comfort to those who mourn. This comfort that he offers, however, is not just kind words that help to make us feel better, but a comfort that is built on a certain hope, that for those who are in Jesus, to sleep in death means that one day we will rise to a new life with him.
So shall we pray together, and as you read or hear these words, please trust that the God to whom we speak, hears, both the words and the silent cries of our hearts, and delights in answering our prayers.
So let’s pray together.
Loving and gracious Father God, we are praying today because we have lost someone we love. It hurts, Father, often more than we can bear, and even in the better times that hurt is never far away. How is it God, that one moment they were here, and the next they were gone? How is it, that in that moment the world changed, and now the world is not the place we want it to be?
Father, we are so grateful for the times we had together. For the stuff we shared, the smiles, the laughter, the places we liked, the things we enjoyed because we enjoyed them together. Thank you for the love we experienced, the wholeness we knew because we loved each other. Thank you too, that through our relationship, we experienced something of your love and delight in us.
But it is different now they’re not here. The world, though it looks the same, feels emptier, less colourful, less friendly. Kind words from old friends, warmly spoken, don’t sound the same as before, and yet we know that they hurt too, for us and for the ones they have lost as well.
Father. We ask that you will heal us from this pain. That we will know, and sense that you are with us, every moment in these dim days and dark nights. Father, we long to know your comfort, your gift of strength that lifts our faces, dries our tears and gently spurs us on to live again. Thank you God, that you delight to give us joy, and abundant life that does not marginalise our loss but knows it to be a part of the person you made us to be.
And thank you Father, that in Jesus, you came close to us, shared our human limitations, experienced our grief and faced death itself. Thank you, Jesus, that you died and in doing so entered into the darkest experience of humanity, with us and in our place. We thank you, that you overcame death, and that your rising to life gives us a sure and certain hope, that when we believe in you, you will raise us to life again with you on the last day.
So Father, hold us close to you now. Give us your peace which guards our hearts and minds. Reassure us that you hear our prayers, and fill us with the strength we need to live today.