My heart aches with grief today. This past week I’ve walked alongside dear friends and families reeling from the loss of a child. One a precious six-year-old boy and another a twenty-year-old young man with a promising future ahead of him. Both deaths unexpected. Tragic. Devastating.
How can I come alongside my friends? I’ve never walked this road. I’ve never lost a child. I can only imagine because I have two of my own.
The desire to comfort filled my heart, but the words just didn’t come. When they did, they seemed trite. Insufficient for a grief so great. So I went to the One who has comforted me in my darkest times.
God reminded me of truths from His Word.
Promises that transcend circumstances.
Words that are living and active and penetrating (Hebrews 4:12).
Words that promise not to return empty when spoken and prayed (Isaiah 55:11).
“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
“The LORD heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5
“[B]ut those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” Isaiah 40:31
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze, for I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:2-3a
And then He gave me this prayer …
Abba Father, when I try to understand the loss of a child, it seems senseless, even cruel. It seems troublesome in my sight until I bring it to You … till I come into Your sanctuary, then I remember that nothing comes into our lives that has not first passed through Your hands (Psalm 103:19, Psalm 139:1-18).
Father, lead these broken parents consumed by pain, grief, and hurt to You, the One who created their child and loves him more than anyone ever could.
I ask that during this time of deep grief, You supply all their needs according the riches of Your glory found only in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Thank You for Your promise that as they draw near to You that You will come near to them (James 4:8). Surround them with Your loving kindness. Thank You that Your compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-24).
Father, thank You that those who wait for You will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not be tired, they will walk and not grow weary (Isaiah 40:31). We pray these promises, Father … for them to walk in Your strength, to be lifted on the wings of Your angels, to be carried by Your love.
Thank You for Your promise that Your eyes range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to You. Draw close to them now (2 Chronicles 16:9). Minister to them as only You can do.
We stand on this promise for this family: ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’ (Jeremiah 29:11-13). Their devastating loss seems to make absolutely no sense. A life cut short before it’s fully lived. But in Your plan, Lord, somehow it does. We cannot see it or understand right now. But I boldly ask that in their sorrow, pain, and grief, as they seek You, may they find You in a way they never have before. And I ask that You uphold them with Your MIGHTY right hand. Let them trust in Your plan even though right now seems senseless.
Remind them that, although it may feel like it now, NOTHING will ever separate them from Your love, neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither things present nor in the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth or anything in all creation will ever separate them from the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus their Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
Thank You, Father, that the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart You will not despise (Psalm 51:17). Father, meet them in their brokenness, fill them with love, slowly pick up the pieces and begin to put them together to make a new thing of beauty, whatever that looks like to You, Father.
Father, give them courage and strength to believe this promise: DO NOT BE AFRAID OR DISMAYED FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO (Joshua 1:9). And Father, no matter where they are or who they are with, as the grief settles may they see You and experience You. Protect their hearts from well-meaning but hurtful words. Place Your ministering angels around every corner so they know You are with them.
Help me and all those who love and care for them continue to devote ourselves to praying for them. Prompt us and make our spirits sensitive to pray. Whenever we think of this child, hear his name, see his school or something he loved, whatever is it is You bring to our hearts, REMIND us to pray for these parents and this family. Thank You, Father, what is impossible with men, is possible with You (Luke 18:27).
Finally, Father, we take comfort in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18: ‘Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we FIX OUR EYES ON NOT WHAT IS SEEN BUT WHAT IS UNSEEN since what is seen is temporal, but what is unseen is eternal.’ I ask all this in Jesus’ most precious and powerful name. Amen.
My sweet friends, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share what burdens my heart today. I pray God uses it to bring comfort and hope to you as well.
If you have a family who needs this prayer, please feel free to share it. And if you are one who has lost a child and needs prayer today, please leave your name so we can pray for you.
**** I promised to announce the winners of our “I Know His Name” Bible Study Class Registration today. So below, please find the two winners. You should be hearing from Proverbs 31 Ministries very soon to receive your gifts!!
Blessings to you,