Prayer Of Helplessness After Tragic Death

4 Simple Prayers for the Grieving Heart

Prayer Of Helplessness After Tragic Death

  • Jennifer O. White
  • 2015Dec 07

Our world has been shaken. My husband’s older brother and only sibling, Ken, dropped dead in his bathroom. We still don’t know why. While we wait on autopsy results, we shake our heads in disbelief at how someone who appeared to be the picture of health could just die so suddenly.

My husband and I, his parents, his children, extended family and many friends are all flooded with grief. We have great joy in knowing Ken is with Jesus enjoying the best days of his eternal life. We celebrate our hope of joining him there. Meanwhile, we miss him greatly.

Grieving together is not new to our family. Ken’s oldest daughter, Leigh Ann, died ten years ago after a tragic car accident. So we smile through our tears knowing that father and daughter are completely whole and reunited in the presence of our Lord.

The shock of death seems to steal our breath and with it our ability to think clearly. I’ve noticed that it has been hard for me to think of how to pray for the people I love so dearly and myself.

I’m thankful that my faith is deeper than my grief.

I’m so much more thankful that God knows precisely how our brains function in times these and He has mercifully given us the Holy Spirit to pray for us.

But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings
that cannot be expressed in words (Romans 8:26b NLT).

I see in Romans 8:26, God’s deep compassion for us. I imagine the Spirit so filled with love for us, knowing our weakness in grief and relentlessly praying so that we can experience God’s comfort.

I am documenting the following Scripture prayers so that you and I both can find them when tragedy strikes and we can’t find our way through the fog of grief to the words we want to pray.

Note: You can reword these into prayers for those who are grieving and don’t feel they can pray for themselves.

You are Immanuel, God with me. Thank You for being with me now as I mourn the loss of _________. Isaiah 7:14
You are the God of all Comfort and I willingly receive Your comfort now. I do not know what Your comfort will look or feel , but I trust it even so.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5, Isaiah 66:13, Isaiah 49:13
My heart is broken but You are near. My spirit is crushed, but You are my rescuer. Psalm 34:18
Your Word is my hope. It revives me and comforts me in especially now.

Psalm 119:50
My soul faints, but you are the breath of life within me. Job 33:4, Ezekiel 37
You are my help, the One who sustains me. I am weak but You are strong. Psalm 54:4
You bless those who mourn, and I trust You to bless me and my family with all that we need.

Matthew 5:4
You will rescue me from this dark cloud of despair because You delight in me. Psalm 18:19


Thank You Lord for providing people to weep with me. Romans 12:15
Thank You Lord for surrounding me with Your goodness and mercy even today as I grieve. Psalm 23:6
I trust that You are my source of joy and I will not weep forever.

Psalm 30:5
I’m thankful, Lord, that You have not hidden Your face from me. Thank You for hearing me when I cry to You. Psalm 22:24
Lord, I am thankful that You know what I need before I ask You. Matthew 6:8
Thank You, Lord, for being my strength and my shield.

Psalm 28:7a
Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to cast my anxieties on You. 1 Peter 5:7


Here’s my broken heart, Lord. I need Your healing touch. Psalm 147:3, Isaiah 61:1
I am weary and heavy-laden and in great need of rest from You, Lord. Matthew 11:28, Psalm 62:1
Protect me from the evil one and his offerings of depression and anxiety. Hide me under the shadow of Your wing.

Psalm 17:8
For Your name’s sake, deliver me from thoughts of weakness, hopelessness and helplessness. Psalm 109:21-22
When my heart sinks low, send Your word and heal me, Lord. Psalm 107:20
Help me, Lord, not to panic and make unwise decisions. I need Your help to be still and acknowledge You as my source of my wisdom and stability.

Psalm 46:10
Help me to guard my heart, Lord, so that I am not easily offended by people who say the wrong things or avoid me because they are not sure what to say. Proverbs 4:23
Help me, Lord, to receive Your comfort from the people who are drawing near to me. I do not want to dismiss Your servants who bring me Your comfort.

Romans 12:15
My mind feels fog and then sometimes it is a whirlwind. Guide my thoughts with Your counsel, Lord. Psalm 73:23-24
Deliver me, Lord, from the fear of _________. Psalm 34:4

Praying with Songs

Sometimes it is hard to find the strength to voice our prayers. In those moments, we can listen to the following songs with a “yes, Lord” in our hearts.
Here is a playlist of prayers for the grieving heart. You can let these songs bypass your unsettled mind and begin to nurture your soul with God’s truth about who He is to you and who you are to Him.  

Related Video: What Did Jesus Mean When He Promised Us an Abundant Life? What did Jesus mean when he promised us an abundant life? – Hannah Anderson from ibelievedotcom on GodTube.

Jennifer O. White is the author of Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God's Armor After the Wedding Dress and Marriage Armor for the Praying Bride.

She knows firsthand the power of praying God's Word when fighting for your marriage.

Follow her blog at Prayerfully Speaking for prayer inspiration and a renewal of your faith to believe God is able to do more than you can ask or imagine.

Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/itsmejust

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Transplants and brain death

Prayer Of Helplessness After Tragic Death

George Mantzarides, Professor Emeritus of the Theological School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Transplants have become part of everyday life in modern society. The positive and negative positions which have been expressed on them in ecclesiastical and theological circles have usually been of a fragmentary nature.

The Orthodox Church has not yet taken a final decision on them.

And any such position cannot be adopted by isolated individuals or committees attempting to base their views on its tradition, but will have to be at the behest of its universal conscience.

The beginnings of transplants go back to ancient times. The ancient Egyptians already know how to make skin grafts. The first transplants of vital organs and human body tissue, however, took place in our own day.

The first successful kidney transplant was completed in 1954 and the first heart transplant occurred in 1967.

Since then, transplants, as methods of treatment not restricted merely to survival but to the eradication of health problems, have become much more common and have been received enthusiastically in all parts of the world.

Transplants: the search for earthly immortality?
This enthusiasm can no doubt be attributed to the magnitude of the achievement, but also perhaps to people’s desire today to achieve some kind of earthly immortality.

This is why it would be no exaggeration to say that it runs the risk of leading us astray from the ultimate aim of our existence and its deeper problems.

Indeed, if we take into account the fact that the human lives that can be saved with transplants aren’t as many as a thousandth of those which are destroyed by abortions, the relativity of the enthusiasm for human protection becomes clearer.

Excessive confidence in transplants concentrates our attention on our bodily health alone and, at the same time, creates the false impression of some related, earthly immortality.

But the quest for this immortality can’t be reconciled with the expectation of eternity, and the faith in victory over death through Christ.

This means that the Church can’t have as its aim the dissemination of some slogan such as ‘Give and Save’, which is all too easily drawn into consumer or commercial perspectives. Any such position would reveal secularization and an entry into the spirit of the times.

In the perspective of the Church, biological life and biological death lose their dramatic rivalry and become relative. In any case, because of their very nature, life and death are intertwined and interwoven. Life unfolds as a process of death. And there’s death in every phase of life[1].

In particular, it’s there as the phase of the final change of life: as a transition from this fleeting life to real existence. This prospect does not merely eliminate the tragic nature of death, but also creates the possibility of a positive and even aggressive way of dealing with it. Biological death is common to humans and beasts.

We Christians don’t need to wait passively for death to find us. We can accept it willingly and, in this way, find real life.

But in the same way that bodily death can serve spiritual life, so bodily illness can be positive for spiritual health. We should not, of course, ignore the importance of the life and health of the body.

In any case, it’s natural that the composite anthropology of the Church, which insists on our psychosomatic unity, should take a positive view of both spiritual and also bodily health. This is demonstrated by the many prayers of the Church for the health of our soul and body[2].

At the same time, however, the Church also gave its blessing to medical treatments and procedures.

Despite its astonishing achievements, modern medicine expresses and extends the humanistic anthropology which was rejected in the Orthodox sphere because it traps us within the realm of creation and mortality. Its interest in people is exhausted by our biological functions and life is equated with biological survival. This is why it’s often been said that, where medicine alone reigns, God is dethroned.

[1] ‘Life and death, as they are called, apparently so different, are in a sense resolved into, and successive to, each other’. Gregory the Theologian Discourse 18, 42, PG 35, 1041A.
[2] See particularly the third prayer of the Service of Divine Unction: ‘Raise them from the bed of pain and suffering. Restore them hale and whole to Your Church, pleasing You and performing Your will’



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Prayers for Death and Dying

Prayer Of Helplessness After Tragic Death

“The Christian meaning of death is revealed in the light of the Paschal Mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Christ in whom resides our only hope. The Christian who dies in Christ Jesus is 'away from the body and at home with the Lord' (2 Cor 5:8).”
– Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1681

Prayers with the Dying

The following prayers may be recited with the dying person, alternating with times of silence. Sometimes, the same prayer should be repeated many times. The Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be are also appropriate. The dying person may be signed on the forehead with the cross, as was done at Baptism.

Short Texts

  • What will separate us from the love of Christ? (Rom 8:35)
  • Whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. (Rom 14:8)
  • We shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thes 4:17)
  • To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. (Ps 25:1)
  • Though I should walk in the valley of the shadow of death, no evil would I fear, for you are with me. (Ps 23:4)
  • Into your hands I commend my spirit. (Ps 31:6a)
  • Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. (Lk 23:42)
  • Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. (Acts 7:59)
  • Holy Mary, pray for me.Saint Joseph, pray for me.Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.

Scripture Readings

Among many appropriate Scripture readings are the following:

Those gathered might take turns reading these passages from the family Bible.

Prayer of Commendation

As the time of death approaches, this prayer may be said.

Go forth, Christian soul, from this worldin the name of God the almighty Father,who created you,in the name of Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,who suffered for you,in the name of the Holy Spirit,who was poured out upon you,

go forth, faithful Christian.

May you live in peace this day,may your home be with God in Zion,with Mary, the Virgin Mother of God,

with Joseph, and all the Angels and Saints.

Prayer for the Dead

In your hands, O Lord,we humbly entrust our brothers and sisters.In this life you embraced them with your tender love;deliver them now from every evil

and bid them eternal rest.

The old order has passed away:welcome them into paradise,where there will be no sorrow, no weeping or pain,but fullness of peace and joywith your Son and the Holy Spiritforever and ever.

R/. Amen.

Prayers Immediately after Death

The following prayers may be recited immediately after death and may be repeated in the hours that follow.

Saints of God, come to his/her aid!
Come to meet him/her, Angels of the Lord!

R/. Receive his/her soul and present him/her to God the Most High.

May Christ, who called you, take you to himself;
may Angels lead you to Abraham's side. R/.

Give him/her eternal rest, O Lord,
and may your light shine on him/her forever. R/.

Let us pray.All-powerful and merciful God,we commend to you N., your servant.In your mercy and love,blot out the sins he/she has committedthrough human weakness.In this world he/she has died:let him/her live with you forever.Through Christ our Lord.

R/. Amen.

These verses may also be used.

V/. Eternal rest grant unto him/her, O Lord.
R/. And let perpetual light shine upon him/her.V/. May he/she rest in peace.

R/. Amen.

V/. May his/her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,through the mercy of God,rest in peace.

R/. Amen.

Gathering in the Presence of the Body

When the family first gathers around the body, before or after it is prepared for burial, all or some of the following prayers may be used. It is most fitting that, where possible, family members take part in preparing the body for burial.

All make the Sign of the Cross. Then one member of the family reads:

My brothers and sisters, Jesus says:”Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened,and I will give you rest.Shoulder my yoke and learn from me,for I am gentle and humble in heart,and you will find rest for your souls.

Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.”

The body may then be sprinkled with holy water:

The Lord God lives in his holy temple yet abides in our midst.Since in Baptism, N. became God's templeand the Spirit of God lived in him/her,

with reverence we bless his/her mortal body.

Then one member of the family may say:

With God there is mercy and fullness of redemption;
let us pray as Jesus taught us:

Our Father…

Then this prayer is said:

Into your hands, O Lord,we humbly entrust our brother/sister N.In this life you embraced him/her with your tender love;deliver him/her now from every evil

and bid him/her enter eternal rest.

The old order has passed away:welcome him/her then into paradise,where there will be no sorrow, no weeping nor pain,but the fullness of peace and joywith your Son and the Holy Spiritforever and ever.

R/. Amen.

All may sign the forehead of the deceased with the Sign of the Cross. One member of the family says:

Blessed are those who have died in the Lord;let them rest from their labors

for their good deeds go with them.

V/. Eternal rest grant unto him/her, O Lord.
R/. And let perpetual light shine upon him/her.V/. May he/she rest in peace.

R/. Amen.

V/. May his/her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,through the mercy of God,rest in peace.

R/. Amen.

All make the Sign of the Cross as one member of the family says:

May the love of God and the peace of the Lord Jesus Christbless and console usand gently wipe every tear from our eyes:in the name of the Father,and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

R/. Amen.

Prayers for Mourners

  • Lord God,you are attentive to the voice of our pleading.Let us find in your Soncomfort in our sadness,certainty in our doubt,and courage to live through this hour.Make our faith strongthrough Christ our Lord.R/. Amen.
  • Lord,N. is gone now from this earthly dwelling,and has left behind those who mourn his/her absence.Grant that we may hold his/her memory dear,never bitter for what we have lostnor in regret for the past,but always in hope of the eternal Kingdomwhere you will bring us together again.Through Christ our Lord.R/. Amen.
  • May the love of God and the peace of the Lord Jesus Christbless and console usand gently wipe every tear from our eyes:in the name of the Father,and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.R/. Amen.

For those who mourn the death of a child:

  • O Lord, whose ways are beyond understanding,listen to the prayers of your faithful people:that those weighed down by griefat the loss of this little childmay find reassurance in your infinite goodness.Through Christ our Lord.R/.  Amen.

Prayers at Graveside

  • Lord Jesus Christ,by your own three days in the tomb,you hallowed the graves of all who believe in youand so made the grave a sign of hopethat promises resurrectioneven as it claims our mortal bodies.Grant that our brother/sister, N., may sleep here in peaceuntil you awaken him/her to glory,for you are the resurrection and the life.Then he/she will see you face to faceand in your light will see lightand know the splendor of God,for you live and reign forever and ever.R/. Amen.
  • O God,by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest,send your holy Angel to watch over this grave.Through Christ our Lord.R/. Amen.

Prayers for Death and Grieving from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, © 2007, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC.

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10 Prayers for the Departed and Dearly Missed

Prayer Of Helplessness After Tragic Death

Death and dying are parts of life. While some people fear them, others draw inspiration from death.

As nurses, it’s inevitable for us to see some of our patients die and their families deeply grieve for them. Although we can’t bring back their loved ones, there are still ways for us to provide comfort, strength and guidance to the families our patients left behind.

Here are 10 powerful prayers for the departed.

For the recently deceased

In your hands, O Lord,we humbly entrust our brothers and sisters.In this life you embraced them with your tender love;deliver them now from every evil

and bid them eternal rest.

The old order has passed away:welcome them into paradise,where there will be no sorrow, no weeping or pain,but fullness of peace and joywith your Son and the Holy Spirit

forever and ever.


Prayer for the souls in purgatory

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Prayer for deceased relatives and friends

Almighty Father, source of forgiveness and salvation, grant that our relatives and friends who have passed from this life may, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the saints, come to share your Eternal happiness through Christ our Lord. Amen

Prayers for the deceased for forgiveness and peace and for mourners

Lord Jesus, our Redeemer, You willingly gave Yourself up to death so that all people might be saved and pass from death into a new life. Listen to our prayers; look with love on Your people who mourn and pray for their dead brother/sister.

Lord Jesus, You alone are holy and compassionate; forgive our brother/sister his/her sins.
By dying You opened the gates of life for those who believe in You; do not let Your brother/sister be parted from You, but by Your glorious power give him/her light, joy, and peace in heaven where You live for ever and ever. Amen.

My brother (sister) in faith, I entrust you to God Who created you.May you return to the One Who formed you from the dust of this earth.May Mary, the angels, and all the saints come to meet you as you go forth from this life.

May Christ Who was crucified for you bring you freedom and peace.May Christ, the Son of God, Who died for you take you into His kingdom.May Christ, the Good Shepherd, give you a place within His flock.May He forgive your sins and keep you among His people.

May you see your Redeemer face to face and enjoy the sight of God forever. Amen.

I commend you, my dear [name] to almighty God, and entrust you to your Creator.May you rest in the arms of the Lord who formed you from the dust of the earth.May holy Mary, the angels, and all the saints welcome you now that you have gone forth from this life.

May Christ who was crucified for you, bring you freedom and peace.May Christ who died for you admit you into his garden of paradise.May Christ, the true Shepherd, embrace you as one of his flock.May he forgive all your sins and set you among those he has chosen.

May you see your Redeemer face to face and enjoy the vision of God, forever.

Prayer for unexpected death

Heavenly Father we know and believe that our times are in Your hands, but Lord it’s so often such a shock to us when a dear loved one meets with a sudden or unexpected death – through an accident or perhaps due to some unforeseen tragedy, which takes the life of someone they loved – long before it would be expected.

Lord, we bring before You today those who are having to go through such a tragic loss and pray that You would be very close to each one that is in mourning today over such a loss – and are perhaps confused or even angry that such a devastating occurrence has overtaken them – without any apparent warning.

You are the God of all comfort Who comforts us in time of need and we pray that for those that are facing such a difficult trial today. Uphold them we pray, and ask that You draw very close to them … raise up we pray, the right people to minister to them and to be a genuine comfort and support at this time of tragedy and grief.

Lord, we don’t understand why our loved ones should suddenly be removed from us through a sudden, unexpected death – but Lord we trust You to soothe away the hurt in time – for shall not the God of all the earth do right…. In Jesus name, we pray,


Prayer for deceased parents

O God, Who has commanded usto honor our father and mother,have compassion in Thy mercy,on the souls of my father and mother;forgive them their sins,and grant that I may see themin the joy of eternal brightness.

Through Christ our Lord.


Prayer after violent death

Father, we bring before You those that have had the devastating experience of having someone close to them that they know and love, suffer a sudden, violent and needless death. Lord how we grieve for those that are having to experience this right now, and we pray that in Your grace You would look down with pity and mercy and meet them right at their point of need.

Lord, You are the one Who was sent to heal the broken-hearted and comfort those that mourn and are heavy-laden.

You are the One Who promised that Your grace is sufficient for every eventuality – even for those having to face the sudden and violent death of someone close to them.

Draw near to them we pray and lift them up into You arms of love and carry them during this time of suffering and grief for You have promised that underneath are Your everlasting arms.

Lord, as we lift up in prayer those that are having to come to terms with the sudden and violent death of a loved one – we pray that You would use this tragedy to be the thing that starts to draw each suffering soul into the tender arms of their Saviour – the Lord Jesus Christ, in Whose name we pray,


Prayer for a deceased brother, relative or friend

You are, O God,quick to pardon and desire man’s salvation.In Your goodness we ask You to grant our deceased brothers,relatives, and friends everlasting happiness.With the help of Blessed Mary ever Virginand all Your saints,

we ask this through Christ, our Lord.


Prayer to say on the day of a person’s death

O God, Whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, we humbly beseech Thee for the soul of Thy servant N…, which Thou hast this day commanded to depart this world, that Thou wouldst not deliver it into the hands of the enemy, nor forget it unto the end, but wouldst command it to be received by the Holy Angels, and conducted to Paradise, its true country; that as in Thee it hath hoped and believed, it may not suffer the pains of hell, but may take possession of eternal joys.
Through Christ our Lord.


See Also: 10 Inspiring Songs To Help With Grief 

Share these beautiful prayers to friends or family who need them.

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