10 Scriptures to Help You Pray Through Grief

When it comes to sharing our sorrow, there’s no better place to turn than God’s own words.

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Posted in , Jul 11, 2021

Processing grief

God is close to those who grieve. 

We may grieve for a friend or family member who has died or a loved one who has strayed. We may mourn the loss of a pet or a job or a prized possession. We may experience grief when our health wanes or a relationship sours. Whatever the source of our pain, the Bible assures us that the Lord “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 NIV). 

When we experience loss, it only hurts more to ignore it or deny it; healing comes when we acknowledge and express what we’re feeling. While it’s therapeutic to talk to friends and counselors, there’s no one better to hear our sorrows than our gracious, compassionate and loving Lord. 

There’s also no better way to pray through our grief than with the words of Scripture, allowing God’s own words to flow through our minds and hearts. Here are 10 scriptures that anyone can pray through grief: 

1)  2 Samuel 12:23
"I will go to him, but he will not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23 NIV). Or turn it around to heighten the promise in the verse: "He (or she) will not return to me, but I will go to him (or her)."

2)  Psalm 31:9 
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief (Psalm 31:9 NIV).

3)  Psalm 34:18 
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18 NIV).

4)  Psalm 73:21-26 
When my heart was grieved
    and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
    I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever (Psalm 73:21-26 NIV).

5)  Psalm 119:28
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word (Psalm 119:28 NIV).

6)  Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3 NIV).

7)  Matthew 5:4
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4 NIV).

8)  John 16:22
"Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy" (John 16:22 NIV).

9)  1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
We do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NIV).

10) Revelation 21:4 
“‘[God] will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4 NIV).

These are a mere sample of the many Bible verses that will help a grieving person process and pray through a season of grief. Feel free to print them and pray them as often as necessary, and even add other verses as you encounter them in your Bible reading.

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