21 Days of Prayer for the World: Day 17

Wednesday, November 8

Day 17: Prayer for Families Mourning Loss


 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

– Psalm 34:18

I awoke last Tuesday morning to a message from one of my dearest friends telling me that her sister had been killed the night before. The news was very fresh, so my friend was still absorbing and trying to make sense of it. Her prominent, immediate emotion was one of regret. She expressed that she didn’t believe her sister was saved, and she was heartbroken she hadn’t shared the gospel with her because she had been so angry with her sister for a number of years. There is a lot of brokenness in this friend’s family of origin, and as a result, my friend has had to guard her heart even from her family. But I know there is also a lot of love and fierce loyalty. My friend is grieving. In that moment, because we were messaging back and forth online and I couldn’t be with my friend, the only comfort I could try to give her was in words—specifically that with God all things are possible, even in one’s final moments—and because she and I are “words people” that was helpful. But sometimes words are insufficient. Sometimes even well-intentioned words can be poorly timed, ill-placed, not well received. Sometimes— oftentimes—the best comfort we can give someone is our presence, but in our far-flung world that isn’t always possible. The good news is that even when we can’t be present with those we love who are grieving, God always is. Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

There are many families grieving loss right now. Here at home, across town, in the next state, on the other side of the country, border, world. In hospitals, nursing homes, homes. In war zones… In all these places and on both sides of every conflict there are families who wake up to the news that their loved ones won’t be coming home. May the God of all comfort be with them all, and may they feel his presence.


Heavenly Father, we lift up the families who have lost loved ones in the war. Be close to the brokenhearted, O Lord. Surround them with Your love and comfort as they grieve. Give them the strength to endure and the assurance of eternal life with You.

By Kara Miller

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