God of all Mercy and Compassion:
You are the alpha and omega; the beginning and the end; the one who is, who was, and who is to come (Revelation 1:9). For you created heaven and earth for your glory and we praise you for their beauty and our creation (Psalm 19).
Make your presence especially known among us for our eyes are heavy with tears and our ears barely hear. With heavy hearts we, your people, stand before you today confessing our sins and our doubts but confident of the love of Christ.
We thank you for sharing this friend with us during his season of life. We praise you for his compassion, his quiet dignity and devotion to family, his constant smile and companionship, and his daily presence in our lives.
In the power of the Holy Spirit, grant us a season of grief with his passing. Open our hearts; let us cry; help us feel and express our loss.
Place your hedge of protection around us as we grieve. Protect our persons and our spirits; protect our relationships; protect our jobs. Let us not have to choose between expressing our grief and other things.
May our grief be godly grief until salvation, not worldly grief that leads to sin and death (2 Corinthians 7:10). In our grieving, let us be like Job who did not sin in spite of many afflictions (Job 1:13-22). But let us turn to you in our lament, great giver of life, to empty our hearts of the pain, the shame, the guilt, and the grief so that we might once again enter your gates with praise. For we know that you grieved over Lazarus and the widow’s son, and raised them both from the dead even though no words of faith were spoken (John 11:1-46; Luke 7:11-17).
And we know that through Jesus Christ death is not the final answer. And we like Him will one day be raised from death to new life. Remind us daily that: “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
In the power of your Holy Spirit, grant us strength to turn to you in our grief, following the example of Christ at Gethsemane (Matthew 26:3), to live life in view of the resurrection and the eternal life that is ours in Jesus Christ (John 3:16).
In the strong name of Jesus we pray. Amen.