Prayers for Birthdays, Graduates, and Grieving during the COVID-19 Crisis

Prayers for Birthdays, Graduates, and Grieving during the COVID-19 Crisis

No one has been left untouched by the COVID-19 crisis. Everyone’s life has been disrupted. Everyone’s life has changed. All of us have had to deal with unexpected cancellations, sudden shutdowns, and painful closures. Some of these have been a minor inconvenience. Others have been difficult to accept. And still others have been devastating.

The one word that embodies all of these experiences is loss. We have all lost something during this pandemic. And with the loss there comes confusion, sadness, anger, and grief.

The Bible is no stranger to loss. The Psalms are often thought of as containing prayers of praise and thanksgiving to God. And a number of psalms are like that. But the majority of psalms have a very different tone. They are called the lament psalms. They often start out with an honest outpouring of grief and anger.

There is a wrestling with God in prayer. But then a shift happens. What started out as desolation ends in consolation.

The psalmist remembers God and His promises. A seed of truth sprouts and grows into hope, and even into joy.

In the spirit of those lament psalms, here are some prayers that deal with the losses we have all experienced.

Read them and then use them to express your own heart to God. Do not be afraid to bring the messiness and confusion you may feel. God loves to meet us there.

Psalm 62:8
Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

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  • Prayer for Birthdays

    Prayer for Birthdays

    Lord, you know that so many gatherings have had to be canceled. Among those are many birthday celebrations. There have been grandparents left unhugged, grandchildren left unembraced, and children with few to celebrate this milestone. You know that those who feel especially alone during this time need to know that their life matters, that their birthday is something worth remembering.

    I pray for those in my circle of family and friends who have missed out on a birthday celebration. I ask that they would look up to you and find the love that they need. I know that you celebrate them and sing over them. I ask that they would be able to experience the joy that you have in them. I ask that they would rest in the truth that their lives are worth celebrating.

    Thank you for your relentless love and care for us. Thank you that you know the number of days marked out for each of our lives, especially our birthdays.

    Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)
    The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

    Psalm 139:16
    All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

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  • young woman wearing a graduation cap and gown looking away, special things to do for graduates who won't get graduation

    Prayer for Graduates

    Lord, you know the loss that so many of our graduates feel. Whether in high school or college, much of the specialness of their senior year has been robbed from them. Parties and proms, celebrations and ceremonies—all of these have been cancelled.

    And you know it’s not just the loss of the event. It’s also the loss of being with others who are walking through the same milestone. It’s also the loss of hearing congratulations from teachers and parents.

    Lord, you know and feel our loss. You are especially close to us when we are brokenhearted. I pray now for the graduates I know. I pray that they would look to you during this time of loss for comfort and peace. I pray that they would look to you as they face an uncertain future. I pray that you would increase their hope despite all the obstacles ahead by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    I pray that they would experience the joy that comes in the morning after a night of grieving.

    Thank you for your desire to be a loving Father to each of these graduates. Thank you for grace unexpected and unforeseen that you will pour out on each of them. Thank you that you will guide them and teach them in the way they should go.

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

    Romans 15:13
    May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Psalm 32:8
    I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

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  • Prayer for Those With Job Loss

    Prayer for Those With Job Loss

    Lord, you know of so many who have taken financial hits with this pandemic. The hardest hit have been those who are now without a job. Some cannot support themselves, and others can’t support a family that depends on them.

    Along with the loss comes anxiety and worry as the bills mount. Then there is the stress of trying to make ends meet with such limitations. Finally, there is the loss of dignity and value that some may feel with no means of employment.

    I pray for those I know who have lost their jobs. I pray that they would look to you and cling to you as the one who gives them their daily bread. I pray that they would not be anxious about what they are to eat or drink, but seek first your kingdom. And as you provide for them, I ask that you would become more precious and beloved in their hearts.

    Finally, I ask that you would open surprising doors into new jobs, new businesses, and new opportunities.

    Thank you that you are able to supply every need through your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for being a good Father.

    Matthew 6:11
    Give us today our daily bread.

    Matthew 6:31-33
    So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

    Philippians 4:19
    And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

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  • Prayer for Those Who Feel Alone

    Prayer for Those Who Feel Alone

    Lord, we have all felt the loss of community during this time. There is the loss of church services, the loss of fellowship groups, and the loss of gatherings of all types. Although technology has helped us stay somewhat connected, there is no substitute for face-to-face meeting and eye-to-eye contact. You know that some have succumbed to despondency and depression. Others languish in the feeling of isolation and aloneness.

    I pray for all who feel the sting of loneliness. I ask that they would know that you will never leave them or abandon them. I ask that in this time of lack of human support that you would be their divine support.

    I also ask that you would open my heart to be more aware of the needs of those around me and to do what I can, whether it’s a phone call, a text, or a note in the mail.

    Thank you that during this time of aloneness you can teach us to stand firmly on your constant love. Thank you that our core sense of self and wholeness comes from you through Christ. Thank you that you will be the light in the darkness of loneliness.

    Thank you that your ultimate work is to bring all of us together as one, united in Jesus.

    John 14:18
    I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

    Hebrews 13:5
    Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.

    John 17:22-23
    I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.

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    Bill Delvaux is a graduate of Duke University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has been a church planter, a high school Bible teacher, and a running coach. Seven years ago, he pioneered Landmark Journey Ministries to help men find their guide, own their identity, and discover their quest through Christ. His latest book is Heroic: The Surprising Path to True Manhood. His greatest claim to fame is being married to Heidi for 34 years and having two amazing daughters. He and his wife currently reside in Franklin, TN. Bill can be reached at