Gentle Prayers of Comfort and Support

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Gentle Prayers of Comfort and Support

An elderly loved one is coming to the ending of life. So sad. Yet, it has been a long, full and fruitful life. A life well-lived.

I have been at many hospital and care center bedsides, professionally, as a chaplain. Many end-of-life situations, some sudden (like, from a massive heart attack), and others—not so sudden. Some more painful, and a few even excruciating for me to watch. Each one is unique.

When I know the person involved, or know the loved one sitting by the bed, that changes things. Makes it different. (I probably could come up with some words to describe this difference, but I am feeling my own personal feelings right now. I am not very fluid with the words at this time.) Regardless, whether I know the person, or loved one, or not, it is still a difficult situation. Painful, and sorrowful, to say the least.

Sometimes there are complicated emotions tied up in various relationships (for example, with the person dying, or with loved ones, or with some others who have died—or even with all three). This heightens the difficulty, the emotions: the fear, anger, anxiety, dread, and overwhelming grief. Or, sometimes, flattens out the emotional response.

Right now, I have the option to retreat into my professional demeanor, as a chaplain and pastoral caregiver. Or, I can do the human thing, and feel. I think I will feel my feelings right now.

Dear healing Savior, I pray that You come alongside of all who mourn and grieve this night. I pray for my relatives and loved ones who are near and far away. I ask you to come alongside of this beloved one, nearing the end of life. I pray that You may be preparing a place at Your heavenly banquet table, even now. I know You and Your angels will welcome this loved one home. Thank You for loving us, even when we can’t say the words, ourselves. Thank You for caring for us, even when we go astray or wander in a far country. And, thank You for welcoming this dear one home to You, after a long journey here in this world. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.r



Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

6 responses to “Gentle Prayers of Comfort and Support

  1. I’m praying for you and your loved one Eliza. Your congregation is blessed to have you, and I’m praying too that they bless you at this time.

  2. Thanks for your kind and encouraging words, Tim. It seems like everything is in slow motion right now, personally. Except, as my husband rightfully reminded me, we cannot put our lives on hold, long-term. So, I will be going to teach bible study in a few minutes, and to the Chamber of Commerce holiday party this evening. Life does continue. And–thanks so much. Again.

  3. Tim shared this on Twitter, Eliza — thanks for your reflections here. I can imagine it is a challenge to know how to “be” with the suffering/grieving in each situation: whether they need calm and restraint from you, or whether they need your tears. I guess it is never wrong just to be yourself and be present. God bless.

    • I appreciate your care and support. Yes, I need to be prayerful, and still be authentic. Feel my personal feelings, and still be there for others who need pastoral care. God bless you at this hopeful Advent time.

  4. Sometimes, I think, we get tired of feeling. Grieving, and watching others grieve can suck us dry, wear us out and leave us feeling colourless. As a pastor’s wife and one who has been a professional counsellor, I find myself seemingly trying to relocate Jesus, the God of hope. Not that HE is lost or anything close to lost it is simply that I have lost sight of Him in that which has seemingly swallowed up my energy, my joy, my very self. Usually this happens when I have been witness to scenes that overwhelm me, or emotions that destabilise me. It is then that I feel ever so fragile and so painfully vulnerable. I then look for hope and as always I end up sinking in the arms of Jesus, most often with tears running down my very tired cheeks. Life is so painful sometimes. To reflect is so painful sometimes. I send you dear chaplaineliza much love as you continue the journey and as you hold the hands of others who desire your companionship. S.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Sandra. Your expression about “relocating Jesus, the God of hope” especially rings true to me. Yes, I think that carers can be overwhelmed by huge waves of emotion, indeed.

      Wishing you the love and support we all can access through our Prince of Peace, Elizabeth.

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