A Prayer for those who have Lost a Child

My wife just walked through a really terrible miscarriage.

Not to say that all miscarriages aren’t terrible, but this one was, for us, worse than any we’ve had before. It was much more of an emotional rollercoaster, as well much more concerning for her health. We were worried, and we were also just incredibly worn out. She was fighting this for weeks, and we just didn’t know anything one way or the other.

Regardless, the baby was lost, and although there is some strange form of relief in just knowing the answer, there is also grief. So, this is a prayer that I’ve written, and I just thought I’d offer it up for the encouragement of any who’ve walked through the loss of a child.

Dear Heavenly Father,

God, you are the creator of all things, and you sustain all life everywhere at all times, and I know that nothing exists without your will for it to exist, and not even a sparrow falls to the ground without your will and decision. You hold life and death in your hands, and only you turn one into the other.

You are the judge of all the earth, and you always do right. You are never unjust, and never in any way mistaken in what you work and bring about. I know these things, and I am grateful for these things, and I trust you because of them, but this knowledge doesn’t take away my grief and sorrow at this very moment.

I have no rights over you, and I know that I deserve nothing from you. Anything that I receive from you in this life is only because of your grace. Even the child that I’ve just lost…

You say that children are a blessing, and I believe that, and whether you give me another child for 7 minutes, 7 days, or 37 years, I know that it is a blessing.

But, knowing that children are a blessing is what makes this loss so devastating right now. I know that, as Job said, we should receive both good and bad from you, trusting that you are always right and just in what you do, and so, although I am struggling and grieving right now, God I submit my will to yours in this loss…you give and take away.

But you are not only my creator…you are also my Father.

Because of the gospel, you are my Father, and so I am praying to you and bringing my requests and struggles and grief to you. I am so full of sadness that I struggle to know how to move forward from this place. I am afraid of so much right now, feeling so fragile, and fearing for the lives of the ones I love.

But, you tell me in these times of loss to remember the gospel, and so I am trying to do that.

I know that because Jesus came, and was born, and lived a perfect life that he can identify with my suffering. He suffered the loss of those whom he loved. His earthly father, Lazarus, and surely many others, and he knows what it is I’m going through right now. But he doesn’t just identify with my grief. Jesus lived a perfect life and so that means that he responded to suffering and loss rightly. He never became angry at you, and never resented his life, and never fell into depression or lost his joy.

And I know that because of the gospel, I have Christ’s perfect record of obedience. I know that means that even when I don’t respond properly to you during times of suffering and loss that I’m not condemned. You’ve set me free to feel and respond to the great weight of the loss of my baby because I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’m responding perfectly.

But I know that the gospel goes further still, because Christ’s sacrifice has also set me free from any guilt regarding my baby’s death. I don’t have to feel guilty, as if it was something I did, or could’ve done differently. I am not under guilt or condemnation, and you are sovereign, and this is part of your plan.

Also, because of the gospel, I know that all that happens to me in this life is given to me as a blessing and will be used for my good, even though right now it’s so hard to see how. I am trusting you, that even though this loss is so terrible, that you will take it and make it work for my good.

I believe that you will bring joy out of sorrow, and gladness out of pain, and beauty out of ashes…

I know that you will never give me anything that will be ultimately bad for me, and so although I know that right now, this IS bad, one day I will look back and see your gracious hand working in it.

But God, all of that doesn’t change the fact that I am grieving now, and that I am having difficulty seeing how you can take this and make it good.

So, you tell me to let my requests be made known to you, and so God I am praying that you would answer these few requests I have for how you might use this loss in my life.

I pray that you will use the death of my baby to help me love even more the children that you’ve already blessed me with, and that you would help me view my time with them in light of the frailty of this life. Life can come and go in an instant, and so please help me to love my children more, and cherish the short time that I have with them.

I also pray that you would help me to live more in light of eternity, having experienced the frailty of this life and knowing that eternity is forever. Give me a renewed vision for all of my relationships, and especially those with my family, to look at them not only in light of this life, but in light of that which is to come.

And God, I pray that because of your love for children, and especially because of the special place in your heart for the children of believers, that you would save my baby, and that one day I would see my child in heaven.

Finally God, I know that this loss is because of sin. Not my sin specifically, but because there is sin and death in the world, and so I pray that you would use the death of my baby to help me hate sin, and all the consequences of it, more and more. Use this loss in my life to help me renew my commitment to fight sin, and to love you and your ways more and more.

I know and believe that you are able to do far more than I can think or imagine in and through this. And I know that you know of many other ways this can work for my good, so, with a humble, broken heart, I pray all of these things in Jesus’ name, and in submission to your will.

I love you, and I trust you,

Amen.

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