There are times that words fail us, when they fall short of expressing the depths of our hearts. In recent months, our community has been rocked by the loss of beautiful and beloved individuals who left us far too soon. All around us, we have friends, neighbours and co-workers who have been left with gaping holes in their souls and the ache of learning to live with a “new normal”. 

What can be said or done when someone’s whole world has been torn apart? At times like these, perhaps the most comforting thing we can do for one another is to simply “be there”. We have ears to listen to cherished memories recounted. We have arms with which to give a warm and caring embrace. Perhaps in these anguished moments, it is not words of wisdom, so much as our love, fellowship and prayers that are needed. 

In Psalm 61:1-2, King David writes:

“Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For You have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.”

Romans 8:26 in the Amplified Version explains that we are not alone in our times of great distress. God, Himself, prays for us. “In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words.”

With these verses in mind, I offer this prayer for hurting hearts. 

Our Father in Heaven, all around us families are hurting. Husbands and wives reach over in the middle of the night to find no one there. Children ache for a parent’s embrace and a chance to say, “I love you” one more time. Co-workers fight back the tears as they see the empty desk and the missing smile. Friends cling to one another in disbelief, despairing the loss of a precious, irreplaceable kindred-spirit. 

At times like these, when there are no words we ask You, Heavenly Father, to surround us with Your unfailing love and the comfort of Your Holy Spirit. You have promised to be near to the broken-hearted. Give them hope for tomorrow and strength for today. And let us, who have traveled this road, sojourn with them in loving solidarity. Amen.