Christianity Prayers and Meditations for Death and Emergencies

Updated 15th May 2016

Christianity Prayers and Meditations for Death and Emergencies

Sumbitted by Morna Simpson

Advisor on Christianity to Faith and Fire

Prayers and Meditations

Psalm 23
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

Psalm 39
1 I said, “I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
while in the presence of the wicked.”
2 So I remained utterly silent,
not even saying anything good.
But my anguish increased;
3 my heart grew hot within me.
While I meditated, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
4 “Show me, Lord, my life’s end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
even those who seem secure.[b]
6 “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.
7 “But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
8 Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.
9 I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for you are the one who has done this.
10 Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
11 When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin,
you consume their wealth like a moth—
surely everyone is but a breath.
12 “Hear my prayer, Lord,
listen to my cry for help;
do not be deaf to my weeping.
I dwell with you as a foreigner,
a stranger, as all my ancestors were.
13 Look away from me, that I may enjoy life again
before I depart and am no more.”

Psalm 70
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
4 A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.
5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
they are like the new grass of the morning:
6 In the morning it springs up new,
but by evening it is dry and withered.
7 We are consumed by your anger
and terrified by your indignation.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 All our days pass away under your wrath;
we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
17 May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.

Prayer to pray with someone who is dying:

Lord,
In weakness or in strength
We bear your image.
We pray for those we love
Who now live in a land of shadows ,
Where the light of memory is dimmed,
Where the familiar lies unknown,
Where the beloved become as strangers.
Hold them in your everlasting arms, and grant to those who care
a strength to serve,
a patience to preserve,
a love to last
and a peace that passes human understanding.
Hold us in your everlasting arms,
Today and for all eternity;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

(Taken from The Church of England Common Worship, http://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/pastoral/funeral/prayers.aspx#dying, Accessed on 27th November 2013.)

Prayers for comfort:

Come among us, God.
You who cast the planets into space
And cradle the sparrow in her nest.
Come God and meet us here.

Come among us God.
You who bless the poor and the broken
And stand by the sad and the strong.
Come God and meet us here.

Come among us, God.
You who dance in the silence
And shine in the darkness.
Come God and meet us here.
(Taken from Ruth Burgess, The Book of a Thousand Prayers, compiled by Angela Ashwin)

Dear Lord,
We cannot understand your ways, or the timing of events sometimes. I feel completely heart-broken and alone. Through my grief and pain I turn to you Jesus, who understands my feelings; give me the courage and the strength to trust you through this difficult time. I know that you are there, and will not abandon me and I thank you for your steadfastness. Allow me to feel the presence of your Holy Spirit and be comforted by you, loving Father. Show me your compassion, love and allow me to hope once again.
Amen.
(Written by Morna Simpson)

Blessing for the bereaved:
“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:23.

All Bible references are taken from the New International Version.