Prayerfully Speaking

Hope from the Truths of God's Word

Praising God While You Grieve

praise God while you grieve

* You may not be grieving today and feel this post is not for you. But I want to encourage you to prepare for the day you might have much to grieve. This post can help you encourage others who are grieving. If you know someone who is grieving, please consider sharing this information or post with them.

Grief. It’s rather difficult to escape this life without having experienced it. So many of my friends and relatives are grieving the death of one they loved dearly. One sweet friend lost her daughter after almost two years in ICU. A 10-year-old boy I love and admire lost his dad in a tragic car accident. My cousins lost their parents within six weeks of each other. My dear friend died last November after three different cancers ravaged her body.  

Grief Should Not be Denied

I’m learning how to grieve. Expressing grief is one of the ways I’ve struggled to live authentically. Unfortunately, I developed a habit of denying myself permission to mourn. I think I expected myself to be stronger than those emotions. Frankly, I just didn’t know what to do with them.

Thanks to the GriefShare program at my church, I’m realizing that I can’t ignore or deny grief to run its course. If you are grieving, I hope that you are allowing yourself the space to be sad and mad and undone even though it feels absolutely awful.

Griefshare explains that lamenting is actually an act of faith. When we confess our heartache to God we are acting on our assurance that He cares about us and wants us to confide in Him. Communicating our deepest heartaches to God is productive because He is truly able to help us. He is our Wonderful Counselor, Comforter, and ever-present help in times of trouble.

The psalmist often lamented to God. We can assume he did so in faith that God is listening and could help him. Here is one example:

I am faint and severely crushed;
I groan because of the anguish of my heart.
Psalm 38:8 HCSB

Praising God During Our Grief

Mourning is necessary. But let’s add praising God to our agenda during the grief. While praising our Lord is a vital part of our life with God, I believe it is also is a way we can minister to our own souls.

Sadness can cause our minds to continually focus on what is wrong and how we feel. The thoughts and feelings aren’t wrong, but the temptation to zero in on ourselves can lead to even more problems.

God invites us to focus on Him and promises that peace will be the result.

You will keep the mind that is dependent on You
in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.
Isaiah 26:3 HCSB

Emotional anguish should lead us to recount our dependence on God as our source of help. But let’s not forget that we have a spiritual enemy who would like to lead our thoughts away from God. He would love for us to lose confidence in God. Our heightened emotions may cause us to be vulnerable to these ideas. So we need to train ourselves to praise God regardless of our emotional state.

 

praise God no matter what!

Recalling God’s faithfulness, extravagant love and mercy helps us focus on what will always be right with our world. (click to tweet)

Here are two great encouragements to get your praise on no matter how heavy your heart is today.

“Worship will get you through
the roughest times of your life,
because it shifts your focus
from the problem to the problem solver!”
Anonymous

“As we focus our time and attention on the Lord in worship,
proclaim His place of honor in our lives, and thank and praise Him
for His eternal promises, we can expect God to intervene
in our circumstances. God has promised to inhabit
our worship, and He will. And when the King
is present, all things are possible!”
Mike Harland & Stan Moser

Let the Bible Lead Your Praises

Within those quotes we find prompts for praising our God. Let’s use the following Scripture based praises to focus on our King and reach for the perfect peace He is always offering.

reach for peace

I worship You, the all-knowing God. You know all things about me. I rejoice that You hold my life in Your hands. (Hebrews 4:13, Job 12:10)

I honor You, Almighty God, as the Victorious Warrior. You are mighty to save me. I put my hope in You. (Zephaniah 3:17, Romans 12:12)

You are the One I praise, Oh God. You are my refuge and my strength. I will tell of Your amazing faithfulness to me and others. (Psalm 9:1, 46:1, 73:28)

What a faithful God You are to me. You are still keeping promises that You made thousands of years ago. You lavish Your love on those who love You and obey Your commands. (Deuteronomy 7:9)

You are the merciful One, Oh God. In mercy You gave me Jesus who sacrificed everything for me. You replenish my life with Your mercy daily. You chase me down in order to give to me what I do not deserve and can not earn. Glory to You, my generous God. (1 Peter 1:3, Lamentations 3:23, Psalm 23:6, 103:4)

I worship You Lord, my Wonderful Counselor, my Provider, and Comforter. You are my portion. There is nothing I need that You cannot provide. I trust Your love for me is greater than I can imagine. (Isaiah 9:6, Genesis 22:14, 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, Psalm 119:57, Ephesians 3:18-19)

You God are the Creator of all things. I cannot fathom the extent of Your creativity. But I trust that all things are possible because there is not limit to what You can do. (Colossians 1:16, Matthew 19:26, Luke 1:37)

Exercise your praise muscle.

I’ve learned that grief can cause concentration problems and so much more. It may be hard for you to pray or to read the Bible and remember what you’ve read. If that describes you, you may find listening to praise music helpful. You can also have someone read praises to God for you. In both cases, you can simply utter a “yes” in agreement.

When you have the energy, you can create your own praises one Bible verse at a time. Here are a few Bible verses to help you lean into God with Your own sacrifice of praise.

Isaiah 12:2

Psalm 142:5

Psalm 27:13

Psalm 56:3

Psalm 34:18

Psalm 147:3

1 Peter 5:7

Psalm 73:26

Do You Need Prayer?

If you would like prayer for the grief you are experiencing, please mention your name and the reason for your grief (if you want) in the comments. I would be delighted to petition the Holy Comforter on your behalf.

About Jennifer O. White

I'm a simple wife who has discovered God's amazing gift of prayer. Here at Prayerfully Speaking I share my journey of unwrapping this gift. God invites us to ask Him, but His enemy works diligently to keep that from happening. I hope to offer you encouragement to believe God is ready to pour more into your life than you've ever imaged.

  • Kim Weil

    Thank you Jen. Yes my brain is in a fog and some days I can’t seem to shake it. I so appreciate the idea of praising God through listening to Christian music and thank you for blogging specific bible verses. Sometimes the grief is so heavy that I feel like Jeaus when he cried out, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” Then there are other times all I can do is groan to God from my heart. There will be no words, just tears, but I know He hears me. I praise you now sweet Jesus for giving me 38 wonderful years with my baby girl and choosing me to be her mother.

    • Kim, my heart just aches for you. I’m glad this was helpful to you. Most of all I am thankful that He is always with you – always there with you as you grieve. May His presence give you comfort and peace.

      • Kim Weil

        Me too. I am so thankful he is with me. I will praise him all the day long.

  • Lindsey

    I absolutely love this! So much truth. And it hits so close to home. Showing grief is not a weakness. But Focusing on prasie is definitely a sign of strength. Turning “pity to praise” (per KJ) can be a beautiful thing.

    • Lindsey – you summed that up beautifully! I love turning “pity into praise.” You and KJ are very wise women. Thanks for reading and for your encouragement!

  • Sheila Miller

    please pray for a friend, Angela C, who lost her youngest daughter to a car wreck about 2 weeks ago. Angela is now caring for her three young children, ages 1, 3, 5. Angela and her husband also care for several other older grandchildren. This article is one that I am sending her and i hope that she can find time to read it. Thank for for sharing it and for praying for Angela and the children.

  • michele fickel

    My husband left me and i have become severely depressed, can’t work, have no joy at all. Anxiety attacks, the never ending crying is awful. He has not talked to me for 7 weeks and will not answer my calls. The Lord has told me to pray for him and my marriage and i do. For a week now i keep seeing and hearing about praising God. I’m am trying. Is it ok to praise Him even when i don’t want to, or i don’t feel it, or my mind wanders? Sometimes i even doubt the word i am singing. Is that ok? Does God understand and will He still show up? I need to feel His presence so badly. Thank you.

    • Michele – keep praising regardless of the distractions, the doubts, your feelings. God knows the heaviness you feel and what is at work to keep you from feeling engaged in the praise. Imagine you were in a hospital bed, very much in pain, and you were trying to tell someone what you needed. The people attending you would do everything they could to hear what you were trying to say – to put the pieces of it together so they could help you. The Holy Spirit intercedes for your groanings like that. He knows what you mean and He knows how to relay your praise to God in perfection.

      Please check out these posts to encourage your praise and to help you fight this battle :
      http://www.jenniferowhite.com/answered-prayer-linda/
      http://www.jenniferowhite.com/jesus-is-lord/

      Also check out these resources:
      Today is Your Best Day by Roy Lessin
      Prayers that Avail Much by Germaine Copeland
      He Restores My Soul by Jennifer Kennedy Dean

  • Ruthie

    Last my 11 months old niece 2 days ago,need a pray for my family it’s the hardest time every..thanks

    • Ruthie, I know this must be incredibly hard for your family. May God hold you all very close and strengthen your faith as He comforts you. Here is a post I wrote recently with many prayers that could be helpful to your family. http://www.jenniferowhite.com/prayer-grief/

  • Angelika

    If you have a moment,Please pray for my husband, myself and families friends and caregivers as we grieve the loss of our daughter- Charlotte Wilberg- first and only child. We love her and miss her and dealing with the loss and moving forward has been quite challenging. We love the Lord, believed and we’ve trusted, but bitterness is still creeping around and taking us by surprise . Thank you for your willingness to be involved .

    • Janet Kumwenda

      Hi Angelica, I have read your story and would like to share mine with you. I am a disabled woman who lost a son four months ago. He was everything to me. He collapsed in our bathroom before taking a shower and when the paramedics came they tried to resusnate him and they pronounced him dead. I was devastated and prayed for a miracle and cried in shock not believing what had happened. I was angry and wanted answers from God. One day the Lord spoke to me. I believe what the Lord said to ,ensure will be of help to you as well. He said I gave you a son for a while and now he is here with me and I am there with you. I understood then that from the beginning he belonged to God and he was given to me for a while. Remember this happened to Elizabeth, a God fearing woman. She was given John the Baptist for a while and the Lord took him back. Be encouraged we shall soon see our beloved ones at the feet of Jesus. Praise the Lord.

  • Thomas Taylor

    JENNIFER…. FANTASTIC stuff here!!