This Estrangement Grief Prayer expresses the terrible feelings of losing someone from your life who willfully abandons you and cuts off all contact. Estrangement Grief is as intense and life-altering as grieving someone who has died but is magnified by the fact that not only is the person absent from your life, but they have decided to shun you.
Estrangement grief usually carries the added pain of being personal, private grief that doesn’t produce the type of community support that the death of a loved one does, nor does it offer the same closure rituals associated with funerals and memorials.
Because of the complex nature of Estrangement Grief, prayer can be a strong survival tool.
Estrangement Grief Prayer When Abandoned by a Loved One
Dear Heavenly Father,
It’s difficult dealing with the shock of being estranged from _________. After trying unsuccessfully in every possible way to reach _______, the estrangement continues.
Father, only You know the seemingly bottomless depths of grief. There were times when the sorrow and mourning were so heavy I felt I wouldn’t survive the night; yet, there were moments when I was given a reprieve by the everyday, mundane tasks of life or Your love and care shown through the kindness of others.
There are no words to adequately describe the sorrow of losing someone you love—especially one who is still alive yet unreachable. It’s a cruel fate. The abandonment cuts deep and at times even felt like physical pain to me.
With an actual death, as Christians, we know that we will be reunited one day in Heaven; yet with this type of loss, we mourn the death of a past relationship, still hopeful for a miracle in this life. If that is not Your will, I at least know that one day I will see _______ in Heaven, and it will be a loving, joyful reunion void of earthly strongholds.
I get through each day now holding tightly to Your Word, Lord. You sustain me. You are my hope. You held me up when the reality of the situation sometimes made me feel like I would collapse.
As time goes on, I can now be thankful in this trial as stated in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose,” because it has brought me so much closer to You. As difficult as it is to admit, I would go through it all again to gain the intimate relationship I now have with You throughout each day.
I now reflect on how sad You must have been whenever I have not made You a priority in my life. Please forgive me and have mercy on me for any day in the past that I have neglected You. It hurts me to know that I have caused You any measure of this type of pain.
It helps me to know that Jesus understands the pain of being betrayed by those closest to Him. I can no longer ask, “Why me?” because if You allowed Jesus to endure rejection for Your glory, then I certainly am not worthy of escaping it. I now can say that I consider it a privilege to share with Jesus a fraction of that same suffering.
I take comfort knowing You intimately empathize with me. The parallels between my earthy situation and Your heavenly one do not escape me, and I’m so thankful You sent Jesus into this world to reconcile our estrangement to You.
I know that Ecclesiastes 3:3 reads, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven.” Thank you for helping me work through this difficult season in my life. I know that at one time or another I will be reconciled with ______. It might or might not be in this lifetime, but it will happen, and that gives me a sense of peace.
In the meantime, I relinquish _______ into your care, Father. Jesus says in Matthew 11:30 to take His yoke upon me, “For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” I take comfort knowing that Your Son wants to carry my burden and that He walks beside me in this trial.
Please protect _______ and speak to their heart. Let this time in their life also bring them closer to You. I don’t understand what has happened, but I know that You do. I know Your ways are higher than mine and that Your thoughts are so much deeper than mine. You are all knowing, all seeing, and I take comfort in knowing that You are in control of this situation—that I don’t have to keep trying.
I don’t hear much about the devil, but the Bible tells me it’s alive, real and a liar. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy….” This helps me understand that what has happened is a Satanic attack. I pray, Father, that You would release that stronghold in the mighty and precious name of Jesus.
I take comfort in the remainder of that verse: But Christ comes “…that they may have life and have it to the full.” I rejoice that through the sacrifice of Jesus and through His resurrection, You (and we) have victory over evil and that _______will be set free.
Father, after traversing every emotion possible, I can now say I forgive _______. Your Word says in Luke 6:37, “Judge not, and you shall not be judged; condemn not, and you shall not be condemned; forgive, and you shall be forgiven.”
And finally, thank you for leading me to a counselor whom You have worked through to help me cope with this loss and move on to a full life—the life Your Son came into this world to give us. I pray that anyone else who is suffering from estrangement is also brought closer to You and is led to seek help from a church pastor, counselor, therapist and/or support group.
About this Estrangement Grief Prayer When Abandoned by a Loved One
It has been over three years since I’ve been estranged from my only son. There’s an old adage that says, “blood is thicker than water” meaning family could never do that, yet one did it to me.
Being shunned by a close loved one, and in my case not knowing why, permeated every area of my life. It influenced all of my relationships. Family members who eventually advocated for me initially wondered what I had done. “She must have done something really bad to warrant this,” some murmured to each other. I hadn’t. Although there were difficult moments while raising my son I was a loving, caring and supportive mother; nothing justified this senseless cruelty. We were very close. No one was ever given an explanation.
Just a few years ago, my son would call me with good news and bad. He acknowledged me for helping him get where he was today—that without me he couldn’t have done it. At one point, he apologized for how he had treated me in his difficult teen years. As an adult, he regularly invited me to his home and even asked me to move closer. He celebrated my birthday and Mother’s Day with thoughtful gifts and flowers. According to my daughter, his last message to me of, “I love you,” after sharing “Happy New Year” with each other in 2019 was because he wanted those to be his last words to me.
So to say I was blindsided—that I never saw this separation coming—is a gross understatement. It literally made no sense to me. Why couldn’t he just call me and tell me what was behind this? What did I say or do? What did he need from me? All he had to do was tell me! I would do just about anything for my children.
Sadly, family estrangements are more common than one might think. According to a 2021 New York Times article entitled, What’s Ripping Families Apart, “…about 40 percent of Americans have experienced estrangement at some point.”
And surprisingly, like my situation, the recipients of shunning often don’t know what has caused it. According to a Mayo Clinic study, estrangement can stem from a difference in beliefs. Perhaps my son felt I would be upset with his eventual divorce or lifestyle changes, but he never gave me the chance to show him differently—that my love is unconditional and that he could’ve told me anything.
Whatever the reason, the effects of this estrangement rippled out across my life like a rock thrown on a smooth pond—actually, more like a nuclear bomb. We no longer celebrate our birthdays or Mothers’ Day together. I no longer see him during the holidays. He broke my mother’s heart when he also shunned her for reaching out to him to try to make sense of this. He never called when my parents recently died nor did he attend their funerals even though both grandparents were good to him. I have had to stop asking my daughter for updates on his life because it burdens her as she walks gingerly between both worlds, with the emotional terrorism of “I could be next” constantly hanging over her head.
I also know that God is trying to teach me something because the Bible says in John 16:23, “…Whatever you ask from the Father, He will give you in My name,” yet He hasn’t. I conveniently leave out the part “IF it’s in His will.” That’s the part we don’t like to hear. “Isn’t it His will for family members who love each other to reconcile?!” I asked. Maybe not this time.
So the phrase, “Let go and let God” is now my mantra. I now focus on what is the purpose of this lesson. Is it for my son? Is it for me? Is it for both of us? Is God protecting me from something? I can only seek the answers for myself.
The Bible says that we are to put no other gods before Him and that He is a jealous God. Perhaps I had placed God in the background of my life, placing more importance on my family than being His child. He certainly has got my attention now! I have had no choice but to cling to Him—to cling to the promises in His Word.
My Heavenly Father is now in the forefront of my life. I start and end my day with Him. I seek Him throughout the day. I see His handiwork in nature. I praise and worship Him with song. I tithe and help others. I watch uplifting Christian messages on TV and listen to a Bible podcast. I committed to and followed through with reading the Bible in a year (How could I know the Word of God if I hadn’t read it?). I started going back to church regularly. I count my blessings on my morning walk, and I keep a gratitude journal. I read Christian commentaries and joined an adult Sunday school class. I sought out wise counsel. I try so hard to be positive. I’ve even gotten more organized at home.
With the Holy Spirit residing in me, I realized my body is His temple, so I exercise regularly and changed my diet to whole foods. I’ve been researching information on health and nutrition. I’ve worked on flourishing relationships with those who do value being connected to me. I’m working on being careful about what I see, hear and speak. I even started writing again after a long hiatus. I’m open to new opportunities and truly look forward to what lies ahead.
The Bible says we are to be thankful for trials and now I understand why. I no longer fear silence nor solitude because scripture says that I am never alone. This painful journey has taught me that I am complete in my relationship with Christ, the Holy Spirit and our Heavenly Father; from that starting point, I have a new life. Anything and anyone else is sweet frosting on an already delicious cake. Yes, it’s a new life. I survived! That’s the revelation I’ve received. It’s taken a lot of work to be able to say that.
It’s no longer the tormented life I had while grieving my son. It’s no longer a life of sadness, confusion and looking back. I no longer focus on the “why, when and if” thoughts. I now understand that he has to wander in the wilderness in his own choices and trials; so my prayer for him is that he, too, comes to know and understand that God must come first in his life and that he can be transformed, as well.
I pray that my son becomes a new man, not only brought closer to Christ, but humbled and sincerely remorseful for the pain he has caused me and others. I pray that one day he finds the courage to talk with me, giving me the chance to listen to the reason behind his extreme action, possibly moving forward into a new, healed and healthy relationship. I take great comfort in our faith knowing that as saved Christians, even if that doesn’t happen here on earth, it will in Heaven. Our time on earth is fleeting, but God’s Kingdom is eternal. I will gladly make the trade.
Once you completely realize that God is in control—not your estranged loved one—there’s freedom in letting go of that perceived power. So after years of excruciating grief and sorrow, I now have accepted what is the reality of the situation.
With regard to the trials Joseph endured from his very own brothers, Genesis 50:20 reads, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done….” I am no longer powerless; rather, with Jesus’ strength, I have become refocused. I am emerging from a stark season of winter with the beautiful buds of spring in clear view. Like with a GPS voice, I have been redirected and placed on a positive path for my life.
My dad, God rest his soul, used to say that if you can believe the beginning of Genesis (that God created the Heavens and the earth out of nothing), then you should be able to believe the rest of the Bible. That means you can believe Philippians 4:13 which reads, “I can do all things through Christ who is my strength.” ALL.
I now have the resolve to continue in this life, refocused on God’s purpose for me, and thankful that the perceived power of estrangement is suddenly impotent in the shadow of God’s omnipotence.
It turns out that “blood is thicker than water” actually is a true adage—but it’s Jesus’ blood—the blood that was shed on the cross for the ultimate reconciliation between us and our Creator!
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