We often need help knowing how to comfort a grieving friend.  This prayer can give us God’s help, insight and encouragement on what to do to console someone who has lost a loved one..

How to Comfort a Grieving Friend Prayer

Dear Lord, my friend is grieving and I desperately want to help. I know in this life, we will all experience grief, and there’s no handbook for grieving. I wish there were! But grief is a lonely road that each of us travels by ourselves, in our own way. Even so, there must be some steps I can take to ease my heartbroken friend’s grief.

I don’t want to do or say the wrong thing, Lord. My friend’s emotions are tender and I feel like I’m walking on eggshells as I try to help. It’s my inclination to hug, but I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do. Please put the right words in my mouth, Lord. And keep me from talking too much, in my unease. Encourage me to listen. Enable me to be compassionate and empathetic so my friend feels comfortable talking to me.

Make me a provider of comfort, dear God, as I remain mindful that the ultimate comfort comes from You and Your promises. Lead me, Lord, and be close to my friend. My human presence is small compared to your blessed one. Thank you for being my model of consolation.


About This Prayer on How to Comfort a Grieving Friend

I was nervous about my upcoming lunch with my friend Nan, whose husband Henry had died recently. Henry was my dear friend as well, and I missed him sorely. What would Nan and I talk about? Would she cry? Would I? We chatted about random things for a while, but when there was a lull in the conversation, I panicked. However, God gave me the words to say: “How did you and Henry meet?” Nan’s eyes sparkled and from then on, we talked about Henry.

After the loss of my young son some years ago, I remember the sweetest sound I could hear was Blake’s name. I didn’t want him to be forgotten. I needed be certain Blake mattered. People are sometimes afraid to talk about the deceased for fear it will make the bereaved person sadder. Nothing could be further from the truth! How I loved hearing Blake’s name, and if a friend remembered an experience with him, I wanted to hear about it. Tears aren’t the end of the world, either from the bereaved person or the comforter. Tears can be cleansing.

In my time of grief, I appreciated a hug and the simple words, “I’m sorry.” What was not helpful were platitudes, like “He’s in a better place,” or “God needed another angel,” or “You should be happy he’s in Heaven.” Those expressions were more hurtful than helpful.

A kind note or a text that says, “I’m thinking of you,” may be the perfect way to communicate. Phone calls can be helpful, too, if one’s bereaved friend feels like talking. Reaching out in compassion to comfort a grieving friend benefits both the bereaved person and the comforter. More importantly, caring about our neighbor is what God expects us to do.

What the Experts Say About Comforting a Grieving Friend

Before attempting to comfort a grieving friend, it is beneficial to understand the grieving process. Psychologists agree there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The bereaved person doesn’t necessarily move through the grieving process in a linear fashion. Everyone grieves differently.

Experts suggest some positive ways in which a comforter may help a grieving friend. First, give the friend permission to grieve. Sit beside them and listen to the story of the circumstances of their loss. Let them cry. Speak the deceased loved one’s name and share memories of them. Offer concrete help – run errands, do laundry, provide food, babysit. Remember special dates surrounding the deceased loved one. Encourage the friend to seek help, possibly from grief support groups and/or grief counseling. Check on the friend often.

Professional counselors recommend refraining from some practices when trying to comfort a grieving friend. Don’t try to fix them. Don’t judge; accept the friend’s feelings, remembering there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Don’t draw comparisons to the friend’s loss with your own losses. Avoid platitudes like, “They are better off now.” Don’t push your faith on them. Avoid asking, “How are you?”

The best way to help a grieving friend can be summarized in three words: Just show up!

Other Articles for Those Comforting a Grieving Friend

Grieving Grandparents Prayer after the Death of a Grandchild

Grieving the Death of an Adult Brother or an Adult Sister Prayer

Talking to God When Enduring Grief

Grieving Child Prayer for Adults Helping a Child Grieve the Death of Someone They Love

Copyright Pat Butler Dyson 2024.  All rights reserved.