10 Ways to Pray When Tragedy Strikes

The thing that often makes tragedy overwhelming, incomprehensible, and soul-numbing is just how unexpected it can be. Life is going according to plan, and suddenly your world is rocked and you are left reeling.

That’s why it’s so important to have Truth stored up in your heart before tragedy strikes. By being in the Word and in prayer every day, you’re building up a savings account of Truth that you can one day pull from when you need it most.

If, however, you find yourself in the midst of tragedy right now, or currently know someone facing unspeakable hopelessness and hurt, these 10 prayers can be a light for your path as you pray through the hard times.

God never promised a pain-free world. But he did promise never to leave us or forsake us. He does promise his steadfast love never ceases, and his mercies never come to an end. If you are in the midst of hard times, cling to Him and trust in his goodness and love for you.

Here are 10 prayers you can pray when tragedy strikes…

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    1. Pray for Gradual Healing

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    One of the first emotions a person feels after experiencing tragedy is shock and denial. Believers can ask God to release the “Balm of Gilead” to emotional wounds. This balm was used during biblical times for medicinal purposes and Christ is our physician. Jeremiah 8:22 reads, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?”

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    2. Pray for Spiritual Revival

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    Adversity cuts deep, yet believers can pray for God to revive hearts. Why? Because in the midst of personal tragedy, people are actually more receptive and seek the face of God when difficulty arrives. Psa 40:1 tells us, “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.” (NIV)

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    3. Pray for Unity

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    1 Peter 3:8 advices us to “have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart,” (ESV). Being a gentle servant alongside those facing pain or calamity is one of the best ways to show unity. We can offer a cooked meal or babysit for a family experiencing grief. The solidarity of brothers and sisters in Christ during any tragedy provides needed emotional strength.

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    4. Pray Against Hardened Hearts Toward God

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    It is normal for a person to question God when deep difficulty rears its ugly head. Questions abound: Why did you allow this to happen, God?!  Bitterness or anger can snake itself into vulnerable emotional wounds. When fiery trials come, satanic influence usually follows. Believers can strategically pray against the hardening of hearts.

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    5. Pray for Repentance & Reformation

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    No one wants to hear that his or her own sinful actions may have led to tragedy. Jeremiah warned the people of Judah to repent for their wrongdoing and evil ways or judgment would come, “Will you steal, murder, commit adultery and perjury?” (Jeremiah 7:9). Sometimes one tragedy is enough for a people to turn away from wrong, reform their hearts, and live righteously once again.

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    6. Pray for Comfort and Peace

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    Peace exists for those who seek it. Grieving hearts experience peace as time passes. Pray for a mighty comfort to fall upon your loved one today, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me,” (Psa 23:4, KJV).

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    7. Pray for an Angelic Miracle

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    Miracles are surprising events which come from the divine workings of God. God has used many an angel to rescue and aid those experiencing sudden trouble or danger. Psa 91:11 reveals God commands His angels to guard us in all our ways. We can call upon our Father’s angels in the middle of great misfortune.  

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    8. Pray for God’s Perfect Providence

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    Providence is the protective care of God—even tragedy. God will comfort His people. What may seem evil or tragic now, may turn into good at a later time. “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,” (Romans 8:28, NIV).

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    9. Pray Against Fear & Trauma

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    Roseann Sdoia, is the Boston bombing marathon survivor who lost her leg from evil 2013 tragedy. Today she is engaged to marry the firefighter who saved her life on that awful day. Out of her trauma came beautiful triumph. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand, (Isaiah 41:10, NKJV).

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    10. Pray for Unrelenting Hope

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    We must always believe in unrelenting hope when chaos or tragedy strikes believers. The hope we hold on to while overcoming deep pain from the sudden death of a loved one or because of a devastating diagnosis. Revelation 21:4 gives us a glimpse of our Savior’s triumph over all evil and pain: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  

    Jessica Galán encourages her readers to embrace malleability in the midst of life’s difficult moments. She spends her day teaching amazing students from diverse backgrounds in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She’s wife to a super-creative man and the proud mother of three resilient young women. She’s served as a writing facilitator for Lysa TerKeurst through COMPEL Training. She enjoys daily cups of steaming hot café con leche and breaks out in sporadic salsa dancing when no one’s looking. You’ll find her stories at Connect with her here: Twitter || Instagram ||Facebook

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