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Widowhood is one of the largest growing demographics, yet one of the hardest to prepare for, accept, and live through. Every single day hundreds of new widows are added to this unwanted community. These women who have been left alone experience difficult challenges, loneliness, and grief that never seems to come to an end. The first two years are often excruciating as she transitions from wife to widow. One of the greatest gifts you can give to a widow is consistent prayer. Here are some weekly prayers for the new widow as she starts out on this journey of suffering.

Week One

Dear Lord,

Whether taken by surprise or anticipated, the reality of being left alone as a widow literally takes her breath away. Darkness enters in wrapping her up as a cold, wet blanket. Even though she is surrounded by family and friends who express sympathy, the reality that she is alone hits hard. When she stirs in the night wondering if she is dreaming or having a nightmare, please comfort her. In the morning when she wakes, remind her that you are there. Send someone to walk by her side this week. She has a funeral to plan, decisions to make, and an empty bed to return to at the end of the day. Thank you for your love and care for the widow. Pour your love out on this precious one.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Week Two

Dear Lord,

The adrenaline of grief is a gift. It is the fuel that allows her to put one foot in front of the other. After the memorial, she is left to begin her life without her husband. This transition takes time and a community of support. Send someone to bring order out of the chaos, peace in the storm, and a safe listening ear. The journey ahead is not easy, and the process of grief takes longer than she can imagine at this time. Most likely, people will evaluate the way she is handling life alone while she tries to quickly package grief into a box with a pretty bow. Thank you for the promise that you are her shepherd and will walk with her through the valley of the shadow of death.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Week Three

Dear Lord,

Friends and family have returned to their routine. As she sits alone, she is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love just experienced. At the same time, the shock of it all forms a cocoon around her. Numbness attacks not only her emotions, but also her physical body. Lord help her fight against spiritual numbness. We know that singing songs in the night to a troubled soul—even the sharing of a comforting Bible verse—is like vinegar on soda or removing a garment on a cold day (Psalm 25:20). Only you, through the work of the Holy Spirit, can comfort her. Protect her during this time. No doubt she is exhausted. Please lead her to a place of rest. Thank you for the promise that you are a Defender to the widow.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Week Four

Dear Lord,

Life must go on. One of the early phases of life as a widow is taking care of business. Oh, how hard this part is! Oh, the painful reality that comes with the death certificate. The agonizing experience of removing his name from the bills. The questions, what to do with his clothes or who am I now that I am not a Mrs? Please send guidance and peace. She may want to isolate herself or crawl under the covers and never come out. Her community will change. Please soften this reality by sending new friends to her side. Thank you for the promise that you are a shield for those who take refuge in you.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Week Five

Dear Lord,

The first month of a hard year is coming to a close. Many will expect her to be “all done” with grieving, yet the process is just beginning. Please send to her side others who are able to comfort as they have been comforted. As this precious one faces a new month, give her peace that surpasses understanding. Let her take one day at a time placing her trust in you. Thank you for the promise that “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).

In Jesus’ name, amen.

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