An honest prayer for when celebrations are hard

Dear God, 

I come to you with my honest emotions acknowledging that sometimes it is just plain hard to celebrate traditional holidays. It is easy to have a selfish focus, especially when loneliness accompanies the day. And then, guilt rushes in when I have these feelings knowing that I should be thankful and grateful for the reason behind these celebrations.

On the 4th of July, I am thankful for so many freedoms that you have given to me. For those of us who live in the USA, we have so many freedoms that many do not have around the world. And I’m thankful for those who had lost their lives to protect this country.  

For me though, I feel alone without my husband on this and many other holidays. I pray that today I may experience freedom from the variety of emotions that come with losing my husband. Lord, give me freedom from guilt, give me freedom from the heaviness of grief, and give me freedom in my situation, whether it be financial, freedom to be content with where I am in life, or freedom from the weight of raising kids alone. Bring people to my side to help carry the load.

And as Christians, we are forever grateful for the freedom you have given us in Christ. Thank you for the gift of salvation and for the freedom from the bondage of sin. Thank you for paying the ultimate price of death on the cross so that we might have an eternal relationship with you.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.