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For surrounding me with your grace;
for granting me the years with Lev;
for hearing my prayers for discernment;
for equipping me with courage to face the future;
for leading me to contentment and purpose;
for lifting my eyes from myself to reclaim joy;
for protecting and unifying my family.

for love that overcomes fear,
thank you, God.

For teaching me to encourage and nurture my children;
for blessing me with examples of unselfishness;
for humbling me that I might learn and grow;
for answering my prayers for serenity;
for guiding me to a place that led from grief to joy;
for providing me with loving, caring friends;
for presenting opportunities to give and receive hospitality.

for unity that strengthens relationships,
thank you, God.

For supplying moments of joy in the midst of deepest grief;
for warning me of those who were false friends;
for showing me what really matters in life;
for giving me a mother-in-law who lived life to the fullest;
for empowering me with confidence to meet responsibilities;
for furnishing role models who demonstrated how to live;
for promising eternal life that I might anticipate reunion with loved ones.

for maturity that brings wisdom,
thank you, God.

For strengthening my family and drawing us together;
for cautioning me to balance strength with gentleness;
for moving me from fear and anxiety to peace;
for filling me with a good and worthy attitude;
for enabling me to accept my circumstances;
for overwhelming me with abundant life;
for opening my hands and heart in generosity.

for the peace that leads to joy,
thank you, God.


 This prayer was originally published in 2018 by the Baylor University Press as the epilogue of Reclaiming Joy: A Primer for Widows. Each line reflects a chapter in the book; each stanza, a section of the book and a chapter of Philippians.