Lenten Condolences for the Bereaved

A picture of a wooden cross with lilies
A picture of a wooden cross with lilies (photo: Canva.com)
By Livingstones ShiMarch 14th, 2024

During this Lent, I consoled several grieving people. Among the deceased, some have decided to put their faith in the Lord but have not yet been baptized; others have accepted the Lord and baptism with gratitude before returning to Him.

A friend, Brother Liu, invited dozens of believers to join a temporary "urgent prayer group" to pray earnestly for the relief of his uncle Cui's and his family's agony as he was dying of disease. Mr. Cui had decided to believe in the Lord but had yet to be baptized. His daughter, Liu's cousin, rushed home from school outside of town in the early morning and held her father in her arms while reading prayers and asking for God's mercy, even though she was still a non-believer. The next day, Brother Cui returned to the Lord, leaving believers convinced that he had gone to a more beautiful heavenly home.

On behalf of his family, Mr. Liu extended gratitude to all Christians for their ongoing prayers and thanked everyone for accepting a child in the kingdom of heaven like Brother Cui in the name of the Lord.

Liu is quite concerned for his cousin. A Christian woman remarked, "God has been working in your sister's heart. Through experiencing life and death, she will reflect on the meaning of life! Let us pray more for her, inviting the Lord to have her and comfort her."

Every day, Liu's cousin was eager to pray for her father before going to bed, hoping that he would live a better life in heaven. She wanted to know what to say to God. She felt compelled to kneel, close her eyes, clasp her hands, and say, "King of kings, Lord of lords, merciful and loving Heavenly Father, my father has left us and gone to heaven. May he stop worrying about his family and find happiness and comfort in heaven, free of illness and trouble. The above prayer is offered in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ! Amen!"

Regarding this, a Christian man commented, “In fact, people should not pray for those who have been taken away by God, but for the living. Congregants in the prayer group can pray for the grieving family, asking God to comfort them, because the Bible affirms that those who believe in Jesus do not die but rather fall asleep in him. Living on Earth is simply the beginning of eternity, which you can only enter upon falling asleep."

Some women in the Lord also consoled Brother Liu, stating that God has magnificent provisions that go beyond our prayers and imagination.

A longtime best friend of another Christian elder was also dying of disease. The elder earnestly sought prayers from fellow believers for the pastor to go to the hospital and baptize his best friend, who had chosen to accept the Lord. Despite his tight schedule, the pastor made time to visit her in the hospital, and miraculously, the patient regained consciousness and received baptism. After the elder's best friend passed, congregants extended condolences to her.

- Translated by Poppy Chan

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