The moment a woman finds out that she is pregnant, a very special bond forms in her heart towards the unborn child. Having a miscarriage in the midst of all this excitement, or having a stillborn baby, is devastating. It causes a woman to become severely depressed. People may seem unsympathetic and tactlessly comment that the woman did not know the child yet or is young enough to have another one. The following are some guidelines to help you pray for yourself or someone else who has lost a child through a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Once someone has gone through a miscarriage or given birth to a stillborn baby, one of the most difficult things is to acknowledge what happened, and not to feel embarrassed or to blame oneself. Pray that God will reveal His love and His thoughts to those who have experienced such an event; that He will grant them grace to accept that He understands their pain and wants to comfort them (2 Cor. 1:3).
SIMPLE PRAYER: Lord, help me know and believe the love that You have for me. You are love. Help me abide in love and in You in this difficult time (1 John 4:16).
Feelings of anger towards her husband, friends, family or even God might occur after miscarriage. This happens because one has lost someone who can’t be replaced. Pray for these women not to blame themselves for what happened. Ask that God will touch their emotions with healing and relieve their anger, disappointment and sorrow.
SIMPLE PRAYER: O Lord, help me not to turn away from You. Revive me and I will call upon Your Name. Restore me, o Lord God of hosts; make Your face shine on me, and I shall be saved! (Ps .80:18-19).
They will try to compensate for the loss by trying to fill the void with something else. Pray that God will show them true wisdom in their situation and help them to re-establish healthy habits and not to fall prey to excessive eating or neglecting their bodies. Ask that they will turn to God for their every need and not run away from Him.
SIMPLE PRAYER: God of peace, sanctify me completely so that my whole spirit, soul, and body may be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I trust in You as the faithful One who calls me by my name, please do this for me (1 Thess. 5:23-24).
These grieving women will enter a time of intense sadness and may cry a lot, wanting to be alone and they may shut out the outside world completely. Pray that they will not only make time to be alone, but also to spend time with God – to be saturated with His presence. Ask that this will be a time for them to experience God like never before. Also pray for them to confide in a good friend, so that they will not become completely isolated. Pray that they will never consider taking their own lives.
SIMPLE PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ and my God and Father, who has loved me and given me everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort my heart and establish me in every good word and work (2 Thess. 2:16-17). Give me a friend that will love me at all times (Prov. 17:17).
When they have worked through their loss, the women will normally experience a deep inner peace. They may still sometimes experience bad days when they hear something that reminds them of their loss, or when they see a small child or another pregnant woman. Pray for them to find their comfort in the Lord during the bad days and not to fall back into complete despair or depression.
SIMPLE PRAYER: Lord, who have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the Strength of my heart and my Portion forever (Ps. 73:25-26).
6. Facing a spouse
Both husband and wife are dealing with intense emotions of loss and it is easy to turn away from each other, afraid to talk about the miscarriage/death. Ask that God will grant them grace and courage to sit down with each other and have an open discussion about what happened to them. Pray that they will be open and honest with each other, and together find a new depth in their relationship – praying together on a regular basis and again giving their lives to God as a couple.
SIMPLE PRAYER: Lord, I call upon Your Name, heal our broken hearts and bind up our wounds as a couple (Ps.147:3). May the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, o Lord, our Strength and Redeemer (Ps. 19:14).
7. Facing family and friends
Family and friends are the best sources of practical support during such difficult times. Sometimes there might be the need to speak with a professional therapist or counsellor to help the women deal with what happened. Pray that God will give them understanding and supportive family and friends who will not try to solve their problems, but care and pray for them. Ask that they will be open to sharing their hearts.
SIMPLE PRAYER: Lord, please help us understand, support and pray for those suffering sorrow
8. They are not alone
There comes a time when they will be confronted with people who also suffered a miscarriage. This is a time when they will be able to share from their own experience. Pray for them to find further comfort as they begin to comfort and pray for others who suffered a miscarriage.
SIMPLE PRAYER: Lord, I thank You for being the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts me in all my tribulation, that I may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which I myself have been comforted by God (2 Cor. 1:3-4).
9. Give thanks
Give thanks to the Lord who answers prayer. Give thanks to the Lord who anoints us in our brokenness to preach good tidings to the poor; to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and opening prisons to those who are bound; to comfort all who mourn, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness and the planting of the Lord (Isa. 61:1-3).
South African helpline:
The Compassionate Friends (Offering friendship and understanding to bereaved parents)
Tel.: 011 440 6322 / 084 332 1876