"The death of my parents was a wake-up call of my own spiritual life," admits Dr. Robert Jeffress. "I had wandered away from the Lord and nobody knew it; I was a pastor, a staff member of the church. But in my heart I had wandered away from the Lord. God used that experience as a wake-up call for me.

"I think the process of losing loved ones can be a healthy experience if you allow God to use you and mold that experience in your life to strengthen your relationship with Him."

One of the most vital changes that grieving can produce in you is spiritual growth. It is possible to grow more in a year of grieving than in several years of life with few difficulties or problems.

One extremely effective way to pray is to use words from the Bible. Make Colossians 1:9-12 a personal prayer by replacing the pronouns with "I" and "me" as you pray:

"[I] have not stopped praying . . . and asking God to fill [me] with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And [I] pray this in order that [I] may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that [I] may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified [me] to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light." Amen.