Whenever the news mentions the death of someone infamous or controversial, who I cannot like or respect for whatever reason, I want to pray for the repose of that person’s soul but I find myself stumped for words. I don’t want to be insincere but I also cannot seem to drum up the passion to plead with God for the happy repose of someone who lived badly. Can you suggest an intercessory prayer?
If you get into a habit of praying for all who you hear have died, it becomes easier to pray for everyone, including those you didn’t like or admire. A prayer I use for those who appeared to live controversial or troubled lives is this:
Lord, I pray he died in your friendship, rests in peace, and is brought quickly to your eternal glory.
If you can’t manage that, you might limit yourself to “Lord, have mercy,” keeping in mind Jesus’ warning:
For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get (Matt. 7:2).