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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

We Pray Wednesday: Three Ways to Pray for Those Who Are Hurting

Let’s face it, there are times that life just hurts! Job loss, death, broken relationships, sickness, financial struggles - even the most dedicated Christians may face these at some point in this life. Those who are saved and surrendered to following God have the hope that He can make something good out of the worst of life’s circumstances.  Often, however, the reality of that hope can be lost when struggling with the unanswered questions of day-to-day life. Those that are going through trials and testing need specific prayer directed to three areas.

1. Physical sustenance
Are they dealing with sickness? Ask God to give wisdom about treatments and, ultimately, to bring complete healing. Have they suffered the loss of a job or another significant financial setback? Ask God to give them favor with potential employers and to provide for their needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) while they are in the “waiting time.” Have they lost a loved one? Ask God to give them physical strength and rest when they are overwhelmed by the tasks of making final arrangements, sorting through memorabilia, or facing the lonely days ahead.

2. Emotional healing
          Perhaps they are suffering from a failed marriage or some other broken relationship. Pray for God to help them forgive even the deepest and most personal hurts. Pray that they will not allow a seed of bitterness to take root in their hearts and defile those around them. Pray that they will follow Christ’s example and love even their enemies.

3. Spiritual victory
          Pray for them to have discernment (spiritual understanding) regarding God’s purpose for the trial, whether it be purging or purifying. Pray that they will not lose faith, but that they will have peace in the midst of their storm. (Peace is often mistakenly defined as “the absence of conflict.” Real peace, however, is having a sense of rest and stability in spite of the presence of conflict.) Pray that they, like the Apostle Paul, will trust in God’s sufficient grace to carry them through when they feel that they can no longer go on.

As brothers and sisters in Christ, it is our duty to help bear each other’s burdens.  One of the best ways we can do this is by lifting one another up in prayer. We cannot cure diseases, but we know the Lord who heals. We may not be able to give financial support, but we know the Lord who provides. We cannot give security, but we know the Lord who gives peace. We cannot show the next step in the path, but we know the Lord who guides. Today, pray for God to give physical sustenance, emotional healing, and spiritual victory to someone you know that is hurting!

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