635. Praying For Those Who Are Suffering

“There are a some people I know who are going through some really hard times right now,” Stan began one morning.

Continuing, he said, “I know they are believers, but they are having a hard time seeing, understanding, and accepting that what they are going through is God’s will for them.”

“Like they are suffering,” I responded, “and can’t figure out why God would allow that?”

“Exactly, my friend,” Stan replied.  Continuing, he added, “I have been praying for them for strength, comfort, and encouragement, but I think I saw something in my journaling time this morning that will change how I pray for them.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Near the end of the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae,” Stan responded, “he mentioned a fellow believer who sent his greetings to the church.”

“What about it?” I asked.

“It was not his greetings alone,” Stan replied, “but it’s how Paul described this person as a brother in Christ who prayed for them earnestly that they would be fully assured about all of God’s will.”

“Assured about all of God’s will,” I repeated.  “That seems like a great way to pray for others, that they would know that what they’re going through is God’s will.”

“That’s how I see it,” Stan said.  “And it opens me to praying at a different level for those I know who are suffering.”

Continuing, he added, “Not only should I pray for their comfort, strength, and encouragement, but also that they will know and embrace what God has for them in what they are going through.”

“I can relate to that,” I responded.  “There have been times when my prayers were more of a ‘pity party’, feeling sorry for myself for what I was going through, rather than seeking God’s heart for why I was going through it.”

“Yeah,” Stan replied, “for me I often need to change my prayers from  ‘poor me’, to asking God to ‘pour through me’ into the lives of others.”

Concluding, he added, “This is to be a constant focus as I pray for myself and for others, that we would be open to see what is it that God is trying to show us in everything He brings into our lives.  Everything.  The good, the not-so-good, and everything else.”

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Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.  For I bear witness that he has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis.  Colossians 4:12, 13.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you bring other people into my life who you want me to lift to you in prayer.  Seeing, understanding, accepting, and embracing your will for me is fundamental in my walk with you.  I thank you for that.  And I thank you that you want me to pray the same for others who may be going through things they do not understand.  They may be saying, “How could a loving God allow this?”  Father, I lift them to you and ask you to open them to want to see your will.  I pray, too, that any “poor me,” will be changed to “pour through me whatever you want.”  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  Have you ever been going through something you just couldn’t understand why God would allow?  If so, how did you deal with that?  When you are praying for others who are going through difficulties, do you pray that they will see why God may allow that?  Why or why not?  How do you think God wants you to pray in that sort of situation?  Do you agree it is important in praying to ask God to lead you in how you pray?  Why or why not?

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