If you’re feeling overwhelmed and fearful today, you are not alone. Disasters—whether large-scale, like hurricanes and wildfires or deeply personal, like grief and unexpected health troubles—can shake us to our core. We all know that prayer is a way to ask for help in times of trouble, but speaking words of faith out loud is also a way of guiding our hearts back to the truth of who God is. As you remember specific situations in your life and the lives of those you love, here are some words you can use to cry out to the Lord.
Your word tells us that all of creation is groaning, waiting to be redeemed. We know the end of the story—one day, you’ll answer the cries of our hearts and of this broken world and make all things new. Every sad thing will be undone, and we’ll be with you forever in perfect peace.
Right now, Lord, we are not at peace. We are in the middle of a fallen world, where there are natural disasters and broken relationships and crushed dreams, where we’re surrounded by heartbreaks and sorrow and death. We watch them on the news, we see them in the lives of our friends and family, we feel them in our own hearts.
To be honest, it’s easier sometimes just to give up. To choose bitterness or fear or anger and run away from others and from you. But you call us to draw near in times of suffering. Give us courage to pray for that in our lives and those around us when we’re tempted to give up or turn away from you. When our prayers are answered with “no,” or even a time of silence, draw us in. Remind us of your love. Bring others around us to speak truth even when we can’t yet feel it.
We confess that we’re often afraid to trust you and to believe that you are a good father who wants what is best for your children. So we ask that you remind us who you are and what you’ve done and what you’ve promised you will do. It’s hard to remember those quiet truths when our pain is so loud.
We know you are the God who restores. The whole Bible is the story of you taking things that seemed hopeless and bringing hope. Help us to say, like Jesus’s disciples, “Where else can we go? You alone have the words of life.”
Give us your priorities to replace our limited ones. We know that we won’t always have the answers for why something happened, so grant us the faith to wait and trust in you.
And Father, when we weep, will you weep with us, like Jesus did with Mary and Martha at their brother’s tomb? Only your presence can comfort us, not self-pity or distractions or even the well-intentioned words of friends. Be near to us, please.
When disaster strikes and we cry out to you, help us to feel that we are part of a long and deep legacy of faith, joining hands with our suffering brothers and sisters in every country, in every era of history. It’s at times like this that we empathize with Job, saying, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away.” We cry out with Hannah “Remember me and do not forget your servant.” We say with Naomi, “I went away full, and the Lord has brought be back empty.” And we declare with David, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
We’re asking. We’re waiting.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus, because you are our only hope. Amen.
Amy Green prays through hard times with her church in Minneapolis, Minnesota and blogs about issues of faith in real life at themondayheretic.wordpress.com.
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