Hope in Trials– Musings and Prayers

My heart is aching for a friend whose beloved husband died unexpectedly this morning. I also know several other people who are grieving deeply for loved ones, as well as others who are dealing with trials of various other sorts, so I thought I’d share my musings and prayer suggestions on one of my favorite passages. These words from Isaiah have often sustained me when I’ve felt like everything was too much and I wondered how I’d get through it all.

“But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.’” Isaiah 43:1-2

God reassures us that we need not fear, that we belong to him, that he will be with us through painful trials, and that he will keep us from being destroyed. This week let’s seek to apply these words to our struggles and to develop a greater understanding of what it means to belong to God.

Monday: Meditate on the thought that God personally formed you. Ponder the wonder of God lovingly fashioning you in all your uniqueness.

Tuesday: What do you fear most? God tells us that we need not fear anything, because we belong to him and he’ll keep us in his care through all that comes our way. Bring your fears to him and ask him to keep you in safety.

Wednesday: God made each of us a unique individual and he knows us personally. Listen for whatever ways he might be calling your name, and follow him as the special person he made you to be.

Thursday: God tells us we are his. We belong to him, so we need never feel that we are abandoned or alone. Meditate on this and thank God for this assurance.

Friday: Although we will face difficulties, God is with us and keeps us from being overwhelmed or destroyed. Ask him to help you trust him throughout trials.

Saturday: Read over this week’s passage, pondering each phrase and thinking of how it speaks to your heart. Pray for the ability to incorporate it deeply into your outlook on life. Ask God how you can help and encourage others when they’re going through fiery trials of life.

Rail Trail Twilight 011415

May light shine in the darkness…

‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ John 1:5

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.’ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

We’ve been made very aware of darkness in the world this past week, and many lives have been shattered. Let’s seek God’s comfort and then share that comfort with those who are hurting, so that we can help reflect the light of Christ into the darkness.

Monday: Thank God for the assurance that his light is not overcome by darkness. Ask him to help you focus on the light every day in the face of dark news.

Tuesday: Pray for others who feel overwhelmed by evil and darkness, that they would keep their eyes on God’s light and receive his comfort.

Wednesday: Think of times God has comforted you in the past, and ask him how you can share that with those who have suffered losses.

Thursday: Thank God for first responders and others who give sacrificially to help in terrible situations. Pray that many people would experience God’s love and seek his light as they see the evil wrought by darkness.

Friday: Pray that God would show you how you can reach out with his light to touch broken and hurting people in our communities, so that they would experience the support of true community.

Saturday: Praise God that he is a God of light and love and comfort. Ask him to help you become more like him.

Comfort in Grief and Trials Prayer Guide

Always in your heart
Always in your heart…

Many people I know are grieving the loss of a beautiful, vibrant, beloved young woman. I am sure there are also many others who are grieving for losses in their own lives, so I am drawing thoughts for prayer and meditation this week from a couple of passages that speak of Jesus’ compassion and God’s comfort when we face loss or trials. In addition to these passages, there are many psalms where grief and lamentation are clearly expressed in prayer. Feel free to comment if you would like to know other passages that I have found comforting when going through hard times.

“When Jesus saw her weeping… he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. …Jesus wept.” John 11:33,35

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

God is a God of mercy and comfort. Jesus weeps with his people when they grieve, and he cares about each of us and longs to comfort us in our sadness and afflictions. Let’s sit with the words of these passages this week and allow them to work peace in our souls.

Monday: Bring your heartaches and tears to Jesus, knowing that he feels your sadness and welcomes you with open arms. He weeps with you and joins you in your grief.

Tuesday: What are some things that remind you of God’s love for you? Try to think of some ways you can remind yourself when you’re feeling down that Jesus understands and is always there to comfort you.

Wednesday: God, who created the entire universe, is full of mercy and comfort for us, small though we are in relation to the rest of creation. Let’s meditate today on the truth that the God of all creation cares tenderly for our hurting hearts.

Thursday: God often uses people to comfort others and touch them with his love and grace. Ask God to give you discernment and compassion, to recognize when others are hurting so you can comfort them.

Friday: Pray for people you know who are grieving or struggling in some way. Ask God to be close to them and to fill their hearts and minds with his peace and comfort.

Saturday: Thank God for the way Jesus showed us God’s compassion. Thank him also that he can use our pain and brokenness to someday help us comfort others, lending purpose to our times of sorrow. Move forward with him, asking that your struggles enable you to experience more of Jesus’ presence in your life, maybe not today, but over time.