I don't know how to pray for those who are suffering.

I would pray, "Lord, be with them." But He is with them.
I would pray, "Lord, let your purpose come about through their suffering." But His purpose will come about in their suffering. I find myself short of words to bring to Jesus for my suffering brother and sister.

Jesus healed, but He was sent to preach the good news. His primary purpose on this earth was not to perform miracles, though He did many, but to bring good news, to teach, to open eyes and set people free, to proclaim. In a world, (and a church at times infected with worldliness), that avoids offense, inconvenience, and pain as an enemy of joy, I find myself approaching Jesus like the leper whom He healed, "Lord, if you are willing, you are able to heal my brother, to lift my sister's suffering." If He is willing, He is able.

And I find words rising in my prayer as I think of Jesus coming to preach, coming to teach, coming to bring good news, so I start to pray,

Lord, teach them your purpose in their suffering. Show them there is a reason, this is not random.
Show them how you suffered so they may know the power of your resurrection.
Give them compassion for those who suffer, so they may comfort them as you comfort them.
Teach them the attitude of gratitude that flows from a dependent heart and eyes fixed on you.

The scripture shows us the sovereignty of God in our suffering. It is for His glory, so let us pray with humble and submitted hearts for our friends in view of His sovereignty and perfect will, knowing that some day, even if not while in the land of the living, we will see our friends robed in perfection and freed of suffering in an eternal and everlasting joy. True joy.


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