Posted in Faith

Praying the Psalms – Psalm 6: A prayer for those who suffer

The Psalms is a book of prayers. It covers a wide range of human emotions and can be a catalyst for when you don’t know what to say to God! Join me as I pray through the Psalms. I would love for you to add your prayers and prayer requests in the comments, and I will pray for you right here on the blog.

Psalm 6 (Original text, NIV)

“Oh Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.

Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.

My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long?

Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.

No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave?

I am worn out from my groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.

My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.

Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping.

The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.

All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed; they will turn back in sudden disgrace.”

A prayer inspired by Psalm 6:

Lord, have mercy on us. We don’t deserve your favour, but you give it to us anyway! I choose to claim that truth in our lives today!

Today, I lift up the people who suffer. There are many of them. You already know this, Lord. Those who suffer in physical pain, or mental anguish, on a daily basis. Those who wonder if they can go on another day. Those who are in the midst of a dark season; a long, long winter. Are you there, Lord? Make yourself known to them, I ask.

In addition to the suffering, there is the loss of purpose. They can’t do the things they used to do. The things they thought you wanted them to do. They feel stuck. Imprisoned by their illness or situation. “What is the point?” they may ask.

The suffering has made them exhausted. There isn’t strength for anything else, except bearing the burden of one moment to the next. Even their eyes hurt from crying.

But you see them, Lord. You hear them. Every groan, every cry. Every prayer. I ask on the authority of Jesus’ name that you lift these people up out of the pit. Give them hope and relief. When their strength is not enough to carry them to the next moment, please do it for them. Whisper wisdom and encouragement to them. Help them to see from your perspective. I ask that you would heal them. Give them insight, that they would understand your purposes in what they are experiencing. Bless them with a peace that doesn’t make any sense, as they present their requests to you with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6-7).

We know, Lord, that you will never abandon your people. Nothing can snatch them out of your hand (John 10:28-30). Please fight on their behalf and sustain them in their wait for deliverance.

Amen.

To catch up on the rest of this series, you may click the following links:

As mentioned earlier, please feel free to add your prayers and prayer requests in the comments. I would love to pray with and for you. May you be blessed today!

Warm wishes,

Lisa

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Posted in Faith, Mental health

Groundhog Day

It was Groundhog Day, six years ago, when she died.  A woman of 35, the same age that I am right now.  As we drove the 14 hours that it was to her funeral, over wind-whipped plains, I thought about midwinter.  The white drifts that seemed to go on forever.  The hard, encrusted snow.  The bitter cold.

And in her life, the illness.  The grief.  Her trials and tragedies, and her past, which had never released her.

Through my tears, I remembered her husband: the man now left a widower.  And the irony of that movie, “Groundhog Day.”  Of all the days to relive endlessly, ruthlessly – is that what would now happen to him, in his mind?

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I don’t know this kind of grief.  But I have had winters.  Proverbs 13:12 says that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.”  “Hope deferred?”  Oh yes.  “Heart sick?”  The weak, fluttery feeling in your chest; the weight in your stomach; the heaviness that follows you, slowing your every move and thought…yes.

“Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.” Proverbs 14:10

Groundhog Day may seem like a silly tradition to some.  To me, it makes sense.  At this lowest, deepest point of cold on the calendar, we’ll cling to any shred of hope that winter will not last forever.  “Early spring,” “6 more weeks of winter” – either one is a blessed reminder:  Spring is coming!  Hallelujah!  Just hang on, a little longer!

And as for our emotional winters?  One scripture that has encouraged me is a prophetic word, given to an ancient people that lived in biblical times.  However, as prophetic words often go, its core truth is applicable across culture, time, and space:

“An oracle concerning Dumah: Someone calls to me from Seir, ‘Watchman, what is left of the night?  Watchman, what is left of the night?’

The watchman replies, ‘Morning is coming, but also the night.  If you would ask, then ask; and come back yet again.'” Isaiah 21:11-12

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God created a world where suffering was possible, and He doesn’t stop all of it.  He brings all things together for good (Romans 8:28), and there is purpose in what He allows to happen.  But He made the night, as well as the day.  The winter, as well as the summer.

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Genesis 8:22

Yet He reminds us, through the coldest days of winter, and the darkest hours of night: “Morning will come.  Inquire again later – don’t stop asking.”

In the meantime, we may need to fast – from having our hopes realized, or our pains taken away.  When we fast from food, each pain of hunger is a reminder to pray.  So it is when we suffer.  Let the pain incite you to pray.  In your weakness, press in to God, that He may strengthen you.  Do not forget, that He cares for you.  And the morning will come.  The snow will melt; spring will arrive.  It may take longer than we like, but the winter will not last forever.

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Jesus, have mercy on us in our seasons of suffering.  Be near, comfort us, limit our pains and times of trial.  Help us, Lord, to not lose hope.  You said the morning will come.  May we have the strength to wait patiently for it!

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18