For the grieving Christian, community is crucial. The church is to bear one another’s burdens. We come along side one another to provide love, comfort, care, and grace. However, while the church is an invaluable source of comfort for the suffering Christian, it is imperfect and finite. The church cannot be there in the middle of the night when the torment of isolation and despair ring like a constant and annoying alarm clock keeping the suffering Christian up all night. As good and helpful and consoling as community is, the tormented soul needs something more to withstand the darkness of suffering.
Thankfully, the Christian soul does have something greater than community. We have the Christ. He is both the great Sovereign and the great Sufferer. He is the only one who can truthfully look into our suffering and say with full integrity, “I’ve been there.” He is also the only one who can powerfully say to us, “I am working this for your good.” Christ is both at work in your suffering and identifying with your suffering. So, what I would like to do here, is provide a prayer for the Christian who may be suffering today. This prayer is a way for you to express your humble trust in the only one who can fully supply you with satisfaction in your suffering by being the King who is your Friend.
Father, help me to rest in you, trust in you, and rejoice in you.
Though I walk in darkness, I know Jesus is the light of the world.
Though I feel lost, I know that I am found in Christ.
Though I feel empty, I know Jesus desires for my joy to be full in you.
Though I feel lonely, I know that Jesus is the only friend I have who will never leave me or forsake me.
He is mine and I am his—forever this will be.
And although I am confused and uncertain, I know that you are omniscient.
Help me to marvel at your unsearchable judgments and inscrutable ways.
Cause me to rejoice in Christ and trust in the future grace of his lordship over my life.
May I learn longsuffering and patience from you.
Give me grace to do these things.
In the name of the sovereign Lord Jesus Christ my God and King and Savior, Amen!
Mathew Gilbert is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church East Bernstadt. He is the author of the forthcoming book Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God. Mathew lives in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their dog, Simba.