What To Pray When Your Heart Is Breaking

Originally published Friday, 22 March 2013.

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” John 12:27-28 (NIV)

“My biggest struggle is wanting to know if God is truly calling my husband home or if I am to continue to pray for his healing? I don't want to let him go but nor do I want to hold him back if this is the time God has ordained for him.”

She wrote these words to me asking me to pray for her, with her. Her husband of almost five decades had just been diagnosed with cancer for the third time. 

But what do you pray at a time like that? 

How do you pray when your heart is breaking? (<-- Tweet this)

Everything inside of me just wants to pray, “God heal him! Let him live.” Her words remind me of how much I hate death, of how even though I know that in Jesus death is not the end; it is still something that hurts. Death is still something I wish everyone could avoid. 

Death is still something I haven’t discovered how to rejoice in. 

So I stuttered out a prayer and trusted that God would meet my inadequate words with his more than adequate love for this man and his wife. 

I believed that God would his best for them whether that came through healing or through loss.

But her words stayed with me and I wondered how Jesus would pray when his soul was distressed? 

What would Jesus say if he had to pray about something that broke his heart? (<-- Tweet this)

I searched the bible and found this simple prayer that Jesus probably stuttered through in John 12: “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” 

In these few lines Jesus tells us he was heart-sore about the choice between life and death. 

Jesus’ heart was breaking with the choice he had to make, but instead of praying for rescue, he prayed that God would be glorified.

At times like this I am so grateful that God came to earth as man, that he let his holiness beat through a heart like mine. 

I love that Jesus let’s us see it’s okay to lift our broken hearts to God - to tell him what we really want is a way out - and then to somehow find the strength to sigh, “God, do your Best!”

While this prayer doesn’t make your heart ache less, and it doesn’t make the outcome easier, it frees your heart from fear. And allows you trust that no matter what happens God is doing his best for you. 

Do you believe that God will always do the best for you? If if you don’t know how to pray about that hard thing right now you can borrow these words: My heart is breaking, I don’t know how to pray. I want to say, God give me a way out. But instead God I’m choosing to trust you. Father, do your best. Amen.

This devotional originally appeared on my website: ilovedevotoinals

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