A Prayer for Those Who Are Hurting
By Kristine Brown
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NLT)
We stood in the foyer of our church that Sunday morning— chatting over unbelievable events of the past week. One friend brought up the fact that a church just across town grieved over the unexpected death of their young pastor. He left a wife and two children behind.
“How could something like this happen to such a good family?” one person asked. As our group took turns sharing their thoughts and committing to pray for the grieving family, I couldn’t help but linger with her question a while. Many people in our community were hurting, and I didn’t know what to do.
Every day I come across someone else who’s hurting. The needs around us can feel overwhelming if we don’t know where to turn to find comfort. The apostle Paul reminded the church at Corinth that God is not only merciful. He is also our source of comfort. God’s presence is the one place we can find supernatural comfort that will soothe the deepest wounds. But God’s promise to comfort us in our troubles doesn’t stop there. He gives generously so that we can comfort others in their difficult times, too.
God’s Word says, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT)
Paul told the church about the troubles he personally endured. He described himself as “crushed and overwhelmed,” and used his testimony to encourage believers. (2 Cor. 1:8) Because of the trials he faced, he learned to rely on God more than ever. What an awesome promise from the Lord! He can use our deepest hurts for our good and his glory.
God knew we would have times in life when we’d need our brothers and sisters of faith to surround us with love and tenderness. But I often hesitate because of fear of saying the wrong thing or not knowing what to do. Thankfully, God equips us with his love, guides us by his Spirit, and empowers us to reach out to a hurting world. God will allow us to be the answer to someone's prayer— offering compassion to a hurting heart.
So, let’s seek God’s presence as we ask ourselves, “Who do I know facing trials right now? Who can I pray for today?” Let’s begin with this prayer for those who are hurting and trust our merciful God to point us toward people in our lives who need his comfort.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Everywhere around me, I see people who are hurting. They’re dealing with things like grief, disappointment, and discouragement, and they need your comfort. Be present with your children right now, Lord. Help them feel your Holy Spirit wrapping them in the warmth of your lovingkindness as I pray.
Your Word tells me, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) Thank you for your promise of comfort, no matter what difficulties we go through.
People in my community, in my church, and even among my family and friends are facing trials. I want to help them, but I don’t know what I can do. Thank you for reminding me that Jesus was my example for showing compassion to those who are hurting. Help me follow Jesus’ example and reach out to hurting hearts. Help me listen to your guidance and find ways I can offer comfort. And above all, let me remember to always start with prayer.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Photo credit: ©SalemDesign/BethanyPyle
For more spiritual growth resources, check out the 5-day email study Walking with Rahab by today’s devotion writer, Kristine Brown. You’ll find weekly encouragement to help you “become more than yourself through God’s Word” at her website, kristinebrown.net. Kristine is the author of the book, Cinched: Living with Unwavering Trust in an Unfailing God, and the companion workbook.
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Originally published Wednesday, 10 August 2022.