Suffering, Prayer, and Hope

You don’t have to look far to find tragedy and sadness. It’s everywhere. Watch the news, log onto facebook, talk to a friend. Sometimes the sadness outweighs the gladness and leaves people feeling helpless. This week, five beautiful young ladies lost their lives in a tragic accident along with countless other tragic events. I don’t understand all things. I don’t understand why accidents happen. I don’t understand why children get sick. I can’t think about things like sex trafficking and slavery for too long before I get overwhelmed at the depth of it. It’s heartbreaking to hear about other people’s suffering.

Matthew 5:3 says “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” I grouped together all people who are “poor in spirit” to be the humble. Being humbled isn’t always fun. It often time comes in suffering.

If you have ever been poor in spirit, you know that often, in that moment, you can’t see or hear God anywhere. When someone is so full of sorrow, the kingdom of God can feel very distant. So, what is a person who knows the goodness of God to do?

We are to stand in that gap.

I was reminded that I’m not helpless when it comes to other people’s suffering.  I started to pray for all people who are poor in spirit because I absolutely carry the hope of Jesus Christ in me and so does every believer. I stood in the gap with prayer.

We are to stand in the gap between the person who is full of sorrow and the Kingdom of God. We are to pray Heaven down. In Jesus name, we are to pray that the poor in spirit feel His presence. We are to pray that He have mercy on them in their grief. We are to pray that the kingdom of God invades their lives and hearts and that they can FEEL and KNOW Jesus is with them. We are to pray that He makes a way for them to open their eyes to his presence and the peace and healing that comes with knowing Jesus.

We are to stand in the gap. That’s what prayer does. Prayers aren’t simply words that go up to Heaven and are forgotten.

Prayer brings Heaven a little closer to Earth.

This means we are not helpless. This means we can do something REAL for people who are suffering.

Prayer makes Heaven move.

Today I randomly read Luke 24:17-33. Long and short of this passage is two men were walking to a village after Jesus had died on the cross and rose from the grave. They were talking about all the things that had happened to Jesus. Jesus walks up to them, but THEY ARE KEPT FROM SEEING HIM. Jesus asks the men what they are talking about. Verse 17 says, “They stood still, their faces downcast.” They are downcast/sad and have NO IDEA that Jesus is walking right next to them. For whatever reason, they are suffering and can’t see that Jesus is right there walking with them. It wasn’t until Jesus OPENED their eyes that they recognized Him.

This is why we pray for those who suffer and pray with confidence. Like the men in the story, it’s sometimes hard to see that Jesus is walking right there with you when you are suffering. We pray that the Lord opens the eyes of all those who are suffering so that they can see that Jesus and the kingdom of God is near. We pray that they see Jesus is right there with them.

Prayer leads to Jesus opening eyes and allowing them to see that not only is He there now, but Jesus was with them the entire time they are suffering. Please go read Luke 24: 13-35 if you get a chance.  Jesus was with the men the entire time.  When everything seems bad, I remind myself that faithful He has been and faithful He will be. We serve a faithful God, who hears the prayers of His people.

God does move. God does answer prayers.

I hope this encourages all to stand in the gap for ALL those suffering. Suffering is everywhere, but those in Christ can absolutely bring the light of Christ into ANY situation by prayer. Yes, any situation.
My prayer for today:
Dear Heavenly Father, You are perfect and holy. You are a faithful Father who loves us. You hear the prayers of your people. I pray that all eyes that read this come to know the salvation that comes only through Jesus. Give us the confidence to stand in the gap and pray boldly. Help us to see the needs of the sufferings. I pray that you allow all who are suffering to see and feel your Holy presence. I pray you open their eyes. Please don’t keep us from seeing you. Help us to see you and know you more. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.