Apr 18 2015
I am afflicted and in pain;
let Your salvation, O God, set me on high!
I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.
Psalm 69:29-30 (ESV)
Physical pain, whether acute or chronic, can bring us both actually and figuratively to our knees. Would you please bow your heads with me today, as we fall on our knees and rest weary aching heads in feeble hands—our God is our Strength and our Deliverer, and He hears us when we call to Him through Christ our Advocate and the interceding groans of the Holy Spirit. Whether it is your pain, or the pain of someone you know (or both!), please bring these burdens to the Father’s Throne with me now—He will accept our offering, hear our prayers, and answer according to His will. Come with me in faith.
Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals, we come asking You humbly to hear our prayer in Your great mercy—please hear our cries for endurance and sustenance for as long as this pain lasts, and hear our cries for relief and deliverance—grant us, ultimately, peace through Christ with whatever Your will for our lives and our bodies and our pains may be, and take delight in satisfying and replenishing our souls (Jeremiah 31:25). Give us eyes to see what Your will is, and give us Your grace to accept what Your hands lay upon our shoulders.
Lord, help us to feel Your hand of peace and strength when we are in pain. Enfold us with Your strong comfort. Enable us to see and somehow embrace that in our suffering, we become closer to You and more like Christ (1 Peter 4:13). Help us to bless You, to remember Your kindness, to praise You for Your forgiveness and healing (Psalm 103:2-3), and the various ways You present these things to us Your children.
Please grant us the humility of spirit to accept this painful thorn as a gift from your hand (2 Corinthians 12:7), Father. Make us boast in Your strength when we are weak (2 Corinthians 12:9), and help us never give in to the temptation of self pity and wallowing but gird our loins for the battle You have chosen for us (Isaiah 40:29). Renew our hope in Your future promises, allow our eyes to focus on the glorious gift of new bodies in heaven (Philippians 3:20-21) where our tears will be wiped away and our pain will be no more (Revelation 21:4). Pain can be so isolating—and genuinely can isolate us if we are bed ridden or house ridden due to physical pain—especially when it never seems to go away, so Father, please help us to remember that we are not alone—not only are You always with us, but others of Your people around the world and throughout time have and do also suffer in similar ways (2 Timothy 2:3). Make us firm in our faith through this trial, and in Your timing, please restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us (1 Peter 5:9-10) for the sake of Your glory, and even for the glory that You promise to share with Your people when the sufferings of this time are past (Romans 8:18). Lord, give us rest from this pain and turmoil, relief from this hard service You have called us to serve—give us voices to proclaim Your Gospel and Your Kingdom, to share Your providence and provision and healing hand (Isaiah 14:3).
Because we know that Jesus did not turn away those who suffered from various pains and afflictions (Matthew 4:24), we come with boldness asking for His hands of healing to remove this pain. Please cleanse our bodies of the physical ailments that deter us from further engaging in life and joyful participation in the lives around us (2 Corinthians 7:1). Oh Lord, our prayer is simple and our words are few—please grant healing, please take away this pain, please restore physical strength and health—please give glory to Yourself through this act of mercy. Grant us peace in this world of turmoil, for we are confident in our faith that You have overcome the world (John 16:33).
Lord, You know—You know!!—the suffering, the pain. Remember us, visit us, take vengeance on behalf of us for the sake of this pain (Jeremiah 15:15). God, please hear the depth of anguish as we cry to You—why is this pain unceasing, this wound incurable, why does this body refuse healing? (Jeremiah 15:18) We fall and flounder and falter, for this pain is ever before us (Psalm 38:17), in this affliction and pain, O God, we beg You to save us and set us on high (Psalm 69:29). Do not forsake us, Lord, but be near to us right in the midst of the suffering. Make haste to help us, for You, O Lord, are our salvation (Psalm 38:21-22). Father, even when we speak or when we pray or when we seek relief, it feels like our pain is never assuaged, and when we seek to be strong with endurance and forbearance for Your sake, the pain doesn’t lessen. It wears us out, Father, shrivels us up, and our bodies themselves rise up against us (Job 16:6-8). Our souls are poured out, for the days of affliction take hold of us—even in the night, our bones ache, and there is no relief from the agony because the gnawing pain never takes rest (Job 30:16-17).
Jehovah Shalom, Lord our Peace, You alone can give rest to our souls whether our bodies continue in this dire pain or whether You lift this physical burden from us (Matthew 11:28). Your Son, our Lord Jesus, is the only One who can give us peace which passes our understanding, so we ask You in Your grace to fill us with His peace and guard our hearts and minds during this season of life (Philippians 4:7). God, we are so tempted toward cynicism when the suffering is long and unrelenting—like Job, we can beg that You would simply crush us and completely cut us off. We can think that this would be a comfort, that it would glorify You. But Lord, give us the grace to follow in Job’s footsteps so that we exult even in the midst of unsparing pain, allowing us never to deny the words of You, our Holy One. We do not have strength and we do not know our end, so please give us faith to wait on You and to be patient as we call upon Your mercy. We are not made with the strength of stones or bronze, and You—our Creator—look upon us with understanding. (Job 6:8-12)
Father, You made us of dust and You filled us with Your own breath (Genesis 2:7), so we call upon You to remember our frame (Psalm 103:14). Please forgive our iniquities and take away our physical ailments, redeem us and crown us, satisfy us and renew us, O God we pray! Please show Your compassion to us (Psalm 103:3-5, 13). As we are bodies paired with souls, according to Your infinite wisdom, please care for our spirits as well as our physical temples—as Jesus went about proclaiming the Gospel and healing physical needs, please have mercy upon each part of our being (Luke 9:6, 11). Please heal our bodies and take away our pain—please strengthen our faith and increase our imaging of Christ for the sake of Your glory, for the furtherance of Your Kingdom.
And as we recognize our frailty in every way, please send Your Spirit to intercede on our behalf. Even our prayers are not brought to You on our own strength, Lord. We do not know how to pray, nor for what we ought to even ask, but we trust You and we rely on You—please, send Your Spirit to intercede for us, because we belong to Jesus, and hear His groans on our behalf. We know that You search our hearts, and we call upon You to hear the intercession of Your Spirit for us, according to Your will (Romans 8:26-27).
In our frailty, in our humanity, in our pain, in our suffering—O Lord, hear our prayer. Give strength to us, Your people and grant us Your peace (Psalm 29:11). For the sake of Christ in whose name we pray—trusting that He indeed is the Risen King who conquered death and sin so that we can look ahead toward perfect bodies and resurrected new life in the future Kingdom—amen.