Often prayer and suffering go hand in hand. Suffering ushers us into a new realm of dependence upon God. In our sufferings we experience His sufficiency.
Prayer can accomplish four major tasks in suffering. First, prayer delivers us from that which we suffer. God will on occasion work a mighty victory in our lives. We find freedom from our suffering by the power of God obtained in prayer. Second, prayer delivers the grace of God to us in our suffering. That grace enables us to endure the suffering. Third, prayer delivers us into the hands of God’s comfort. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). Finally, prayer delivers the character of God into our lives when we suffer.
–Adapted from The Prayer Factor by Sammy Tippit
Compassionate Father, You have said clearly that the Christian walk will include suffering, but somehow I often feel entitled to a life free from pain and difficulty. Yet, it is in those times when life is hard that I seem to seek You more often and more passionately. Give me the grace to endure whatever will draw me into deeper intimacy so that my dependence will never be upon anyone or anything other than You. Help me to walk with courage as my prayers deliver me “into the hands” of Your comfort.
Praise God for his world-sized love (Jn. 3:16)! Thank God for loving you before you ever began to love him (Rom. 5:8). Confess times of turning away from the Lord, acknowledging that such betrayal of his love is spiritual prostitution (Ezekiel 16). Commit yourself again to faithfulness in loving God. Ask him to help you live with purity of love toward him.
Pray for the Bible studies and other small groups of your church. Ask God to work his kind of intimacy into the lives of each person involved with these groups.
—Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.