There is almost nothing harder than watching a friend or family member who is hurting, and knowing there is nothing we can do to change their circumstances. It’s frustrating, it’s painful… And, on this Earth, it happens with crushing frequency.
But, as those saved by grace and adopted into the family of God, we know we can, “…come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 14:6).
We have the chance to lift up our problems, the problems of those nearest to us, and the problems of the world to the God of the Universe. And not only that, but He wants to hear from us! He invites us to come boldly because He wants to bear our burdens alongside us!We have the chance to lift up our problems and the problems of others before God! Click To Tweet
And while it is essential that we serve others and “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15), we can only do so much. God, on the other hand, can do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). He understands our friends’ problems and their solutions better than we ever will.
So how can we pray for a friend who is hurting? Here are 5 thoughts to get you started:
1.Pray Biblically. Often it is tempting to just pray for what we think is best, regardless of the potential consequences. We need to make sure that we are in the Bible and reminding ourselves of the voice and heart of God, aligning our heart and desires with His.
2. Pray for comfort. God has promised us that for those who are in Christ, He has given them the Holy Spirit, and in John 14:26, Jesus called the Holy Spirit “the Comforter.” As Christians, the very presence of God goes with us wherever we go. We can pray that our friends would feel that closeness and be comforted by it.As Christians, the very presence of God is with us always. Click To Tweet
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 is also a beautiful testament of the comfort that God gives. It says:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.”
Let’s pray also that God would show us how we can best be a comforter, in tune with His mercy and His unfailing love.
3. Pray for wisdom, for them and for you. Pray that your friend will have the wisdom they need to navigate their situation and to make some hard choices. Pray for the wisdom you need to know when and how to best help and support them. God says in Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” We can trust Him to give all of the wisdom and direction needed for any situation.
4. Pray for a heart that seeks after God’s. Pray that as your friend works through problems or suffers through illness that they will always have a heart aligned with God’s. We can pray that they will see the opportunities for growth, that they will see the chances to share love with others through this, that they would be constantly reminded of God’s goodness and strength through it all.
5. Pray for God’s will. As hard as it is, we have to leave our friends in God’s hands. We just don’t know the big picture, and sometimes God allows to happen exactly what we would ask Him to avoid. In Isaiah 55:8, God says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways…” In all of our prayers, we have to always come back to asking God that His will would be done and that He would help every person involved to see it as something that God can use for His greater purposes.In any situation, we have to pray that God would help us seek His will, even when it is hard. Click To Tweet
I can’t imagine how hard it must be to suffer or to watch a loved one suffer if you don’t have a personal relationship with God. I just don’t understand how people could ever face the hardships the world throws at us without the knowledge that God is there with them, working and comforting. It must feel so hopeless.
But I praise God that we don’t have to stay in that hopelessness. That, because of what Jesus did on the Cross, I can know that He is at work in my life and in the lives of others who are now in Christ. I can thank Him daily for the truth found in Psalm 46:1, which says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Let’s pray diligently over our friends who are in need of that comfort, that they will see God’s hand even in the bleakest of circumstances and that they will always run to God, their refuge.