Suffering Christians Encouragement for those who are hurting


Prayer for Grace in Affliction

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Prayer – Grace in Trials

This is a Puritan prayer from the book Valley of Vision. This was the prayer for November 23, 2009 at Banner of Truth at the Daily Devotion link. You can find others at the Scripture Zealot blog.

Grace in Trials

Life-Giving God,

Quicken me to call upon thy name,

for my mind is ignorant,

my thoughts vagrant,

my affections earthly,

my heart unbelieving,

and only thy Spirit can help my infirmities.

I approach thee as Father and Friend,

my portion for ever,

my exceeding joy,

my strength of heart.

I believe in thee as the God of nature,

the ordainer of providence,

the sender of Jesus my Saviour.

My guilty fears discourage an approach to thee,

but I praise thee for the blessed news

that Jesus reconciles thee to me.

May the truth that is in him

illuminate in me all that is dark,

establish in me all that is wavering,

comfort in me all that is wretched,

accomplish in me all that is of thy goodness,

and glorify in me the name of Jesus.

I pass through a vale of tears

but bless thee for the opening gate of glory

at its end.

Enable me to realize as mine the better,

heavenly country.

Prepare me for every part of my pilgrimage.

Uphold my steps by thy Word.

Let no iniquity dominate me.

Teach me that Christ cannot be the way

if I am the end,

that he cannot be Redeemer

if I am my own saviour,

that there can be no true union with him

while the creature has my heart,

that faith accepts him as Redeemer and Lord

or not at all.

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A Prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you:
I cannot do this alone.

In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me…

Restore me to liberty,
And enable me so to live now
That I may answer before you and before me.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.

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Strengthen me by the grace of Your holy spirit, O God. Give me the power to be strengthened inwardly and to empty my heart of all vain care and anxiety, so that I may not be drawn away by many desires, whether for precious things or mean ones. Let me look upon everything as passing, and upon myself as soon to pass away with them, because there is nothing lasting under the sun, where all is vanity and affliction of spirit. How wise is he who thinks thus!

Give me, Lord, heavenly wisdom to learn above all else to seek and find You, to enjoy and love You more than anything, and to consider other things as they are, as Your wisdom has ordered them. Grant me prudence to avoid the flatterer and to bear patiently with him who disagrees with me. For it is great wisdom not to be moved by the sound of words, nor to give ear to the wicked, flattering siren. Then, I shall walk safely in the way I have begun.
--Thomas à Kempis - The Imitation of Christ

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The Blessing of Unanswered Prayers

I asked for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I had asked for,
but everything that I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

— Unknown Confederate soldier

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These Inward Trials

I asked the Lord that I might grow,
In faith and love and every grace,
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek more earnestly His face.

It was He who taught me thus to pray,
And He I trust has answered prayer.
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He'd answer my request.
And by His love's constraining power,
Subdue my sins and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel,
The hidden evils of my heart.
And let the angry powers of hell,
Assault my soul in every part.

Yes, more with His own hand, He seemed,
Intent to aggravate my woe.
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

"Lord, why is this?" I trembling cried.
Will You pursue Your worm to death?"
"This is the way" the Lord replied,
"I answer prayer for grace and strength."

"These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set you free;
And break your schemes of earthly joy,
That you may find thy all in Me."
--John Newton

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A Prayer for the Heart

Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord, our God, understanding to know You, diligence to seek You, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace You; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
--Thomas Aquinas

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"Take, Lord" Prayer by Ignatius of Loyola

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my intellect, and all my will--all that I have and possess. You gave them to me: to You, Lord, I return them. All is Yours, dispose of all according to Your will. Give me only Your love and grace, for these are enough for me.
--Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)

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Calm thyself, O my soul

"Calm thyself, O my soul, so that the divine can act in thee!
Calm thyself, O my soul, so that God is able to repose in thee so that His peace may cover thee."

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Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.
Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett

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Prayer of Abandonment – Charles de Foucauld

I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you
with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands,
without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.

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