A Prayer for When You’re Hurting

Psalm 23:4-6

Father God,

I hold these two truths before you. One, you are good. And two, I am hurting.

I come to you in faith, professing that I know my hurt does not disprove your goodness. I know that you are not a God who lives on the surface. You are not a shallow God. You call me into the deep with you. And I know this process of following you and becoming the person you want me to be often involves pain and hardships.

So here and now I confess that I will follow you no matter what it does to me. I know that you are good. And I know that I am hurting. Therefore, I bring my hurt into the presence of your goodness. I choose to still believe in your goodness even though I know you could stop the pain. I choose to trust you with this process of purification you are putting me through. No matter what happens, I submit to you because your Spirit in me will cause me to do no other.

If I was to go to the depths, you are there. If I was to hide in the darkness, your light would expose me. Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely (Psalm 139). You know the deep places within me, and I know the pain I feel inside right now can be used for your glory and my good if I keep submitting to you.

Father, give me the strength to do what I have committed to do. I know that these words of mine are just empty phrases if your Spirit does not breathe your breath of life into me every second of my existence. Help me to remain in your Son, Jesus Christ; for I know that he is my vine and I am his branch. If I remain in him, I know I will bear much fruit. But I also know that a part from him I can do nothing that pleases you (John 15:5).

I’m hurting, Lord. My heart is aching. I know you see me. I know you are with me. But in all honesty, I want this pain to end. I want this cup of suffering to pass from me. But more than that, I want your will to be done in my life.

May I imitate you, Jesus. May I speak the words you spoke to the Father, “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name” (John 12:27-28). Jesus, please empower me to live in this perfectly balanced place that you live. You were honest with the Father about how you felt, but you were also totally willing and eager to submit to this will for you, no matter the cost. May I live this way, that I might reflect your image in my life. For I know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of you, his Son, in order that you might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters (Romans 8:28-29). For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed one day. I, along with all creation, await your full redemption of all things, that all pain and tears might be wiped away by your saving power (Romans 8:18-19, Revelations 21:4).

Though I’m hurting right now, Father, I know that you are near. Though my heart is breaking, I trust what your perfect Scriptures say, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:17-19). You are faithful. I know this. I proclaim this. Help me to live this out in my life despite the troubles that I face. Despite the hurt I feel inside, may your image flow through me into the outside, that through my pain you may bring yourself praise.

So I come to you with these two truths. I am hurting. And you are good. I do not deny either truth. I know that because you are good, you will use this pain for my good and your glory. I ask that you would heal me. I ask that this pain would stop. I ask that I would learn what you want me to learn. I ask that you would use this pain for the purpose that you have for it. I ask that this pain would only heighten my ability to experience your pleasure. “Though you slay me, yet I will praise you. Though you take from me, I will bless your name. Though you ruin me, still I will worship [and] sing a song to the one who’s all I need.”1

I know that none of my misery is meaningless. I know that none of my pain is without purpose. I know that none of my suffering goes unseen by you. I know that even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me. I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:4-6).