How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide your face from me?

Psalm 13:1

Lord of all comfort,

There is so much suffering in this world, and none of us are immune to it. We may experience health problems, relationship problems, emotional distress, financial struggles, mental illness, and so much more. At times we may even feel that You have abandoned us or do not care. We cry out with the psalmist, asking if You will forget us forever. We may blame You for causing our problems or at least for not removing them from us. We wonder why we must suffer on this earth. It seems that the wicked prosper in this life, while Christians are under attack and must suffer, sometimes even for obeying Your Word. We look at the lives of Your disciples, most of whom were martyred for preaching about You. In our human minds, we cannot understand why this must be so. We don’t know why Your followers must suffer or why “bad” things must happen to “good” people. We must accept that in Your wisdom, You know what is best for our eternal good. Help us therefore to “rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5). Looking back upon times of suffering in our own lives, many of us would have to admit that the darkest times were the times we experienced the most personal growth or had our faith strengthened the most. When possible, Lord, we ask You to alleviate our earthly suffering. But at the same time, help us to embrace the endurance and character our suffering produces in us, leading us to place our hope more strongly in You. When You return or when You take us home to be with You, there will be no more suffering, and we cling to this truth in the midst of our struggles and suffering here, remembering Your promise that “In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

I pray for the following people who are suffering…
I pray for the ways I am suffering…

In Your name I pray. Amen.

For a full explanation of this challenge, see the post 12-Minute Prayer Challenge. If you are just joining us, feel free to continue on with us from the current day, or if you prefer, you can go back and start at Day 1.