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“Lord, teach us to pray.” It’s a simple, yet profound, request made by one of Jesus’ disciples.

These words begin our weekly reading in Luke 11-18. The passage sets a context where Jesus called His disciples to boldness—”Ask and it will be given to you” (Luke 11:9, NKJV)—and courage in asserting the gospel’s truth in spite of opposition.

His further delivery of parables and lessons centered around faith, the importance of repentance, the virtues of humility and kindness, the danger of riches and the rewards that come from complete surrender to God.

Not only did Jesus creatively reveal spiritual truth, but also He revealed Himself as the ultimate Master Teacher and Compassionate One, freeing His people—us included—of their suffering.

While teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath (Luke 13:10-17), Jesus noticed a crippled woman who had suffered with a spirit of infirmity for 18 years. He called to her and said, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” She stood up straight and joyfully praised God!

Despite religious outrage, Jesus healed on the Sabbath, and not just once. The truth is, God does not rest from showing His love and mercy—ever! He is present 24/7 and is ready to reveal His power in our lives. He saw her. He sees us.

Months back, I found myself in the pediatric ICU at a local hospital with some of our dearest friends. Their 10-year-old daughter went into severe anaphylactic shock on Thanksgiving and was airlifted to the emergency room. She was critical. The emotional ache in the room was tangible, the air difficult to breathe, and the cries of two devastated, suffering parents left me asking, “Dear God, is this real?”

My logical mind knew we have a Savior who also suffered, who develops us through our suffering (Rom. 5:3-5) and who is ever present. Yet my emotional mind questioned, what if the worst? Could we bear such a loss?

In moments of suffering, our world is rocked, we can’t find balance, and our faith is tested. Yet, amidst our human frailty, He gives us the strength to stand and pray.

His peace (Phil. 4:7) filled the hospital room that day and upheld us through the darkest days ahead. A week later, a beautiful girl walked out of the hospital with joy-filled parents, and she is growing strong! Praise our Savior, who sustains us and frees us from our suffering—of many forms.

Are you suffering today? Where are you discouraged or oppressed? What is keeping you from standing tall, upright and bold? What worry do you need to let go of (Luke 12:22-34)?

Jesus desires to set us free—physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. He’ll miraculously do it any time, any day. Ask and believe, for His love and mercy never end.

By: Angie Richey, M.Ed, M.A., director of college relations/adjunct faculty at Life Pacific College and assistant director of Emmaus Road Counseling Center. She and her husband lead The Gathering (Santa Clarita South Foursquare Simple Church Network) in Santa Clarita, Calif.

Share your journey through the Gospels » Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you personally as the Foursquare family reads reads through the Gospels! Download the reading plan bookmarks for 2012, and you can also subscribe to the weekly Foursquare Leader Prayer email to receive insights and inspiration from Foursquare leaders around the world.

is a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Orlando, Fla.

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