Welcome to Day 15 of 21 Days of Prayer + Fasting 2023. To follow along, visit FoursquarePrayer.org.
Of all the benefits that are ours in Christ, perhaps the most precious of His caring gifts is the sanctuary He offers to us in our suffering. He ministers to us, strengthens us even as our faith is tested, and reminds us that we are not alone and God is at work. Jesus, who suffered on the cross, opens our eyes to joy amid suffering and, with it, a renewed capacity to endure.
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And ‘If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’ So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”
—1 Peter 4:12-19 (NIV)
Prayer + Reflection
- Pray for family and friends who are far from God and suffering, that they will experience the caring love, protection and comfort that only Jesus gives without measure.
- Pray with great faith, asking Jesus to minister health, healing, peace and His presence to the wounds that cause suffering in your community.
- Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ, that wherever there is suffering, despair and struggle, that Jesus will give understanding, faith, hope and bring deliverance.
What comes to mind when you think of suffering? Talk about how God helps us when we are suffering or how you have personally experienced God’s presence in suffering. Think of someone you know who is suffering and pray for them as a family. Discuss how you could share the love of Jesus with them—maybe writing a card or preparing a meal to remind them God is with them. To conclude, speak Psalm 62:1-2 as a prayer over your family.