Prayer: Intercession - "Take Care of My Friend"

Did you know that one of the reasons that God gave us each other is so that we can encourage and pray for one another? We often forget that we have the ability to go before the Lord on behalf of our friends, loved ones, family, strangers, and even enemies. It's called Intercession. God hears and honors the prayers of pure hearts that go before Him honestly in efforts to help others. Sometimes we know people who are hurting so bad that they have trouble praying for themselves. It is our responsibility as their Christian brother/sister to step in and intercede on their behalf. So the next time someone you know is struggling with sin or are hurting, or even just having a hard day, before you open your mouth to judge them, pray for them. Love them. Let God handle the rest.
Dear God,

Today I want to pray for ___________. 
They are hurting and they need your peace. I know that I can't heal their hurt no matter how much I may want to, but I know that You can. Please cover them, comfort them and ease the pain so that they will feel Your love. Let them know that this trial will not last forever and that You can use it to make them stronger! Although they may not feel it now, remind them that they are valuable in your eyes! Lord, shield them from the hurt of negativity and judgments from people who do not care, but surround them with people who will love them, support them and build them up so they can push through this stronger than they were before. Show them that You really love them and that You are able to restore any brokenness that they have. And as You are working on them, help me never to judge them and to just be a supportive friend. Show me how to love them as You love us, without condition. Lord, I trust you to take care of my friend. 
In Jesus' name,

"Share each other's troubles and problems and in this way obey the Law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody."  Galatians 6:2-3


Broken Hearts Hurt

Let's face it. Most of us at one point in time have experienced a broken heart. Whether it was from the end of a relationship, loss of a loved one, betrayal of a friend, we all have found ourselves hurt. And it is painful, extremely painful. 

I can literally attest to the heart wrenching painful feeling in the center of my chest as if the very life of me was being pulled out. It is not a good feeling, at all. That may sound a bit dramatic, but at the time that is exactly how it feels. It hurts. And at that moment no comforting word or humorous gesture can take that feeling away. 

I recently finished a book by Dr. Charles Stanley called, The Blessings of Brokenness. This book helped me in a tremendous way look at brokenness in a way I had never looked at it before. I had deep hurts in my heart and I wanted to know why? 

Why would God allow His child that He loved so much experience such pain? How could He sit there and watch me suffer? Surely He was punishing me for something I had done. I deserve this. But what did I do so wrong to deserve this?

These are just a few of the many questions that circled in my head while I was going through. I needed answers and decided to seek God's face in prayer and scripture to find the answers to these questions. Pastor Stanley said something in his book that perplexed me. He said, 

"People who are genuinely broken by God know great joy." 

Having experienced the pain of a broken heart, I could not understand what joy could come out of such a painful place. It made no sense. So I went to the Word of God for myself to understand how this could be true. God led me to 2Corinthians 4:16-18 which has become one of my favorite scriptures. It says,

"That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last for very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have yet not seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever." 

I was relieved! There is indeed a purpose in our suffering. 

As a result of suffering, renewal takes place. God uses our brokenness to break us away from what may hinder us from receiving all that He has in store for us. Brokenness encourages us to change; it humbles us and encourages dependence upon the Lord. He breaks us to build our endurance, strengthen our faith and so that we can help someone else get through something similar. My Dad once told me, “Everything we go through is for someone else.” Once I understood the multifaceted purpose that God had for breaking my heart, I was able to lean on Him, allow Him to heal the hurt, repair the brokenness and teach me the lesson He wanted me to learn as a result. I felt better knowing that God allowed those situations to take place so that I may become stronger; and knowing that I had the ability to help someone felt good.

God does not leave us alone in these painful times even though it may feel like He’s nowhere near. “God heals the brokenhearted and bandages [our] wounds.” Psalm 147:3. He wants you to look for Him in your troubling times. He wants to comfort you and heal your broken heart. He wants to break you from your self reliance into full dependence on Him.

Changing my perspective that God was punishing me, to the perspective that God was at work in me, kept me from being angry, bitter and hostile. Because of that, God was able to fully heal my heart and replace that hurt with joy. Joy in knowing that God was perfecting me.

Although I couldn't see it at first, my brokenness has contributed to my growth and I have God to thank for that. Broken hearts hurt, but if we allow ourselves to see past the pain and see the work that God is doing in us, we can welcome restoration.

“…whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for great joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” James 1:2-4


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