In the time of covid-19 and political turmoil, we are suffering. Some of us more than others, but all of us feel some level of suffering. This week in our prayer guide we will consider suffering with the help of some of the therapists from Circle Counseling. There’s a brief recording from a different therapist each day for you to consider and take into your prayer. We hope you will find encouragement here.
Today’s Bible reading
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. — Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)
More thoughts for meditation
From Rachael Kerns-Wetherington on how suffering may harm us and what to do about that.
Suggestions for action
Today’s scripture gives us help in trying deal with harmful suffering vs. suffering that produces good in us, As Rachael suggests suffering can spin us out into old wounds that are traumatizing, at time paralyzing us, actually changing how we think and certainly disrupting any peace we feel. But we can also spin down into a rootedness, as Rachael phrases it, and into a contemplative posture that allows our suffering to create as the scripture says a perseverance or resilience in us. That happens when we find a way to cling to our faith, to the reality of what we have been given in Christ. We need to remind ourselves when we suffer that we are justified as the passage says. We are not doomed to only pain. We are not going to face shame alone. Christ has done something about traumatizing suffering. He has transformed it already. We can confront our suffering in faith and allow it to ground us not in past wounds, but in hope of the Spirit’s nearness and rescue. We may have to really turn our attention to this and wait in the darkness for the spinning to stop so we can find the creative energy to suffer in faith, not without it.
Breath prayer to carry with you today: (Inhale) Because of You, Lord Christ; (exhale) my suffering is transformed.