Heavenly Father,
On the same day this last week, one of my young cousins’ husband died and another dear friend was going through the year anniversary of her husband’s death. Having gone through the deep pain of a husband’s death almost 24 years ago, I knew some of what they were both facing. I so wanted to take away their pain, but I knew I couldn’t and shouldn’t. Grief is one of the deepest parts of love—when our hearts wail out from having part of ourselves ripped away. When someone who was a very part of us has to leave, it is though we are critically wounded. There has to be a period of pain, recovery and healing where they were once so intermingled with our own soul. Though there is not much I can say or do to take that pain away; but I can love, pray and offer hope that one can heal and go forward on our own journey with You, Lord.
How wrong it would be of me to try to tell someone else not to feel the pain when there is no way around it. You did not even spare Jesus’ suffering, but turned it into good. How uncaring to not listen to their pain even if it might be uncomfortable for me. How thoughtless it would be to never mention their loved one’s name for fear it might cause them tears when they need to know others still remember their loved one. Let me never avoid a grieving person because of my own fear of what to say or do. Help me to simply stand by them, to offer a listening ear, to let them openly cry or laugh or voice any emotion—even if it seems irrational. Let me quietly let them go through their grief in their own personal way.
Father, there is no way any one single person can be there twenty-four hours a day as someone grieves for however long it takes. Life goes on and we all have to go on living. Yet I can gently keep pointing them to You—the one who never leaves us or forsakes us (even when those closest to us had to go.) Lord, through this intense suffering and personal loss, I pray they discover You in a new and more personal way than ever before. I know it happens through the heart-wrenching process of grieving. I am proof. Lord, I continue to pray that the books You helped me write (which are about to be released)—one for adults and one for children—will help others go through their personal journey of grief with hope as they look to You in the midst of their pain. Let them not fear as they hold Your hand as they travel through the shadow of the valley of death—for You are with them as they go through and find eternal hope and healing in You.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
“Then He (Jesus) said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.’ Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.’” Matthew 26:38-39
“I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13b
Prayer Prompt-
Father, I pray for __________ who is grieving…

Heavenly Father,
There is one thing I can absolutely count on—that You are with me, Lord.
You have been with me always—even before I was conceived You knew me and the plans You had for me. You have been with me when I felt all alone. You have been with me when it seemed the whole world was against me. You have been with me when I was so wrong and undeserving. You have been with me when I demanded my own way. You have been with me when I thought I knew it all and when I found out how little I knew. You have been with me through gut-wrenching cries and gushing tears of joy. You have been with me through painful heartbreak and happy reconciliation. You have been with me when I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from as well as times I thought I would burst if You added more blessings.
You have been with me through the births and deaths of those I love. You have been with me through both epic failures and celebrations of success. You have been with me through fearful situations where there was no apparent way out—where You opened up an unseen door to miraculous outcomes. You have been with me in dark evil places and brought me into glorious light. You have been with me when the enemy tries to destroy me, and have protected me more than I will ever know. You have been with me when I have complained, whined, balked, rebelled and sinned against You. You have been with me when I have been humbled by Your truth and have gladly surrendered to Your will.
Lord, You have never left me and I know You never will. You are always calling me forward to new places with You. When I am slow or reluctant to follow, You wait for me or urge me on. You have a final destination to take me, but You are with me on this journey right now. There is no where I can go where You are not with me. There is nothing I will face without You. What a beautiful assurance of Your love. You are with me always to the end of this age and beyond. I love You.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b

“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Prayer Prompt-
Father, thank You for being with me when…

Heavenly Father,
There is so much evil, tragedy and darkness that calls us to despair today. We hear of mass murder where many unarmed people are gunned down while enjoying music, of throngs of people walking unarmed to ask for their independence killed by machine guns, of terrorist attacks in neighborhoods and shopping areas, bombings and slavery just to name a few. It’s easy to give in to feeling hopeless about this world. But, Lord, since we belong to Your kingdom, our true citizenship is not of this world. We belong to You and we long for our true home where there is no more death, evil, hate, abuse, violence and disaster. Your kingdom is full of light, hope, love and peace. You have an eternal home waiting for us that is more than we could ever hope for.
Recently, I had the opportunity to work with the US Embassy in Cameroon, as I was trying to help my missionary friends when killing and violence broke out all around them. I had a rough awakening as I found that just because someone is a US citizen in a foreign country, that does not protect them from evil in this world. My friends were called by You to go to this country in Africa to shine out for You and spread the true hope found in Jesus Christ. They were called to be ambassadors for Your Kingdom which is not limited like earthly governments. They were called to go into a country which they knew could be unstable to bring the hope of eternity with You. They willingly went and they stayed in the midst of horror and chaos to hold out true hope.
That’s what You did for us in Jesus. You sent Him from heaven to be born as one of us, yet completely innocent. You sent Him to die for our sin, so we could receive eternal life with You. Because of Jesus, we have so much now (even in this crazy world) and so much more to look forward to. Yet there are so many who do not have that hope of a home with You. That’s why once we belong to Your kingdom, You send us as ambassadors into a dark chaotic world to share the hope of Jesus Christ. Will we give in to the hopelessness we see around us—or do we keep our eyes on You so we can continue help more people caught in the hopelessness find eternal life through Jesus Christ? Help us stand strong, remain calm in You, trust in Your plan, and tell the good news. Let us be ambassadors for Your eternal kingdom, Lord, wherever we happen to be in this harsh world.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:18
Prayer Prompt-
Father, let me keep my eyes on You so I can…