A Sufferer’s Prayer
By Maria Fontaine
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This is a prayer I read from one who was suffering and feeling that the pain would never end. This is a prayer for you who feel like you can’t cope much longer. This is also something you can share with others whom you desire to comfort. This is a prayer to Jesus from a fellow sufferer.
Best of all, following the prayer is a message from Jesus to you who are suffering. He was also a fellow sufferer and is now our constant companion. He understands, because He has been there.
Dear Lord, I am lying here staring at the ceiling, wondering if my words even reach the attic. Every time I move, it hurts. I try to think peaceful thoughts, but the pain barges in. I try to hum an old hymn of comfort, but the pain steals the tune. I try to watch the life that is happening outside the window—the sun on the leaves, a squirrel doing his high-wire act—then the pain draws the curtain. I try to listen to the sounds of everyday living—a lawnmower, children calling back and forth, onions sizzling in a frying pan—but the pain stops my ears.
Finally I try to befriend the pain, negotiate a compromise, settle accounts in hopes of a truce. Sweet Jesus, I don’t want the pain to win. But I’m so tired from the battle. The pain holds all the cards, the upper hand.
Dear Lord, please clear my thoughts, raise the curtain, unstop my ears, come to my side of the negotiating table. The pain will still be here, but I will also have comfort. I ask this, Jesus, for I am running out of tears. And tears are all I have to offer You. Dear Jesus, grant me courage.—John Tuft
My beloved friend, please know that I’m right here with you; I haven’t left your side, even for a second. I’ve heard your every prayer, even the ones that you haven’t had the strength or the faith to pray. I’ve seen every tear, and I know and understand everything that you’re going through.
Although it’s probably difficult for you to see the ways that I and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, have been helping you and giving you the grace that you’ve needed, We truly have been; please believe Me. Haven’t you already been able to endure much, much more than you ever thought possible, more than you would have imagined that you could ever possibly bear? I know that you don’t feel very courageous or strong, but you’ve been much braver than you realize.
There have been so many times when you felt that you just couldn’t take it another second, and yet you’ve miraculously kept on going, enduring and overcoming, by My grace. You still cling to Me by faith with every ounce of strength that you can muster, even when you feel like you don’t have any strength left. And when you wish with everything within you that the pain would stop, and you can’t manage any more tears, and yet the pain persists, even then you hang on, doing your best to trust Me. You still look to Me to help you make it through another day, another night.
I know that you long for the day when you’ll no longer have to endure, when you’ll be completely free of pain. That day will come, My love, in My perfect time. Look forward to it, and let that bright hope encourage your heart. That’s what I did during My times of insufferable pain and heartache. As the book of Hebrews puts it, it was because of the joy that was set before Me that I was able to walk the path of pain and endure the cross.1
So please know, My dear one, that you’re never alone. I’m your constant companion. That won’t make the pain disappear, but I pray that it will make it easier for you to bear it. If it helps, you can think of Me as being your “partner in pain,” for I truly have been there. I know how difficult it is.
I faced the same agony of spirit and the same temptations as you. I prayed that there could be another way, that My destiny and mission in life could somehow be accomplished in a different manner. I agonized and cried out from the depths of My heart, “If possible, let this cup pass from Me.” But He loved you and the whole world so much that He had to turn His back to Me temporarily.2
Even though pain and death and hell appeared to be winning the battle against Me, in the end, My Father and I were holding the trump card, and by His grace, My mission was accomplished and the victory was won! That day will come for you, too, dear one. And you too will be free and victorious. I know that it seems as if it’s taking forever. It seemed that way for Me as well. But it will come at just the right time, I assure you. So when all else fails, and just trying to focus on the things around you doesn’t help, try your best to think about Me and look forward to the joy that is to come.
In the meantime, rest in Me. Come to Me, and I will give you rest. I know you feel weak and as if you don’t have enough faith. Don’t worry. You don’t need to try to muster up faith, for I see your heart. I know that you believe. Just reach out to Me with whatever strength you have, and I will do the rest. Shut your eyes and ears to all that is around you, and let Me whisper My words of comfort and love to your heart. When you feel that you don’t even have the strength to talk to Me, just think about Me, and know that I am thinking about you.
Everything that I went through on earth, I went through for you. I died for you. I love you, and I will never leave your side, ever.—Jesus, speaking in prophecy
Sorrow is a fruit; God does not allow it to grow on a branch that is too weak to bear it.—Victor Hugo
Just when we cry, “I can’t take it anymore,” Jesus is there to say, “I know, I care; I did, you can.”—Author unknown
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, help of the helpless, oh abide with me.—Henry Lyte
The storm of circumstances may seem to threaten my soul, but Jesus is still on board with me, and the echo of His command, “Peace, be still!” is able to calm not only the storm around me but also the disquiet of my own heart.—Author unknown
Originally published June 2011. Republished on Anchor June 2015.
Read by Maria Fontaine.