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A Prayer to Grieve with Others - Your Daily Prayer - April 19

When we witness pain, both our own or the pain of others, instead of trying to gloss over grief, let’s practice grieving with them.

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A Prayer to Grieve with Others 
By Ashley Moore

“What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him, visit him every morning and test him every moment? How long will you not look away from me, nor leave me alone till I swallow my spit? If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind? Why have you made me your mark? Why have I become a burden to you? Why do you not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now I shall lie in the earth; you will seek me, but I shall not be.” - Job 7:17-21, ESV

They are saying there is no heartbeat. I couldn’t make my mind comprehend what my husband was saying. Our friends checked into labor and delivery that morning. We received a text from their mom saying today was the day. How could this be?

Many of us don’t love the Book of Job. Job experienced so much tragedy. It is terrifying to think about how God allowed Satan to terrorize this man. To add insult to injury, Job’s friends attempt to comfort him but make things worse. But the straw that breaks the camel's back, God is seemingly silent the entire time Job’s drama unfolds. I want us to camp out today in the middle of Job’s grief and lament. I don’t want us to do what Job’s friends did and miss the importance of this part. Let’s examine our propensity to shy away from the hard stuff and our inability to tolerate the grief of others, shall we?

Have you ever felt inclined to quickly defend God's character when a friend shares bad news by saying something like, “God will work this out for good.”? Or maybe you minimize your own pain because you assume it is making others uncomfortable by saying, “We are going to be okay!”. Perhaps you resonate with Job’s friends who cast judgment when you witness someone experiencing hardship. Do you ask yourself, “ I wonder what they did to cause that?”

I know I have thought and done every single one of these things. And while we mean well, sometimes these statements and thoughts are unhelpful and unnecessary at best. Re-read Job’s words. This time, listen to the excruciating pain he is experiencing:

What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him, visit him every morning and test him every moment? How long will you not look away from me, nor leave me alone till I swallow my spit? If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind? Why have you made me your mark? Why have I become a burden to you? Why do you not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now I shall lie in the earth; you will seek me, but I shall not be. - Job 7:17-21, ESV

When we witness pain, both our own or the pain of others, instead of trying to gloss over grief, let’s practice grieving with them. We don’t need to defend God’s character or comfort with ill-timed Bible band-aids. Instead, let’s be tender to them and sensitive to the Holy Spirit. As we walk through life and experience trials and hardships, both our own and those of others, may we depend on the Holy Spirit and weep with those who weep. 

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord,
Thank you that you are not far away when we suffer, even if it feels that way. Thank you for stepping into our suffering and walking with us through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4). Lord, please forgive us when we stumble through feeble attempts to comfort others who are hurting. God, give us your words to say and wisdom on what to do for our heartbroken friends. Break our hearts for what breaks yours and teach us not to grieve your Spirit but to grieve with others. Amen. 

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/max-kegfire

Ashley MooreAshley Moore is a writer and host of be the two™podcast. She is known for her relatability and for passionately writing and speaking about mental, emotional, and relational health from a biblical worldview. She has written for Kingdom Edge MagazineGuidepostsCrosswalkThe Secret PlaceenLIVEnThe Bubbling Brook and more. If Ashley isn't writing, you can find her with her husband, three children, and two floppy-eared Goldens on their south Georgia farmland. The best way to connect with Ashley is to grab a free devotional or Bible study and join her newsletter at free.ashleynicolemoore.com.

Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!

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Christianity / Devotionals / Your Daily Prayer / A Prayer to Grieve with Others - Your Daily Prayer - April 19