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A prayer for our aching world

Read

‘I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us… We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.’ (Romans 8:18, 22-23, NIV)

“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.” (Isaiah 65:17-19, NIV)

Think

Our world is so full of brokenness. Often it can feel overwhelming, and we can find ourselves paralysed and unsure how to pray. We can feel overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of evil and brokenness around us; confused by the seemingly impossible situations, with no idea what could be done about them, and the heaviness and sorrow of living in a broken world can linger with us and rob us of hope. But it is important that to remember that we do not have to bear the burden of this broken world. Rather, we bring this world to the one who has all knowledge, wisdom, compassion and power. And we lay it at His feet.   

Prayerfully reflect on some of these questions, and write down any thoughts that the Holy Spirit inspires:

  • How do you feel when you read about pain and brokenness in our world? Do you feel overwhelmed by it? Have you become numb to it? What response do you think God wants you to feel?
  • Reflect on some of the aches and pains in the world right now. Which of them are you able to do something about? And which do you need to surrender to God in prayer? 
  • How does the promise of God’s New Creation fill you with hope, in the face of suffering, pain and injustice? 

Speak

Heavenly Father,
We pray for our aching world,
Torn as it is by suffering and pain;
Violence and war;
Division and oppression;
Sickness and famine;
Inequality and greed;
Pollution and corruption;
Fear and uncertainty;
Death and decay.

Our eyes are not not capable of seeing
The many needs of our world.
But nothing goes unseen by you.

Our minds are not capable of comprehending
The complexities of this world.
But your wisdom is loftier than ours. 

Our hearts are not capable of bearing
The grief and sorrow of our world.
But you have borne it all at the cross,
And you continue to bear it.

Resurrected King,
We look forward to the day of your return,
When you will right every wrong,
Dry every tear,
And heal our broken world. 

Come quickly, Lord Jesus, 

Amen

Share

This week, why not reach out to friends around you, perhaps those from your Connect Group or church community, and share your reflections on the questions above. You may also want to do some of the following:

  • Reach out to a friend who you know is in pain and ask them how they would like you to support them, both practically in prayer. 
  • If particular events or news stories have affected you this week, think about people you know who may be particularly triggered by them, and reach out to them, offering to talk and pray. 
  • Consider whether you have friends who are in positions where they are able to alleviate pain in this world in ways that you can’t. For example, they may live in a part of the world that is experiencing suffering, or work for an organisation that is helping particular people. Reach out to them and ask how you can support them in prayer.