Will you Pray? (8 things I’ve learned to ask for when asked to pray)


Every once in a while a text message pops up that stops you in your tracks.

The faces and words are always different but the message is the same:

“something unexpected and nearly unspeakable is happening, has happened… our hearts are sinking, will you pray?”

I’ve been on both sides of these messages in my life, I’ve both sent and received prayers with a crumbling heart.

Today one of those messages came through, just now at the tail end of naps, while I was doing nothing but warming our couch and waiting for the my son to cry out signaling the end of his afternoon snooze.

Often when I realize that someone I love is hurting I burry my face into the carpet and bring them to Our Father in a wordless sort of way, because ultimately he knows.

Yet I am striving for the sort of relationship with Christ where I try put words to my requests, in a very real, descriptive, relational sort of way.

When faced with breaking hearts, what am I asking for?  What do I mean when I say I will pray?

All too often I start off with a bit of vain anger, how could he allow this in the first place?  Can’t he just undo it, turn back the clock?  This is a prayer I’m prone to get stuck on so I’m trying to move past it, it does me no good.

So what do I/we ask when we intercede for the breaking hearts of our people, our family?

1) We pray for peace.  Because with peace the human heart can believe that even though life is all broken apart right now, someday it will come together again.

2) We ask for space to process the awful news.  When tragedy strikes life often gets so busy that the heart screams for quiet, So Dear God, may quiet come before screaming is required.

3) May God grant basic provision of meals, water bottles, rent and the clothing they need to move through this season.  For me when my life was in shambles some of my dearest gifts were cold water bottles and checks to cover the rent when I was too caught up in grief to make it to work.

4) We ask that those they interact with are miraculously understanding and kind, may even the strangers at the coffee shops and gas stations show an unexplainable compassion  to these broken hearts.

5) We ask for a torrential outpouring of love, may they never feel alone in their dark times.  May they feel as though they are moving through their days fueled by the power of the prayers of those that love them desperately.

6) May there be mountains of Mercy in the details of their pain.  Whether it is amazing medical staff, fantastic funeral directors or smooth travel plans may the details be so smooth that they look back and see your fingerprints all over the place.

7) Grant them Grace when they come across the books, cards, songs and souls who try to oversimplify their broken heart with trite words.

8) We pray that they will not lose the light of hope in their life, that God shows it to them around every corner, always bathing them in a soft light, just enough to see by but not so much that they’re blinded by it.

Every situation is different, no two souls on earth move through dark seasons the same way.  This list is generic and lacks the specifics that come with lifting before God someone whose face we know by heart.

Yet there is something universal in our need for grace, hope and cold water, isn’t there?

When you’re asked to pray, what does your heart beg of Our Father on behalf of the hurting?

  • Sheri

    What beautiful words. My famiy went through a life changing trial in 2008 & were so very blessed by our church family coming along side us. These prayers are absolutely perfect to pray when someone is going through any trial. Bless you & I will keep you & whomever the text was from (including those affected by this news) in my prayers.

    • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

      Thank you Sherri, I’ve felt the love of a great church in hard seasons and its an amazing gift.

  • http://annegirl.blogspot.com Anne Vermeulen

    I love this. I would never say it in the moment of the pain hitting, because I’d deserve a huge slap in the face, but in my own scream-inducing moments of darkness throughout my life, the crap I get served is used by God to make some of the most beautiful “flowers” that bless myself, bless others. It doesn’t mean I don’t sorely miss the person I lost, or grieve the circumstances that will never again be, but the fruit of that, er, crap flower is undeniably sweet, redeeming, and healing.

    Incidentally, that’s the name of my new band. CRAP FLOWER.

    • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

      Great thoughts, great band name. Let me know when your first EP hits 😉

  • http://2dayichoose.blogspot.com Anna

    I often feel hopeless, wordless, in the face of deep pain. Thank you for this post.

  • Judi Tieri

    Penny, it is so difficult for me to even imagine all you have been through with your family. I have no words so many times. And yet, the wisdom you impart to those of us who stumble through a prayer, is truly a gift from God. At times I will audibly say “Ok, now where do I begin when my heart is broken, or a friend needs prayers? Thanks again for giving me a new starting point.

  • BeautifulBeret

    The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18 When you think of all the brokenheartedness across the world, this verse is a mystery. Allowing mystery is an important part of healing.

    • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

      Oh yes. Amen and yes

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