God Is With You When Life Feels Impossible
We often think of Psalm 23 as "that Psalm for funerals". This beautiful passage from God's Word is far more than something 'we stop and think about as we mourn'. God promises that He is with us all the days of our lives. God is especially with us when life feels dark, scary-or just "messed up".
In fact, He promises that He will never leave His children, because they will be with Him even after this mortal life is no more! Now that is good news-and not just good news for the life yet to come. That is the best news for us today, as we feel the weight of uncertainty in our lives and our world.
There is comfort in that reality for us today. God is with us, and He is never going to leave us. He loves us, and will guide us through this time to abundance and hope in Him-if we would just take Him by the hand as we walk through these dark times of life. That reality allows us to see our situation with more clarity, thankfulness, and perspective today.
In the biopic "Shadowlands" about the life of C.S. Lewis life, there is great fear and sorrow, as Lewis navigates love, faith, and the eventual loss of his wife Joy to cancer. Anthony Hopkins, who plays Lewis beautifully says the following, "I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God, it changes me".
God doesn't take us through times like this, through these shadowy days because we need to somehow change God's mind. These times don't happen because God is trying to destroy us out of spite or some sort of violent anger. No, as CS Lewis would tell us if he were today, God takes us through these shadowy times to change us, and make us more dependent on Him. It is important for us to remember this truth, as we all navigate the Shadowlands alongside of the Lord. He's walking alongside of us, even today.
Ask yourself this week:
- "What changes in my life as I daily acknowledge God is right beside me, no matter what I am going through?
- What is God teaching me about my need to depend on Him today?
- What is God showing me needs to be important in my life that I have neglected?
- What is God showing me is truly unimportant, though I have devoted so much of myself to it?
- As I pray during these days, what does God bring to my heart and mind over and over again? (Write those things down!)
Prayer and Scripture from World Vision:
Pray for people who are infected with COVID-19 or facing quarantine.
Jesus, during Your ministry on Earth You showed Your power and caring by healing people of all ages and stations of life from physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. Be present now to people who need Your loving touch because of COVID-19. May they feel Your power of healing through the care of doctors and nurses.
Take away the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation from people receiving treatment or under quarantine. Give them a sense of purpose in pursuing health and protecting others from exposure to the disease. Protect their families and friends and bring peace to all who love them.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
—Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Pray for people at higher risk of developing the disease.
Dear Lord, we lift to You our concern for people who are more likely than others to become severely ill from COVID-19 — the elderly and people with chronic health conditions. Protect them from harm and be their comfort in this time of uncertainty and, for many, preventive isolation from loved ones.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
—1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
Pray for medical professionals, caregivers, and researchers responsible for fighting the new coronavirus.
God, as more people get sick, healthcare workers and first responders are working longer hours with fewer supplies and with more risk of contracting the new coronavirus themselves. Renew their energy and sustain them on long shifts. Bring Your protection upon them as they work with patients. Multiply their supplies so they have the protective items needed to stay safe on the job.
Inspire and invigorate the research doctors developing better tests to diagnose the virus, create vaccines to prevent it, and identify protocols to eliminate the disease’s spread.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
—Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
Pray for leaders responsible for making decisions about the new coronavirus.
Father, we seek Your wisdom daily. Be with people making decisions that affect the lives and futures of our families, communities, countries, and the wider world. We pray that they communicate clearly, truthfully, and calmly — with each other and with the public — and that their messages are received and heeded. May truth and empathy be the touchstones of people setting policies for our protection.
He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers …
—2 Corinthians 1:10-11 (NIV)
Pray for families adjusting to new ways of life.
Holy Spirit, as families adjust to everyone being home as businesses and schools close, we ask that You guide people in their new realities. Give spouses grace for each other. Prompt worn-out parents to speak words of kindness and encouragement to their children. Help children find creative ways to experience the beauty of all You have created and continue learning.
Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
—Psalm 57:1 (NIV)
Pray for business owners and families facing financial stress.
Jesus, we thank You for Your faithfulness in how you have guided and equipped people in their jobs and have provided in the past. It can be scary and overwhelming not knowing how bills and obligations will be met or to not be able to provide for families. As people feel financial strain during the uncertainty, bring them comfort and peace, reminding them that You are there for them. Provide for them in their times of need.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
—John 14:27 (NIV)
Pray for grocery store workers and delivery drivers.
Lord, we are so grateful for all the people who continue to work each day so that people are able to eat. We ask that You bless and protect them as they serve. Give them grace to handle disgruntled customers during supplies shortages. Keep their bodies healthy as they unload and stock boxes of supplies. Keep their cars and trucks running smoothly as they deliver needed supplies and food people have ordered online. And please protect them all from contracting the new coronavirus.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
—Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
Pray for the disease to stop spreading.
Almighty God, we know that everything is in Your sovereign control. We ask that You keep this new coronavirus from continuing to spread. Give government officials the ability to safely handle people arriving from other countries. Help people decide to stay home instead of traveling or going out needlessly. Holy Spirit, remind people to wash their hands properly. And while it may be heartbreaking, comfort families as they decide to keep their distance from elderly or other high-risk family members.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea …
—Psalm 46:1-2 (NIV)