"Be brave. Be strong. Don't give up.
Expect God to get here soon."
Psalm 31:24 MSG
Okay, the Psalm above is my newest encouragement prayer! I'm going to teach this one to the grands.
Picking up a prisoners' prayer list from church transformed my perspective on my day. What do these individuals give thanks for? Giving thanks in tough times can be a tough order. I've been praying with several friends who are surrounded by family members in situations involving prison time, house arrest, or legal limitations.
These are not quick fixes. In one friend's case she's been waiting thirty years for her son to get out of prison. Whenever these people share their updates my first thought is, "God, what good can come from this?" Then in a mental flash I'm reminded He can work all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose. So the first prayer becomes one of salvation for all parties involved. Then we need to pray Psalm 31:24 together!
The She Reads Truth entry for this day states:
"It's easy to forget that all songs of thanksgiving don't have the same sound....I can guess that many of the Psalms were instructed to be played 'with sorrow.' God doesn't ask us to silence our sorrow in favor of thanksgiving. Rather, He uses our sorrow to proclaim a type of thanksgiving we wouldn't be able to express otherwise...Thanksgiving doesn't devour your sorrow, but it acknowledges the Glory
that will. The thanks be to Him who says our sorrows will be worth it. The giving of our souls to say that, even if our earthly hopes have been deferred, our eternal hope will never be lost."
"If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there;
if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath."
Psalm 34:18 MSG
"You've kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book."
Psalm 56:8 MSG
Father, you've kept track of my every toss and turn through sleepless nights, each tear that has dropped down my cheek and every ache in my heart. When I think no one knows or cares how I feel, I can give thanks that the One who created me holds me in the palm of his hand and doesn't miss a moment. For if my heart is broken, if I've been kicked in the gut, if I sense no one hears my cry, I need only look to You and see You are right there to hold me up and carry me until I can take the next step. I can give thanks in all things because You are with me in all things. In Jesus' Name, Amen