TRIALS

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Study the word “trials.” Within the letters and within life, we experience them as rugged trails, part of our journey that keeps us from feeling too comfortable with the world, moving us to draw more deeply from God’s strength. 

James, the half-brother of Jesus wrote,

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work,
that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking nothing.
James 1:2-4 NKJV
 
Father God,
thank You for walking with us,  even carrying us through the fires of life. When we pass through the flames, arriving on the other side, we pray that as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, our experience may impact those within our realm of influence, strengthening the faith of others even into future generations. The fires will not harm us. The hairs on our heads are numbered and none of them are singed. Our robes of praise and righteousness will not be scorched. We bear no stench of smoke, but rather bear the beautiful Fragrance of Christ. The fires will not harm us, but instead strengthen and purify.
 
Every morning
I lay out the pieces of my life
on your altar
and watch
for fire to descend.
Psalm 5:3 The Message
    
   
Father God,
I offer You the pieces of my brokenness and most humbly request that You receive them to rearrange my life according to Your Desire.
    
   
O God of my destiny and delight,
when adverse circumstances overwhelm me, please stir my heart to move even deeper into Your Presence. Help me to recognize these seasons as opportunities to humiliate the enemy of all souls as I walk boldly through these doors of desperation with praises overflowing from the depths of my innermost being.
    


As we confront the difficult days of our destinies, Your Face is ever before us, speaking Words of Comfort and Hope, calling us to turn our eyes from our circumstances that we may focus on You.
 “Fear not, for I am with you.
Simply follow where I lead.”
As a woman in labor, moves beyond her pain to embrace new life, so You walk with us through the Valley of Weeping, Your Tears blending with ours to become a place of refreshing springs where pools of blessings collect after each tempest. Without You, we can do nothing. With You, all things are possible that are in accordance with Your sovereign Will. Therefore, we praise You for the profound and wonderful Blessing of the storm…
    

   
O God of all Creation and Eternity,
Your Plan is magnificent and flawless. Even in death there is no darkness, for the stone was rolled away releasing the Light of all the world in Whom there is no darkness. And since You have promised that You will never leave us nor forsake us, even in the tomb the glorious Light of Your great and awesome majesty inspires and embraces us.
    
   
Lord God,
You are my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear? You are the Strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the spiritual enemies of my soul rise against me, they will stumble and fall, cursed and crushed under the Power of Your holy Word and the glory of Your awesome Majesty. Though a multitude should rise against me, I will cling tightly to Your mighty Hand, pursuing the Peace found only in Your Presence that my heart might not fear. Though war should rise against me in the spiritual and physical realms, in You I will remain confident. For kings and kingdoms will crumble away, Your Throne exalted before them, bringing all into Judgment ~ Perfect Justice as You reign as King forever in a Kingdom ~ Eternal, Unshakable. For this may we labor with all excellence and diligence for Your honor and glory and praise. Maranatha. Come quickly, Lord.
 
(Inspired by Psalm 27:1-3)
    
   
Lord, Your Ways are mysterious and amazing. Miserable circumstances give rise to desperation. Desperation gives birth to fervent pleas that rise before Your Throne of Grace, invoking events that cannot be set into play until or unless our petitions are filled with sincere passion. There are things that You long to do in us and through us, but our hearts must be ready to receive The Blessing. Yes, I can take joy in my current trial, fully recognizing that as You meet each need it will result in abundant thanksgiving to Your praise and glory - a testimony for future generations! So Father, in my distress, I cling to my faith and the Promise that You will perfectly complete every detail that concerns me as the Presence of Your Holy Spirit guides my every step through this fire which transforms me and as Your loving Hand tenderly reaches down from Heaven to wipe away my tears.
    
   
Father,
please lock those who are hurting fast within the chambers of my heart. May it continually beat to lift prayers saturated with my love and compassion, and the Blood of Jesus to Your holy Throne of Grace that these may enjoy the peace of Your Presence throughout this season of heartache. In every detail of their crisis, may they be drawn closer to You. I ask this that You might be honored and glorified in my prayers and activities to comfort them.
In the tender and eternal Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
    
   
Father,
life is perfectly laced together with joy and sorrow, laughter and tears, great wrestlings and peace that surpasses all human understanding. It isn’t necessary that we understand it, rather that we simply take Your Hand and follow, for every step will only lead us closer to You.


Father,
this season of trial is difficult beyond measure. Yet I feel a wonderful sense of Your Presence that sustains me, embracing me with peace, comfort, and even joy. As I walk through the fire, the Breath of Your Spirit cools and refreshes me. In this, I seek only to know You better and to execute Your Perfect Will. I want my attitude and activities to be pleasing to You. Your Cup of Wine contains no bitter dregs, for Your Touch sweetens all things. May this season of testing produce a testimony that leads vast multitudes into Your Kingdom.
    
   
You are The Friend to Whom I may turn to share my desperations, my anxieties, and the torment of my loneliness. You do not condemn me, for You understand these feelings as they have also been Your companions. Your Spirit and Your Word guide me, pouring out Comfort, Discernment, Peace, and Wisdom.
Help me to respond to every adversity with obedience and tender love. It isn’t easy, Father, for there are times when I want to sacrifice Your righteousness for what I perceive as “my right” - which only leads to greater frustration and sorrow. Move my heart far from the destructive strategic suggestions of the enemy of all souls that the motives of my heart and my conduct may steadily bear Your Light within this darkness, bring unity to those who are divided, and give You joy.
To You be the glory of every Victory…
    
   
God of all comfort,
I am so frail and weak. The circumstances of life press against me. Fear, discouragement, and uncertainty seek to overwhelm me. These emotions tear at my soul.
I am nothing, but You are Everything to me. I have no resources or power with which to resolve this crisis moment. But You possess all things, even the very breath of all humanity and every moment of time throughout Eternity. The strongest human or demonic power, or even the sum of all powers combined, are but a puff of smoke to You.
I climb into Your Presence to give You adoration, for I know that Your Love and Care for me are genuine and faithful. I cling to Your Nearness even though I cannot see You, even though I may not feel You… You are the Light in my grave darkness. You are the Strength within my weakness. You wipe away my tears. I live to love You. You are with me. You have promised never to leave me alone. You are faithful to Your Promises. My destiny is certain. Your Hand is upon me. I belong to You.
    
   
O Lord, please hear my prayer.
I try to remain patient as I wait for Your faithful Answer. My spirit is overwhelmed by the circumstances confronting me. The turmoil is fierce - tearing at my heart, attempting to seize the peace You have given me. As I think about Your Majesty throughout all Creation, I am awed that You would condescend to listen to me.
When I consider all You’ve done for me - blessings that cannot be measured - my heart bows in reverent adoration. With all of my being I thirst for You as a wilting forest craves water to survive. I need You. I am desperate for Your Presence! Please allow me to feel Your nearness in the newness of every moment. I trust You to show me which way I should walk.
All that I am and ever hope to be, do, or have, I fully surrender to Your sovereign Will. You are my Shelter – my Strong Refuge.
Train me to live enthusiastically within the boundaries of Your sovereign Will. Lead me throughout every step of my mortal and immortal life.
Revive me for Your Name’s sake!
Please hold me tightly in the midst of every storm…
In Your Mercy, cut off and crush those demonic forces which seek to diminish or destroy Your Plan for me.
When I am tested, please give me strength to stand firm, that You may be honored, for I am Your servant.
 
(Inspired by Psalm 143)
    
   
Father,
we come asking that You wrap Your tender Arms around those who grieve over the death of a loved one. Please touch their broken hearts, and may Your Holy Spirit be their Source of all Comfort. Draw and sustain them with Your Presence. May they rejoice in Your eternal Plan that loves us perfectly beyond this human existence. May they recognize that the death of a Christian is actually a Gift of Life.
    
   
We can never know what our specific future holds. Yet one thing is certain, You will orchestrate every detail of our lives for our personal and eternal good - no matter how we feel about our circumstances - for You know the future - the days You have planned for us. So we choose to allow Your Love for us, our love for You, and our trust in You regarding every detail of our destinies, to fully consume every fear that we may fully embrace Your Plans for us and in doing so, cling fast to Your Nail-scarred Hand every breath of the way.
    
 
I’m tired of this journey.
I struggle to find strength to carry on, for my cross is exceedingly heavy; I must lay it at Your Feet. Please come and carry me. I am DESPERATE for Your Presence, for that’s where I find Your Strength and Joy. My soul is fainting for You, please draw me close to Your Heart, and breathe upon me my Lord, my God, my King…
    

 
Do not be afraid or discouraged,
for the Lord will personally
go ahead of you.
He will be with you;
he will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT
 

   
Father,
I pray for all who are hurting. Bear them up and carry them under the shadow of Your holy Wings. Please hide them from every strategy and snare of the evil one. Crush every fear and all anger. May they seek and know the comfort of Your Holy Spirit, the warmth of Your Embrace, the nearness of Your Presence, the touch of Your holy Hands, the power of Your healing Love and the perfection of Your Ways. And if there is anything I may do to ease their suffering, please show me where to go and what to do, for in ministering to others, I minister to You.
    
   
Death is a great mystery. We dread it, and yet we long for it as it represents the threshold of Eternity for all of humanity, regardless of one’s religious or irreligious beliefs.
Your Imagination displayed throughout creation is Flawless. The thought that You would prepare a place that far surpasses the glimpses of Your Majesty on display throughout the earth, seas, and heavens staggers the imagination. For those who love You and follow Your Ways, Eternity is so glorious that You’ve hidden its treasures and secrets that we may focus now on the fields white unto Harvest. What an inexpressible delight it shall someday be!
Yes, Lord, as I trust You with my life, I wholly trust You with my death. I belong to You.

   
Father,
we lift up our eyes to Your heavens, and from there look down upon earth below. The heavens will someday vanish away – as smoke. The earth You created will grow old ~ like a dingy, tattered t-shirt. All that You’ve created will die and decay in like manner.
But Your Salvation stands firm forever. Your Righteousness can never be abolished. Your Law is firmly inscribed upon our human hearts.
Help me to not fear the reproach of men nor be afraid of their revilings. They will die also and face Judgment. O Father God, that they would open their hearts and minds to You, longing to spend their eternal destinies in Your holy Presence and Love.
Many will rise against us, yet You are our Comfort and Joy. Why should we fear man when You are on our side? You have conquered death and the grave. You have covered us with the shadow of Your Hand. We are Your children forever. O mighty God, be praised!
 
(Inspired by Isaiah 51:6-16)
    
   
Jesus, You are the Prince of Peace.
Please come and reign within the innermost chambers of these heavy anxious hearts.
As we ache over the circumstances our children must face, we know the pain pales in comparison to Your Love and deep Commitment toward them. Please plant within them a dynamic abiding sense of Your Presence. Give them a confident trust in Your Master Plan.
May the concerns, distractions, and demands of each day in no way hinder their enjoying a childlike trust in You. This is a struggle, Father, as there are so many demands competing for time, energy, and emotions. For this reason we ask for a greater measure of faith. May they hear the Beat of Your Heart as You gently carry them in the shadow of Your sacred Wings.
Amen
    
   
We lift up our eyes to You, O God.
Deep within our hearts we acknowledge that our help comes from You, the Master and Creator of all Heaven and Earth. You’ve promised You will not allow our feet to be moved. You never slumber, You never sleep, but as a Father, You watch over us at all times and in all places. You are our Keeper – the Shade at our right hand. The sun shall not strike us by day nor the moon by night. You shall preserve us from every form of evil. You shall preserve our souls. You shall preserve our going out and our coming in from this time forth and even forevermore.
We praise You for this Promise. May we be a people who diligently seek You and desire to execute Your Kingdom Will regardless of the cost.
 
(Inspired by Psalm 121)
    

There are times of desperation
when I don’t know what to do,
all I see are circumstances,
but all I want to see is You.
When the stormy clouds of darkness
seem to veil my broken heart,
Your Holy Spirit breaths on me
releasing me…
Lord, I know
You’re in the clouds.
You’re in the rain.
You’re in the lightning
and the thunder.
Hallelujah to Your Name.
You’re in the night.
You’re in the day.
You’ll never leave me
nor forsake me.
You will never go away.
And I will praise You for
Your Presence guiding me
when the road seems dark
and my eyes just can’t see.
​~~~
I’ll trust in You and
I will follow close behind.
I will walk within
Your Footsteps –
every mountain I will climb.
Clinging tightly to Your Hand
that holds creation,
I claim this suffering
as a time of celebration.
For I know that You’re
my Father,
and I thank You
I’m Your child.
And I will praise You for
Your Presence guiding me
when the road seems dark
and my eyes just can’t see.
For I know that
You’re my Father,
and I thank You
I’m Your child.
I will walk within
Your Footsteps –
every mountain I will climb.
Clinging tightly to Hand
that holds creation,
I claim this suffering
as a time of celebration.
 
(a song)

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