United in Prayer: Day 14



  • 21 Days of Prayer

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of ASia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 

2 Corinthians 1:3-11


Though we all come from different walks of life, there is one thing every single one of us has experienced: suffering. We have all grown up in a world that is the product of the fall and one that has been ravaged by sin. Because of this, we experience every kind of suffering under the sun. Some of what we experience is minute. It happens, we find a way to cope with it, and, after a few days, we’re okay. But then, there’s a whole different kind of suffering. One that Paul describes in this passage as being beyond their ability to handle. When we experience that kind of suffering, how are we supposed to respond? 

We have to rely on God. That’s the response that Paul models for us. He says that the experience taught them to rely on God rather than themselves and they have set their hope in God that he will continue to deliver them! But, he also models something else in this passage. The power of praying for others. After telling the church in Corinth about how they’ve learned to rely on Jesus, he points out the help they’ve received from the church’s prayers. They can feel the impact of their prayers even in the midst of great suffering!

Even Jesus himself desired others to pray for him in the midst of great suffering. In the Garden of Gethsemane, soon before he would die an excruciating death on the cross, he gathered those closest with him to go to the mountain to pray. In light of what Jesus knew he would soon experience, he desired to be in the presence of his disciples and to pray together in the face of the extreme suffering he was about to experience. 

Suffering is not something any person asks for. We don’t enjoy the difficult circumstances brought on by it. But, in the midst of suffering too difficult to bear, are we willing to put our trust in God? Are we willing to pray for others who are undergoing suffering? As you gather for prayer today, reach out to others you might know who are suffering. Give them a call or set up a meeting to sit down and pray for them. 

Prayer for Strengthening Churches:
Jesus, we are so thankful that you modeled how to respond to suffering and hardship. We know that you suffered greatly, so you know best how to comfort us in our suffering – whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual. You also use the body to minister comfort to others through our prayers and through pointing people to God, who raises from the dead.


If you've enjoyed this excerpt from our United in Prayer guide and would like to join us for our 21 Days of Prayer, we invite you, your church leaders, pastors, staff and congregation to unite with us. To access all of our resources and let us know that you are praying with us, click here: converge.org/21-days-united-in-prayer

Converge, National

Converge is a movement of churches working together to help people meet, know and follow Jesus. We do this by starting and strengthening churches together worldwide.

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