A Prayer of Hope for Times of Storm and Stress

     But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. Isaiah 43:1-5 ESV

     Heavenly Father, the Scriptures are a balm for the broken, ballast for the bewildered, and bread for the hungry. This is especially good news this week in light of the devastating loss of life, livelihood and property, by the tornadoes and floods. Stunned, shocked, sad… these are a few of the emotions we feel.

     Your Word is both timeless and timely—a treasury to be mined and a voice to be trusted. You know what to say just when we need to hear from you. No god is as near as you are and no god is as good as you are, in every storm and stressful season. These words from Isaiah don’t simply give us promises to cling to, but a God to know well. We come to you now as you run to us in your Word.

     Father, you’ve created us and you’re redeeming us, all for your glory. You’ve summoned us by name, calling us to life in the gospel. You’ve given us a new name, and its “Mine.” There’s no sweeter name by which we could hope to be called. We praise you for the security of being in your family and embrace.

     We also praise you for your honesty. You’ve never promised we won’t experience floods and tornadoes, and fires and flames. But you do promise you’ll be with us at all times. To know you are near and to know you are good is all we really need. We’ll go anywhere and endure anything, as long as we’re certain you’ll never abandon, shame or reject us. In the gospel, you give us this certainty.

     Father, we know ourselves to be precious and honored in your sight, and greatly loved, only because you gave Jesus in exchange for us. Though Jesus was rich, yet for our sakes, he became poor, so that through his poverty we might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9). We praise you for the one and only truly indescribable gift! (2 Cor. 9:13) And since you didn’t spare your own Son, we can trust you graciously to give us everything else we need (Rom. 8:32), for every season and storm ahead.

     We don’t have to be afraid of anything or anyone. You are with us and you are for us. Continue to write bigger and better stories of redemption than we, ourselves, would ever choose to pen. We pray, in Jesus’ bold and beautiful name.