We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through

in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 2 Cor. 1:8-9 (NLT)

Heavenly Father, we are grateful you are “the God who raises the dead,” not the coach who barks, “Do more, try harder.” On your time schedule, everything sad will come untrue, every tear will be wiped, and everything broken will be made new, and This is our peace, joy, and hope.

Father, it’s because of your mercy and grace for us in Jesus that we freely bring to you the things that have the power to weight us down. Though our details differ from Paul’s story, we too know what it feels like to run out of gas, feel vulnerable, and stare our insufficiency in the face.

So, forsaking self-reliance, we abandon ourselves to Jesus, and ask you to bring resurrection power into the stories that weary us, discourage us, and/or anger us.

Father, some of us are “spent” trying to find answers and relief, not for ourselves, but for one of our kids, a spouse, or a good friend. It’s easier to deal with our pain than someone else’s. Help us, Lord.

Some of us are in relationships that feel quite one-sided. Whether at home, work, or socially. The gospel calls us to be foot-washers, but not doormats. Show us the difference, Father. Give us wisdom, courage, and grace.

Keep us profoundly alive to the love of Jesus, and very far from resentment and bitterness. Keep us 100 times more aware of what we DO have in Jesus than what we’ll never get from anyone else.

Empower us to pray without ceasing, hope without doubting, and love without fearing. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ triumphant and tender name.