But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, 

looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55–56 (NIV)

Lord Jesus, this scene from Stephen’s life underscores how you “rise to the occasion” of our greatest challenges. Stephen saw you standing at the Father’s right hand, and it made all the difference as he felt quite alone in an angry crowd, bent on his death.

Though few of us will be martyrs like Stephen, all of us are called to love and serve you in painful chapters and crises of life. We too need to see you standing at the Father’s right hand for us, praying and advocating for us. Grant us big grace, a palpable sense of your presence, and supernatural peace.

For friends wearing the label “terminal illness”, grant them a profound and palatable sense of your presence, Jesus. Because the Gospel is true, “terminal” is really “transitional”, for we have already passed from death to life—from judgment for our sin to favor with our God. Hallelujah, so many times over.

For couples in seasons of marital disconnect or stress, Jesus—Lord of resurrection and hope, merciful and mighty Savior, we ask you to do exceedingly beyond all we can ask or imagine. Rise for the occasion with healing in your wings and renewal in your hands.

We pray for friends caring for a family member with a memory loss or for a child battling addiction. We pray for the coronavirus crisis. We give you our own heart struggles—the ones we can easily voice, and the ones we don’t fully understand.

Jesus, you are a wonderful merciful Savior, and we are confident you will be exactly that in these situations, and other ones heavy on our hearts. Thank you, Lord. So very Amen we pray, in your glorious and grace-full name.