A Prayer for the Brokenhearted

It happened to me again today.

A friend shared some devastating circumstances and asked for prayer. Without hesitating, I responded, “Yes! Absolutely. Praying now.”

But when I stopped to pray, the words became stymied. I wanted to utter a quick, “God, help them” and move on to washing dishes and making peanut butter-and-honey sandwiches. My humanness wanted to turn prayer into an item on my to-do list rather than what my friend really needed: someone to lament alongside her, someone willing to enter in to her pain.

Out of my desire to offer more than lip service, a prayer surfaced.

Because I know how hard it can be to find words in times of struggle, especially when the struggle isn’t ours, I share it with you. Together may we stand in the gaps for those who are hurting, who are raw and ravaged and in need of grace.



You tell us you are Almighty. Powerful and patient. Your wisdom we cannot comprehend. Your faithfulness evident throughout the ages.

And yet we struggle to see you now. Pain has descended like fog, clouding the evidence of your grace. God, help us know you are here. Come close to the brokenhearted. Even if answers aren’t present, help us remember that you are.

And, Lord, I want to follow suit. Help me be close to those who are hurting, to push past the awkwardness and discomfort and to stand in the gaps for those who are wounded. Help me to show up again and again. Give me eyes to see needs and the compassion to respond. Don’t let my heart be satisfied with “I’m sorry” but make it willing to enter the mess.

Spirit, comfort the brokenhearted. Fill the void with your kindness, the grief with your grace. And may your glory be evident to all.

You are good. You are faithful. You are enough.


The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
—Psalm 34:17-18 (NIV)

feature image: Ben White via Unsplash

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