Praying Through Pain

By now, you have heard about the recent tragedy involving the Shipley School student who was a victim of suicide. As a person, I grieve the loss of a bright young man. As a pastor, my sympathy goes out to the family and the Shipley School. As part of a church community, anytime our neighbors experience loss, I am often moved to respond.

Last night, I met with students who are involved in StudentServe, our high school leadership team. We spent time talking about loss, how it affects students, families and the community. We processed the challenge of trusting God through our pain. As a group, we decided to respond through prayer.

We composed prayers in the form of a collet, an ancient structured prayer of petition. When we do not know the words to pray, using a collet can help to organize our sentiments and requests. I have included collect prayers from a few of our students, dedicated to our neighbors who are grieving and all who are facing loss and pain.

Dear Heavenly Father,

We praise and thank you for comforting us through our lives. We ask that you comfort all who knew Cayman and his family so that they can be at peace. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Dear God,

Thank you for being the strength we lean on. We ask for your strength to be given to those who need it and are struggling to ask for it. Help them to feel strong enough to carry on. In your name. Amen.

Dear Lord,

You support us through hard times. Bring grace and healing to the family who is facing this difficult time. May they find peace in your love. Amen.

In times of grief, perhaps our prayers echo the psalmist who wrote: “In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears” (Psalm 18:6). In a cry or a whisper, the psalmist reminds us to pray. Whatever we face, we can know that God hears our prayers and abides with us always.

Because everyone faces challenges and pressures of various kinds, we wanted to offer a time and space for youth, families or individuals to gather at the church. Anyone who might be facing difficulty or pain is invited to BMPC for an Open Space for Prayer, Reflection & Meditation next Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in the Converse House Parlor. You can come to pray, have a conversation or sit in silence. In partnership with The Middleton Center, I will be there to offer pastoral support.

May God’s peace be with you today.