820) Prayers for Troubled Times

Help me, O Lord, to make a true use of all disappointments and calamities in this life, in such a way that they may unite my heart more closely with you.  Cause them to separate my affections from worldly things and inspire my soul with more vigor in the pursuit of true happiness.  Amen.

–Susanna Wesley (1669-1742), mother of John and Charles Wesley and 17 other children


O Lord, let me not desire health or life, except to spend them for Thee, with Thee, and in Thee.  Thou alone knowest what is good for me; do, therefore, what seems best to Thee.  Give to me, or take from me; and conform my will to Thine; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

–Blaise Pascal (17th century)


Lord, teach me the art of patience while I am well, and give me the use of it when I am sick.  In that day, either lighten my burden or strengthen my back.  Make me, who so often in my health have discovered my weakness in presuming on my own strength, to be strong in my sickness when I solely rely on your assistance.  Amen.

–Thomas Fuller


Almighty God, grant us grace to see beyond our present distress.  Strengthen us, we pray, and sow the seed of your Word in our hearts, that, with lively faith and love, we may see your loving hand, even in the sorrows and troubles of this mortal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

–source unknown

Blessed Lord Jesus, who knows the depths of loneliness and the dark hours of the absence of human sympathy and friendliness:  help me to pass the weary hours of the night and the heavy hours of the day as you did, and know that you are with me, as your Father was with you.  Lift up my heart to you; strengthen me for my duty; keep me constant to my trust, and let me know that however dark or desolate the hour, I am not alone, for you are with me.

–Old Army and Navy Service Book

Make my life a happy one, O Lord…
Not by shielding me from sorrow and pain, but by strengthening me to bear it if it comes.
Not by taking hardship from me, but by taking all cowardice and fear from my heart as I meet hardships.
Not by making my path easy, but by making me sturdy enough to tread any path.
Not by granting unbroken sunshine, but by keeping my face bright even in the shadows.
Not by making my life always pleasant, but by showing me where others need me most and by making me zealous to be there and to help…
God, make my life a happy one. Amen.

–source unknown

Give me, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give me an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give me an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside.  Amen.

–St. Thomas Aquinas


Gracious Father, be pleased to touch our hearts in time with trouble, with sorrow, with sickness, with disappointment, with anything that will keep them from being hard to the end, and leading us to eternal ruin.  Amen.

–Thomas Arnold (1795-1842), father of Matthew Arnold


In the tumult and trouble of our lives, O God, grant us your peace:  that we may be greater of soul for all that befalls us, and better fitted for your service by all our sorrows.  Deliver us, O God, from our little fears, and if ever the dark come upon us, let it be your darkness.  And when we hope for the wrong thing, let us wait in the dark until you can make us ready for what you have promised.

–adapted from prayers by Paul Sherer in Love is a Spendthrift


Let nothing disturb you; let nothing dismay you; all things pass.  God never changes.  He who has God, finds he lacks nothing.  God alone suffices.

–Teresa of Avila, 16th century nun

O God, let us not seek beyond Thee what we can find only in Thee, peace and rest, joy and blessedness.  Lift our souls above the round of harassing thoughts to your eternal Presence, and there be at rest from ourselves and from all things that weary us; and thence return, with thy peace within us, to do and to bear whatsoever pleases Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

–E. B. Pusey

Lord, since you have taken from me all that I had from you, yet of your grace leave me the gift which every dog has by nature:  that of being true to you in my distress, even when I am deprived of all consolation.  Amen.

–Mechthild of Magdeburg, 13th century German nun


Romans 5:1-5  —  Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.