[We all can think of a Christian sister or brother experiencing so much affliction they may not be able to pray for themselves. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]
SUFFERING COMES WITHIN AS WELL AS WITHOUT
“Yes, this anguish was good for me, for you have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins” (Isa 38:17 NLT).
FATHER, suffering comes in two forms: within—“the apparent desertion of the Bridegroom which is the most agonizing of the soul’s sufferings, and without, the persecuting malice of men and devils” Madame Guyon (ref#128, p442).
____ knows, O LORD, that Your rules are righteous (Ps 119:75) and (he/she) is not. Can You treat (him/her) more cruelly than (he/she) deserves? Never, (he/she) is never smitten as harshly as (his/her) sins deserve (ref#34, April 30, AM).
You, FATHER, have afflicted ____ in faithfulness. (Ps 119:75). But, LORD, see to (his/her) suffering within for it is most debilitating.
In ____’s despondency remove (his/her) anxious thoughts and forebodings, grant (him/her) a glad heart that has a continual feast regardless of circumstances (Prov 15:15). Make (him/her) delight in Your law so (he/she) will not perish in this affliction (Ps 119:92). You who make ____ see many troubles and calamities will revive (him/her) again (Ps 71:20).
Now that (he/she) lives among bitterness and crosses and is prostrate under a load of trouble and affliction, instill within (him/her) that (he/she) comes closest to being “all fair” in the Bridegroom’s eyes. In suffering (he/she) is “all fair” and there is no spot or deformity in (him/her) (ref#128, p 439-440, [Song 4:7])
Suffering scours out ____’s harsh, unyielding, bounded and limited nature that stands in the way of (his/her) happiness. This present suffering is not (his/her) fault nor is it offensive in Your sight; “it is simply a natural defect, derived from Adam, which (his/her) Bridegroom will insensibly take away” (ref#128, p440, [Song 4:7]). This circumstance may destroy (his/her) beauty in the eyes of people around (him/her), but (his/her) Bridegroom is most pleased for ____ has no longer any comeliness of (his/her) own. In CHRIST’s eyes through this suffering (he/she) has become possessed of true beauty (ref#128, p440, [Song 4:7]). In His time, CHRIST will “reanimate this annihilated soul” Madame Guyon (ref#128, p446, [Song 4:16]) and ____ will become His perfect bride.