Daily Reading: Psalm 22:1–5, 19

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? (Ps. 22:1)

I couldn’t pray. I’d been hurt so badly. One day during this ordeal I felt so heartbroken I remember lying on the floor almost howling in my pain. I couldn’t even talk to God about it. I remembered Paul had written, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31). But I wasn’t sure God was still “for” me. If He was, where had He been when I’d been hurt?

Eventually I talked to one of my friends. When I finished spilling out the whole story, she said, “Mary, it’s okay if you can’t pray right now. Your friends are here to carry you in prayer for this season in your life. We’ll pray not only for you, but in your place. And we’ll ask God to enable you to reach out to Him again.”

When Jesus prayed in the garden just before His crucifixion, He begged His friends to pray with Him and for Him—but they didn’t. They fell asleep and missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to support in prayer the Son of God while He suffered and agonized over what He knew lay ahead.

Do you have a friend who’s facing an ordeal? A loss, perhaps, or an illness? Will you wait to be asked, or will you carry that person in prayer today? Someone you know needs your prayers—right now. Don’t wait, and when you’ve lifted up your friend, let him or her know you’re there supporting, walking alongside, leading the way to the throne of grace.

Carry a hurting friend in prayer today.

Mary McNeil lives in Erie, Pennsylvania, and enjoys jet-skiing, sailing, reading, and hanging out with her family and three dogs.