Prayers of Suffering


By Pastor Vinnie Cappetta

"Prayers of Suffering"

I have a prayer guide that I am fond of reading each morning. It suggests a Psalm for me to read once each day for a week. I have made it a habit to share these Psalms with the people I counsel and to pray the Psalm over them. Many times I notice that people are deeply moved by the Psalms as if I had chosen it especially for them or like the writer of the Psalm had them in mind when he wrote it. But what gives us the right to claim these Psalms as our own? And why are they such effective prayers?

Bonhoeffer answers both of those questions... “We can and we should pray the Psalms of suffering, not to become completely caught up in something our heart does not know from its own experience, nor to make our own complaints, but because all the suffering was genuine and real in Jesus Christ, because the human being Jesus Christ suffered sickness, pain, shame, and death, and because in his suffering and dying all flesh suffered and died. What happened to us on the cross of Christ, the death of our old self, and what actually does happen and should happen to us since our baptism in the dying of our flesh, is what gives us the right to pray these prayers. Through the cross of Jesus the Psalms have been granted to his body on earth as prayers that issue from his heart.”

-From Life Together, 56-57