As we conclude week one of our prayer series, Praying Big Prayers to Our Awesome God, it seems a good time to explore peace. It is often longed for and difficult to find. Without God, we may only grasp for peace, but with Him, we can rest fully in peace. Our friend Amber Sandeford knows this well. She has suffered deep loss and she has experienced deep peace. She is here with us today to talk about peace in the midst of sorrow.
A quick google search of ‘what can cause sorrow’ will show that the circumstances in which someone experiences sorrow vary greatly.
Maybe it is the loss of loved ones or when relationships fade. Maybe it is the demands of life, the guilt of wrongful actions, the fear of a diagnosis, the weight of that situation that leaves you asking, “why”?
There is no cookie-cutter answer for what causes sorrow, but there is a recipe for how to have peace in the midst of sorrow.
And if you are like me, then you will love a simple & sweet go-to recipe that can be used at any time of any day!
Max Lucado’s book, Before Amen, gives a recipe (I mean prayer) that I have used many times over the last five years. As I faced the sorrow of losing my only sister in a tragic car accident, endured the long-suffering of my God-fearing Grandmother, and became the primary caregiver of an absentee father who was dying of cancer I often could only cling to this simple prayer from Before Amen:
You are good.
I need help. Heal me and forgive me.
They need help.
In Jesus name,
Simple? Yes. Matthew 6:8 gives us affirmation, that simple is perfectly, perfect. Our Father in heaven knows what we need before we even ask.
Yes, He still wants us to pray. Jesus himself shows us the importance of prayer during his life on earth. He was often found quieting the noise and praying. (Mark 6:46)
But it is really the first four words of this simple prayer that fixes my craving when I am feeling overwhelmed by sorrow: Father, You are good. Your ways. Your heart. Your will.
Even right now, God, in the midst of this sorrow?
Yes, Father, even now, you are good.
Start speaking this recipe out loud when you are in the midst of sorrows and watch as faith and hope begin to swirl through the mixture of your circumstances. The end result is unexplainable peace.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
Did I offer a recipe to change your circumstances?
No. There is still loss, demands, forgiveness to be extended, but you are different. You have peace.
When we pray- Father, you are good. We are claiming the power of the One who hears our prayers- Our Father- the prince of peace. Our Father- who is always good. Our Father- who is never surprised.
Friends, keep this recipe close by and share it often. When you face the sorrows of this world, remember God is a good, good Father.
You are loved,
Pray with us: Try using the simple prayer offered in Max Lucado’s book Before Amen. Father, You are good. I need help. Heal me and forgive me. They need help. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Amber Sandeford is a full time homeschooling mom, part-time registered nurse (like 4 days a month), and can be often found singing or directing plays in her local church. Her love language is coffee, good food, making old things new, and Jesus.
She is grateful and humbled to have been able to share just a small portion of her story with readers. She firmly believes ALL things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Learning to trust the master chef and his recipe whips up the sweetest JOY and yes, unexplainable peace.
You can follow her homeschool journey and life with four kiddos on Instagram @sanfizzles