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Prayer column - January 2013

When the light goes

Lord, where are you in this cold, dark, dank graveyard of a time? When I look up there is only darkness, like a thicket shutting out the sun. I’m shivering! There’s none of the warmth you’ve blessed me with before.

Why do I have to suffer like this? Why is everything so dark and hopeless? Why do I have to cope on my own? What’s the point of it all? Why haven’t you answered my prayers and taken away the pain like you promised?

And yet – promise: when I think, perhaps your promise is after all the key to the way out of this dungeon of despair. Perhaps I have to hold on to your promise that you are never absent, even in the scary shadow times, merely invisible, for reasons of your own: it’s a trial, not a life sentence. I have to endure and win through, torture though it feels like. Didn’t James say trials were a training programme building us up; didn’t Peter see them as a refining process, producing faith of pure gold? A crucible isn’t meant to be comfortable! (James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:3-9)

Lord, open my eyes to see my way out of the wood, to the light beyond in the open space; and the glorious prospect of eternal life in the new world with you, once you’ve put us through your full workout here. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Roy Lorrain-Smith

A prayer for each week

Lord of light, never overcome by darkness however dense, please help me to cling to that great truth when all seems gloom to me, and to press on in faith till the light breaks through once more, through Jesus. Amen.

Lord of the light of life, providing the spark which illumines all our lives, please help me to look to you when, in the murk of confusion, I am tempted to look elsewhere for hope and purpose – through Jesus. Amen.

Lord of the light of creation, upon whom the whole world depends, please may I continue to trust you with every living breath and faltering step I take, until you lead me out of the wood, and I can see. Amen.

Lord of the light of recognition, providing the joy of friendship in well-known faces, please help me to recognise and respond to true friends and acts of friendship, especially when I feel cold, hard and isolated. Amen.

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