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A mom requests prayer for her wayward son.
A sister requests prayer for her drug addicted brother.
A man requests prayer for provision after losing his job.
A little boy requests prayer for his sick mommy.
These are just a few scenarios that I am sure we have all answered with prayer at some point in our lifetime.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.…II Corinthians 1:3-5
I’ve often heard this scripture misquoted as to say that those who can best minister to another is someone who has been through the exact same thing; however, that is not scriptural. It actually states that the
God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in ANY affliction
We have the ability to aid ANY person with ANY affliction because we have experienced the love, mercy and comfort of the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort even if we have not had their experiences.
BUT, I will tell you that with human nature, you better believe that when we have went through the experience of having a dying mother, a drug-addicted relative, a troubled child and lost a job, sympathy abounds for those with similar needs. We have a better understanding of the need for prayer; therefore, it becomes more urgent.
I recently had the honor of praying for friend who is going through something with a loved one that I am unfortunately all too familiar with, and let me tell you that I was on it! I could not stop praying for her need. My passion for laying this thing at the feet of Jesus was near overwhelming. The ache in my soul caused me to stay in constant contact with her for updates, and to give my reassurance.
What an opportunity in ministry – all because I have experienced her pain.
My prayer is that regardless of whether or not my pain matches the experience of the need that I will be equal to the task. After all, I am fully equipped based upon His mercy and comfort.
Gina Duke is the award-winning author of Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray (Abingdon Press), that introduces the gift of structured prayer journaling. You can enjoy her weekly #ShePrayerJournals weekend workshops on YouTube, and follower her on Twitter and Instagram at @TheGinaDuke.