Scripture Focus: 1 Peter 5.6-11
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Reflection: Humble in Suffering
By John Tillman

Some leaders love to scare us by telling us we will be crushed in suffering if they lose. Peter promises we will suffer, yet rejoice, standing firm.

Some leaders love to promise pain and suffering aimed at any group we find threatening. To the world, our enemies’ suffering is acceptable—even good. This is the way of the world, yet some Christians have joined in this, advocating for governments to cause suffering to force a diaspora of political opponents.

Peter, more than anyone else, knows that Jesus does not want us to cause suffering for our enemies. (John 18.10-11; Luke 22.50-51) Jesus healed those Peter struck with his sword. For the Christian, suffering must never be a whip to lash out at others. But it may be a spur to our own sanctification and a kindly attempt by God to break down our pride.

Let us never see suffering as a tool for us to wield. Let us never suffer for doing evil—being cruel and unloving. Instead, let us suffer for doing good and seek God’s face. (1 Peter 3.13-17)

Let us pray this prayer over the weekend based on 1 Peter 5.6-11.

Humble in Suffering
We humble ourselves, in suffering, Lord.
We place ourselves under your hand
For our protection
For our perfection
For our comfort
For our correction
Your hand is mighty and can accomplish anything within and around us.

Our anxious thoughts we give to you.
Our fearful doubts we give to you.
Our selfish desires we give to you.
All of these we entrust you with because you care for us.

Keep our minds sharp and aware—awake to the dangers and threats of our enemy the devil. 
Do not let us be complacent, but neither let us be fearful.
May his prowling and roaring be the pacing and grumbling of frustration, for we are not unaware of his schemes.

Help us to stand firm in solidarity with those suffering worse than us.
Help us be an example and encouragement to those suffering far less.
Remind us, Lord, that suffering is temporary.

When the time is right
When we are needed
When we are ready
You will lift us up,
Empower us,
And save us.
Through us, may you be glorified by those with whom we share your grace and who accept your mercy.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning; so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life. — Psalm 90.14

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Ezekiel 42 (Listen 3:12) 
1 Peter 5 (Listen 2:11)

Read more about What to Expect When Suffering
When in suffering, we can at times be surprised by the emotions that are stirred. We can encounter deep sadness, anguish, and even rage.

Read more about A Prayer for Crisis
Psalm 89 shows us a helpful and repeatable pattern of prayer for those in suffering, doubt, frustration, or crisis.