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Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Gal. 6:2

Dear Lord Jesus, the call to shoulder up under the burdens of friends and family drives us to you today. Otherwise we would simply turn and walk away, just like the priest and the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). There are seasons when the needs around us seem to far exceed the resources within us. Where else can we go but to you?

Lord Jesus, it’s only because you bore the burden of the law’s demands and judgment for us; only because you say to us, “Cast all your care upon me, for I care for you” (1 Pet. 5:7); only because you call to us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28) that we can continue to show up and shoulder the many burdens of others.

Grant us grace not to be afraid of the emotional messiness that certain burdens bring. Help us know how to rely on your presence more than we rely on mere words. Help us to understand our limits, but even more so, help us be very aware of your limitless mercy, grace, power, and peace.

We pray for friends who are struggling in their marriages—feeling hopeless, angry and spent. Bring the power of your resurrection to bear. Humble one, then the second spouse. We pray for families with children who are acting out in destructive ways—bring these kids to gospel sanity, and grant their parents wisdom, forbearance and strength. We pray for friends facing great medical challenges with diminishing health care resources—grant your healing grace, and we ask you to sovereignly move within the health care industry. It is just as broken as our bodies are.

We pray for our churches—restore your people to the joy of your free and glorious grace. Pour our your Spirit upon our churches, and redemptively disrupt us. Forgive us for making too much of the wrong things. Rekindle the passion of first-love relationship with you in the hearts of pastors, elders and deacons. Do beyond all we could ask or imagine in our church families, Lord Jesus.

We bring all of these friends to your throne of grace, and we will seek to fulfill “the law of Christ”—the law of love, the way of the gospel—as you give us strength, wisdom, and grace. So very Amen we pray, in your persistent and sufficient name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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