Too often prayer is thought of as something wonderful where petitions and thanks are given to God before something takes place.

But it’s the prayer of grief that has a special place with God – for He is near unto those people who have a contrite spirit and humble heart (Psalms 34: 18).

Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble; thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress (Psalms 10: 18).

Consider the grievous prayer of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1: 9-18, who was barren. Possibly she was even an alcoholic, in which Eli the priest accused her of being drunk when Hannah issued a prayer of grief. For she was in bitterness of soul and wept profusely, as she asked for a male child.

The prophet Jeremiah also prayed in grief, pleading with the Lord for help because he was being persecuted (Jeremiah 15: 15-18).

In the bottoming of the soul, there is despair, desolation, oppressiveness, hopelessness, loneliness; so the spirit cries out to God for help.

And then there’s a quietness as God listens and responds. And a patience to wait upon God’s actions and hope for something better.

God is our only hope sometimes. Though a friend may bring a meal, provide transportation, or lend money, true long lasting and free hope comes from God.

Before life becomes grievous, consider petitioning God in prayer for goodness each day. Set your heart on following the prayer and give thanks afterward as you experience God’s mercy and blessing and faithfulness.

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