"How can I pray for you?"

That's a very common question for Katie and me after the death of our unborn son, Gavin. We are so grateful to all who have lifted us up to our Father in heaven. We cannot thank you enough--got a text an hour ago from someone saying they were thinking about us and praying for us. We NEED that still--we REALLY do! That is not an exaggeration.

Though all our days need prayer right now, some days are harder than others. Today is particularly rough because it was one month ago today that we were in the hospital and Gavin was delivered. I've also noticed that Saturdays (he was delivered on a Saturday) and Tuesdays are typically rough (Tuesdays mark another week of gestation, so Gavin would've been 22 weeks today).

Being asked the question a lot recently, "How can I pray for you?," has made me wonder what really would be the best things to pray for us. While reading Facing Grief recently I think I found two good answers.

First, while writing to friends who lost a child, the author said, he desired for them that "you will not be too hasty to get off the yoke which God has put upon your neck."

In other words, we should not seek to be free from the effects of this trial one second before God's time. We cannot shortcut God's lessons in affliction. If we do, we will miss the lesson. We should be patient, allowing God to do His perfect work in our souls, and ask Him to keep us here until that work has been done.

Second, the author wrote, "I desire, that though you and your afflictions had a sad meeting, yet you and [your afflictions] may have a comfortable parting."

In other words, God sends our afflictions (which I talked about wrestling with here), but He always does so for a reason. Our trials are never gratuitous. That purpose is different for each of us. And, when the affliction has had the effect on us that God intended, we will be able to say with all honesty that "It was good for me that I have been afflicted" (Ps 119:71).

So, please pray these things for Katie and for me. Pray that we'll be patient, and not shortcut His work in our souls. Pray that we will have specific ways that this trial was good for us. Pray that we will shake hands with our affliction as it begins to leave, while continuing to praise the God who sent it.

Pastor Jon Benzinger