Jump directly to the Content

Intensive Care: How to Pray in a Crisis

(The late-night phone call relays the tragic news that a cherished member of the church has died unexpectedly. A woman knocks on your office door and tearfully reports that her husband is gone, and she doesn't know if he's coming back--or if she even wants him back. A seminary student asks you to pray about the inoperable tumor discovered in his brain.

They all want you to pray. But the words of prayer don't come easily at such times.

What should you ask God to do in such situations? What do you say in the presence of deep suffering? What words do you use when you don't know how or what to pray?

We asked former pastor Steve Harper, one of the co-founders of The Shepherd's Care, Inc. (a resource ministry designed to help pastors cope with the pressures of ministry) and recently a professor of spiritual formation at Asbury Theological Seminary, to help explain the ministry of prayer in seemingly hopeless situations.)

THE DYING

When I haven't known how to pray, I've often asked the person, "How ...

April
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Gideon Strauss: Discipleship Practices for Pastors
Gideon Strauss: Discipleship Practices for Pastors
How can a pastor offer discipleship for those who work in vocations with which the pastor is unfamiliar?
From the Magazine
I Wanted a Bigger God Than My Hindu Guru Offered
I Wanted a Bigger God Than My Hindu Guru Offered
As my doubts about his teachings grew, so did a secret fascination with Jesus.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.
close