Everyone gets a turn in the crucible

Be God’s own, and remember I pray for you.
– Archangel Gabriel, in Jane Lebak’s Seven Archangels; Annihilation

I have a lot of prayer requests – people writing and asking me to pray for them or for friends and family. I’m always happy to do it; prayer has power, and when you’re hearing about a hard story it is so much better to know you can pray than to simply feel bad and helpless.

I’m sure others have said it, but I remember distinctly when Nancy Reagan said that “no one escapes suffering” in their lives. This is very true.

Suffering is the great leveler. It brings all of us down to the ground, and whether we rise to transcend it or break and scatter ourselves to the wind, or simply lay down and give up has a great deal to do with our willingness to live through the pain, work through all the hurt, and try to find meaning therein.

A friend of mine, a Secular Franciscan, and I were talking about the crucible. I had written:

The crucible is an interesting place, isn’t it? It’s so hard to keep perspective when one is in there. But if you can keep perspective – if you can remember to look around and see what God has for you – it’s survivable.

She responded, with much more wisdom:

The crucible is a very interesting and terrible place. More interesting once one has been poured out of it and can look back, rather than seeing it from the inside when the fire is at its hottest. I often feel like Daffy Duck: “I am not like most people. Pain hurts me.” I think its because so much of our unnecessary parts, but the parts we are so used to, have to die in that crucible so that we can become more Christ and less me-myself.

Tonight I have all these people to pray for – they’re in the crucible, and maybe you are (or someone you know is) in the crucible and could use a few prayers, too. So I thought I’d invite you to whisper up a prayer of two for these folks, and then – if you like – include a brief prayer request of your own in the comments section.

Brief is the operative word. Long stories are not necessary, only the need. In this way, perhaps we can be healers for each other and be healed, helped or comforted ourselves.

And please – keep the mindset of silence – no gushing (please, no praising me – I’m no saint and am as needy as anyone else) just leave the need; name the party and their crucible.

Almost like lighting a candle, saying a prayer and then making an exit. Focused and done in faith, it can be immensely powerful.

I pray for all of these people, most especially that their difficulties may be transcended and rendered meaningful through the workings of Grace, and that each of them may be given the Wisdom to recognize their intended paths, and the strength to follow them.

For Jim; just diagnosed with cancer. (Update: Jim has passed; please pray for his family)

For Erin., who is very ill with an infection in her lungs.

For M.S., who is facing a possible metastasizing cancer.

For W.H., a musician who has lost several fingers in a bad accident.

For B.B., another musician, who has a great attitude but lousy luck.

For J & C., working, finishing school and job-hunting, all in good faith.

For Beth, who is ill with ulcerative colitis and unable to continue her job or education.

For P.M.. who is struggling with his job and also with a personal betrayal that has affected him deeply.

For A., who is estranged from her parents and moving with a dubious crowd

For K.A., who is trying to sell her house in a soft market.

For Joe, who has a brain infection.

For Linda who has severely injured her knee.

For my L’il Bro Thom, faced with job difficulties that may require a complete career change after almost 25 years.

For B.M., who is dealing with insecurity and trying to overcome the pride that gets in his way.

For Matt, Nicholas, Elizabeth and Lauren, all at different stages of their religious vocations and feeling challenged.

For E.M. who is trying to lose a lot of weight and struggling with it.

For T, who is isolated.

For J & D who have extended themselves generously to a difficult family member. Very difficult.

For Cole & Luci who have mild Asperger Syndrome and for their incredibly good, faithful parents.

For Lucy, mother of two, dealing with recurrent cancer.

For J, who is HIV positive and for his family who has lost another to AIDS.

For D.B., struggling to overcome addiction.

For D.K. who is being unjustly slandered and shunned at her job.

For A.B., mourning the death of her husband.

Please pray for me, also.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Pingback: Semicolon Celebration | The Anchoress

  • dales

    For D & M who are seeking housing in difficult circumstances, pray for them.

  • http://gobsmackedagain.blogspot.com/ mizze

    For LG, KKG and their father. May Love replace hatred. And for JDF. May wisdom replace ignorance.

  • Jenny

    For my 3 month old daughter, Olivia, who refuses to take a bottle even though Mommy has been back at work for a week and I am away from her for about 11 hours during the day. She is hungry and miserable, as are her parents.

  • Myssi

    For E.P. – at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital with a systemic strep infection and for her parents, strength and grace
    For D.F. – who needs either a raise or a new job or maybe both.

  • KIA

    For God’s Blessing upon America. May hard hearts be transformed, to God’s way not ours; for peace, prosperity, and leadership of integrity.

  • ShanaSFO

    For Jenny & Josh & their first baby, Grace, born with Down Sydrome & medical needs

  • Ruth H

    This is a thank you for previous prayers for my niece with ovarian cancer. She passed away Feb 4th with all the grace of God’s love for her and in her. She was a blessing and will be greatly missed. Pray for those who have this disease, for their relief and for a better treatment and detection.

  • http://www.reflectionsbykris.squarespace.com KrisinNewEngland

    For my family: help us heal after a deep and frightening betrayal.

  • http://www.comeaway.blogspot.com AngloCathJoi

    For J, in discerning what may be the beginning of a call to singleness and celibacy.

  • jillison

    For A.S., who has lost his way or – worse – himself.

  • Elaine T

    For K and I wisdom in discerning what’s next. For our daughter who has a myriad of health issues.

  • TheAnchoress

    Ruth – very sorry for your loss. Here is news that gives hope.

  • mmustari

    For Kim who needs a job and is lacking in confidence &self esteem.

  • Sue T.

    For R.B., that the judges who will be deciding his case will be just and fair. For R.T. who has health issues.

  • Noatak

    Add these 4 children killed by illegal alien driver in a Minnesota school bus this week.

    * Hunter Javens, 9, Cottonwood.

    * Jesse Javens, 13, Cottonwood (Hunter & Jesse were brothers)

    * Emilee Olson, 9, Cottonwood

    * Reed Stevens, 12, Marshall.

  • bulbrox

    For our neighbors T & M stuggling with a troubled marraige, and for their daughter, B

  • Hantchu

    For Baby O., who is in our hospital not gaining weight, and his mother, K., who is still struggling with addiction.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com/ Bender B. Rodriguez

    Please pray for this woman and her two babies, that the God of Infinite and Divine Mercy take them into His loving arms.

  • Pingback: For Jim & Family: Let Your Heart Be Staid | The Anchoress

  • Pingback: For Jim & Family: Let Your Heart Be Staid | The Anchoress

  • Pingback: Coming through the Crucible | The Anchoress

  • http://www.lindseyrussell.com russelllindsey

    May I add another one?

    For L, who is struggling to find her vocation in life.

  • Occasus

    For my 6 month old daughter, Nat. It looks like the bones in her skull are fusing prematurely and she may need surgery.