Franciscan Spirit Blog

Three Minutes with God: Strength in Suffering

Man prays against a wall | Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

Three Minutes with God features hundreds of inspiring reflections and prayers that will remind you to rejoice and praise God. Each day’s entry includes a scripture passage, a thoughtful reflection, and a brief prayer to revive your spirit. Here are a few to get you started.

Prayer in Suffering

“In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will answer me.”—Psalm 86:7

We go through periods of suffering during our life. The suffering might be physical, emotional, or relational. It might be short-term or long-term. But perhaps it’s really an invitation to turn our minds and hearts to God. It’s an invitation to open ourselves to God’s unconditional love for us personally. The best prayer is short but powerful. It’s a one-word prayer: “Help!” Yes, just “Help!” Pray it with peace, calm, and trust. Then wait in silence and watch for God’s response. Add on other words if you want. Help is on the way.

Prayer: Lord, help me to see that my suffering is often a call to pray. Amen.

Renew Your Strength

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”—Philippians 4:13

How can you or I hasten through the day today and not grow weary? How can we go through life’s paces and not grow tired? We find the answer in Isaiah 40:30–31: Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Start each morning and end each evening with a prayer of trust in the Father’s love. You will find God’s helping hand in each step. That trust will help you to walk and not stumble, to run and not grow weary.

Prayer: Lord, I trust your love for me—increase that grace of trust. Amen.

Accept Your Weakness

“Whenever I am weak, then I am strong.”—2 Corinthians 12:10

Jesus began his preaching by giving us the eight Beatitudes. The very first one is “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). What does it mean to be “poor in spirit”? It simply means “Blessed are those who know their need for God.” They realize they are weak and finite, and they know that God’s love is the infinite source of strength for them each day.

If you feel “poor in spirit,” your human soul probably feels empty; maybe that’s good. Maybe now there is room for a deeper relationship with God. St. Francis of Assisi repeatedly prayed, “Who are you, God, and who am I?” If we make room for this prayer in our poverty of spirit, we make room for the great truth of life: God is love, and we are his beloved.

Jesus clearly tells us that God loves us not in spite of our weakness, but because of our weakness. Being “poor in spirit,” we become blessed because our spiritual poverty opens us up to true riches, God’s riches. When you feel poor in spirit, thank God, for you are open at that moment to his mercy, grace, and joy. Yes, the kingdom of heaven is yours!

Prayer: Lord, help me to realize that my weaknesses are open doors for you. Amen.

Suffering and Triumph

“I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church.”—Colossians 1:24

The Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin founded the modern Olympic Games in 1896. He had these words of guidance for Olympians: “The important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle.” St. John Paul II said something similar: “We come to truly know ourselves only through adversity and struggle.” Some of the most beautiful and peaceful people I’ve known are those who have struggled for most of their lives with physical disabilities. Through their struggles, they triumphed over the temptations of this world, uniting their struggles with the sufferings of Christ. Struggles are important because through them we perfect the virtues of humility, diligence, and perseverance. All these virtues are necessary if we are to live for eternity with the Church Triumphant in heaven.

Prayer: I thank you, Lord, for the struggles and joys of life. All come from your divine hand and are meant to help me attain the salvation you won for me in your passion and death so that I might be brought into the glory of your Resurrection. Amen.

Three Minutes with God

4 thoughts on “Three Minutes with God: Strength in Suffering”

  1. This is a very good book. It truly is an encouragement, an Inspiration, and a motivation. It is well worth the price. I highly recommend this book.

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