Lord God, I pray that you will guard us from offering shallow and misguided counsel to those who suffer. Remind us that in the thought of one who is at ease there is often contempt for misfortune. Protect us from drawing conclusions too quickly about the suffering of others, and being too ready to blame their suffering on hidden or unconfessed sin. I pray that we will choose to believe that everything that comes into our lives has passed first of all through your hand. Our lives and the life and breath of every living thing and all mankind is in your hand. You are the one who uncovers things concealed in darkness and brings deep darkness to light. All rulers - counselors, judges, kings, priests - are in your hand. Both the deceived and the deceiver belong to you. You overthrow the mighty and pour contempt on princes. You make nations great, and you destroy them; you enlarge nations, and you lead them away. Remind us that you are manifold in understanding, and that you exact less of us than our guilt deserves. With you are wisdom and might. You have counsel and understanding. When you tear down, none can rebuild, and when you shut a man in, no one can open. If you withhold the waters, they dry up, and if you send them out, they overwhelm the land. With you are strength and sound wisdom. We freely confess that we cannot find out the deep things that belong to you, or find out your limit as the Almighty One. It is higher than heaven and deeper than Sheol, longer than the earth and broader than the sea. I pray that we will prepare our hearts and stretch out our hands toward you. I put that we will put iniquity far away from us, and refuse to let unrighteousness dwell in our homes. I claim your promise that you will lift up our faces without blemish, and that we will be secure and unafraid. We pray that in your time we will be able to forget our present misery and only remember it as waters that have passed by. May our lives be brighter than the noonday; may even the darkness in our lives be like the morning. I pray that we will feel secure in the hope we have in you; may we look around and take our rest in security. I pray that we will lie down with none to make us afraid. This I ask in Jesus' name, amen.