israel 13 058During our times of devastating loss, we need a way to pray that bring God’s peace to begin healing our grieving hearts and help us able to somehow go on with life.  Horatio Spafford wrote the words to what later were put to music as a hymn while grieving in the cabin of ship crossing the Atlantic in 1873  as the ship passed by the spot where his 4 daughters had tragically drowned in a ship wreck.  Yet in the face of such unfathomable tragedy and his own helpless estate Horatio Spafford was able to pray, “It is well with my soul.”

Bible verses often cited about this prayer are:

Psalm 146:1 “Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, O my soul.”  (NIV)

The phrase “it is well” is thought to come from the story in 2 Kings 4 where a Shunammite woman son died.  She saddles a donkey in haste without telling her husband of the child’s death in order to beg Elisha to pray for the child .  When her husband asked her why she was going she replied, “It shall be well.”  (2 Kings 4:23 KJV)  When she arrived at Mt. Carmel, Elisha’s servant met her, instructed to ask her if all was well with her and her family.

Even though her son was dead, the woman answered the servant, “It is well.”  (2 Kings 4:26 KJV)

Elisha went to the woman’s home and prayed alone with the boy and the boy’s life is restored.

Praying “It Is Well With My Soul.” 

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,

Even so, it is well with my soul.