The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Dear HLPC,

Sadly, in a fallen world, there will always be various forms of hardship and suffering.  Physical, relational, financial, emotional—every kind of trial is a sad reality.  HLPC is not immune to a wide range of suffering and pain.  It seems we are in an extra heavy burdensome season of trial and trouble right now.

I won’t catalogue the various families and individuals who are dealing with grief, sickness, pain, and discouragement right now.  It’s a pretty long list.  It keeps me up at night thinking about our church family right now.

One of the passages of Scripture that guides my prayers for the hurting is the one quoted above.  My prayer is that the Lord would indeed be near to the brokenhearted—that they would know His presence in a real way—and that He would save the crushed in spirit.  That phrase “crushed in spirit” captures well what many are going through right now.  May God send them grace and rescue.

I remember sharing my burdens with a friend years ago and he responded, “I’ll do the best thing I can for you, I’ll pray for you.”  Prayer is not the only thing for sure—phone calls, visits, cards, a meal—are all tangible things we can and should do.  But if we believe in the Triune God of the Bible, then prayer is the best thing we can do.  It’s one way we bear one another’s burdens.

Please read the prayer requests in News & Notes below.  Right now, why not pray for those who are hurting and have needs? Pray that the Lord would prove Psalm 34:18 to be a reality in the lives of those who are suffering.

Your Pastor,


Paul Bankson

Paul was born and raised in Birmingham, AL and graduated from Auburn University in 1986 with a degree in Business Administration. It was at Auburn that he met his wife, Connie. They were married in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and moved to Jackson, MS where he attended Reformed Theological Seminary graduating with a Master of Divinity in 1991. Upon graduation, Paul served as a Campus Minister with RUF, the campus ministry of the PCA, at Tennessee-Martin where the Banksons lived for 5 years. They moved to Macon, GA in 1996 to work with RUF at Mercer University and then Paul joined the pastoral staff at First Presbyterian Church of Macon as an Assistant Pastor in 1999. In 2004, Paul and his family moved to Warner Robins where he served as a church planter and then organizing Pastor of Houston Lake Presbyterian Church. In December 2014 Paul completed a Doctor of Ministry degree through Reformed Theological Seminary of Orlando. Paul and Connie have three sons, Andrew (23), Stephen (20), and Matthew (15). Paul enjoys grilling, camping with his family, and Auburn sports (War Eagle!).