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When I pray today, I will pray for Luke Bryan Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Luke Bryan performs "Move" at the 50th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Every night, no matter how good, bad or indifferent my day has been, I pray.

I pray the prayers that I have been praying since I was a little girl tucked into my pink gingham sheets in my pink gingham bedroom with my parents, sister and cocker spaniel at my side. I pray the constantly evolving prayer that recites a never-ending list of family members, close friends and beloved pets that have come in and out of my life through the years. I pray the prayers that I was taught in church so long ago and the prayers that somehow can still declare all of the reasons why we are all here in the first place.

And today, I will pray for Thomas Luther “Luke” Bryan.

Not in a weird stalker way or a selfish “please get me tickets, God, to Luke Bryan’s next show” sort of way. Well, on second thought, I have prayed a few of those prayers in my 45 years.

But I will actually pray for not the singer, but the man who has endured so much in his life.

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I was one of the countless country music fans who could not believe the news that yet another tragic death had hit his family this week. The story is well known: Luke lost his 26-year-old brother in a car accident. His 39-year-old sister died days after she watched her brother play the Grand Ole Opry. His sister’s husband also passed away, leaving Luke to raise his nephew, Til. And recently, Luke and his wife, Caroline, lost their baby niece Sadie Brett.

It’s just not fair.

I marvel at the way Luke always seems to bounce back from these horrible and tragic circumstances, finding ways over and over again to put a smile on his face when most of us would be in a dark room somewhere yelling at God at the top of our lungs. Granted, God has given Luke an incredible life filled with No. 1 hits, big-time awards and millions of adoring fans. Yet, God also has challenged the very soul of this man from Georgia time and time again. And each and every time this man is challenged, he stays strong in his trust in God and his faith that God is in control – and will always see us through.

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“God is still gracious and humbling and powerful,” Luke once said in an interview.

And oh, how he is right.

So yes, I pray for Luke. I pray that he continues to have the strength to deal with the often-tragic cards dealt to him. I pray that he continues to persevere through the challenges that his heart must go through every single day. And I pray that we can all be a little more like him.

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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