A note from the writer of this week’s prayers:
I really wrestled with what prayers to write today. Part of me – a LARGE part – wanted to rage at God: “If Jesus’ crucifixion, death and resurrection was supposed to end the power of evil and sin, your experiment has failed. Utterly. It’s time to try again, with something different.” But then I saw Connie Sun’s Blessings of Life cartoon, and all the tangled threads of anguish within me took a deep breath and began to unwind. And I thought, “This. Yes. This is what we need. Blessings. To bless, and to be blessed.”
A Litany of Blessings
Bless the conflict
Bless the yearning
Bless the Catalonians who voted to split from Spain. Bless the nation that wants to keep them.
Bless the Kurds who voted for independence from Iraq. Bless the Iraqis who fight the Islamic State beside them.
Bless the ceasefire in Colombia with the Marxist National Liberation Army rebels.
Bless the dreams of every homeland.
Bless the grief
Bless the caring
Bless the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Bless the dead after a stampede on a footbridge at a Mumbai, India, railway station.
Bless children and teachers lost when a day care center in Brazil was set on fire by a guard who worked there.
Bless the troubled. Bless the injured.
Bless the memories of all survivors.
Bless the leaving
Bless the turning
Bless the more than 150,000 from Bali, Indonesia, who are in limbo, waiting to see when and if it will be safe to return to their homes near a possibly soon-erupting volcano.
Bless the lives lived out in makeshift refugee camps around the world. Bless the Rohingya who have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh.
Bless the devastated U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.
Bless the hope. Bless the rebuilding.
Bless the new homes and, someday, those returning.
Bless the danger
Bless the healing
Bless all in Yemen, where cholera cases could hit a million by the end of the year.
Bless the government health officials, World Health Organization, aid agencies and private donors from around the world, now meeting in France to commit to preventing 90% of cholera deaths by 2030.
Bless the 1.2 million “food insecure” in Sri Lanka, where drought has led to the loss of two successive harvests, many small farmers have resorted to eating seed saved to plant next season, and many households are eating just one meal a day.
Bless the hungry. Bless the hurting. Bless the fear-filled.
Bless the aid-workers. Bless the donors.
Bless the researchers. Bless the prayer-supporters.
Bless the night
Bless the morning
Bless the birthdays. Bless new lovers and years-long friendships.
Bless the sunsets and the rainbows.
Bless the achievements, large and small.
Bless the learners and the doers.
Bless the meals eaten, alone and those together.
Bless each hour of rest and slumber.
Bless the hands, and hearts, and spirits
Lord God, bless us all