We keep scrolling through the news, forever flicking from catastrophe to exhilaration to trauma, over and over and over again. Make us stop. Force us to take a break. Teach us how to breathe. Show us how to behold–rather than barrel through–your world.
We pray that we might take a break and breathe and behold the world, as you do.
May we breathe and behold those who are preparing for the Winter Olympics. We pray for the safety and well-being of these awe-inspiring athletes.
May we breathe and behold those who are preparing for elections and the transition of power in Venezuela, Germany, and South Africa. We pray for citizen voices to be heard, debate to remain non-violent, and appropriate authority respected.
May we breathe and behold those in need of drinkable water, whether they live in Cape Town, South Africa or Flint, Michigan, USA. We pray for provisions to keep your children satiated in the present and regulations to keep your children safe in the future. And we pray that we might never, ever, ever, ever, take for granted the gift of water and other resources from your Creation.
May we breathe and behold those who remain in battle zones and under siege in Syria. Even when the words seem to dry with despair on our lips, we still lift to you our prayers of grief, anger, fear, frustration, and deep lament for Syrian citizens and refugees. Hold these, your children. Breathe your Spirit into them. Remind them at that they are not alone, no matter how long the conflict drags on.
May we breathe and behold those who work to lift up the last, the lost, and the least here in our United States. As our media and legislators fixate on the wealthiest, most glamorous among us, we pray for the conviction to look for you in the face of the stranger, immigrant, prisoner, impoverished, abandoned, and weak.
We pray for the hearts and minds and strength to breathe and behold you in the world around us. We pray that we might learn to love you not just in word but in action, here and now and always.
In your holy name we pray. Amen.