Dear Friends in Prayer,
Did you ever have one of those sleepless nights? When, after three hours of perfectly wonderful, refreshing sleep, you are suddenly awake, wide awake, for no apparent reason? And when, despite watching a couple of shows on your Kindle Fire (or whatever you resort to during wakeful hours), your mind is still filled with the fires in Australia…. the opioid crisis… the volcanoes erupting in the Philippines and Mexico…. the families being separated at the border between the U.S. and Mexico…. the refugees being rejected from more countries than we can count…. hungry, homeless people… hard-working families, struggling to pay their monthly bills… people with pre-existing health conditions, unable to pay their medical bills… police and military people and first responders committing suicide because of what they have seen and heard and done… children living day-to-day with food insecurity… wars and threats of war in Libya, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen and other countries… teenagers being bullied by someone who is telling them they are not enough…. people fleeing gang violence in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras… poor women seeking family planning advice and unable to find it because clinics are being closed… preschoolers with no one to read to them because everyone in their family is working so hard just to stay above water, or never had a chance to learn to read themselves… LGBTQ teens being rejected by their families for being who they are… churches whose doors are narrow and their welcome conditional…. extremist religions like the “Christian” sect in Panama that killed seven indigenous persons in a ritual intended to force them to “repent their sins”… the oceans being polluted with our discarded plastics…. the discovery that the million+ common murres (seabirds) that died between 2015 and 2016 probably were killed by a blob of hot water in the Pacific Ocean (what will global warming do to our furred and finned and feathered friends?)…. those who continue to deny climate change, in spite of the increasing evidence and the warnings of environmental scientists… the impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump…. Russian President Vladimir Putin trying to wrest control from the Russian government and turn the country into a dictatorship… the 2020 elections which will determine the paths of our countries for years to come….
Did you ever have one of those nights when every attempt at prayer seems to fall on empty ears…. when God seems far away and you feel very alone? And when you utter the Serenity Prayer for the tenth time, and find that your heart and mind are settling in, and you finally feel bathed in, encompassed by God’s grace, and sleep feels possible once again?