My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
We fail constantly. Our very bodies fail as they are so fragile. How often have we wondered what to do, and choose the wrong action, words, or tone we take in everything we do? As your collective people, God, we recognize that we fail those around us. We forget those around us in offering care; we fail as we try to talk about and pray for our global neighbors; we fail as we try to make a difference. Our hearts fail and break as we witness the atrocities in our earthly home. With this utter brokenness, we lift our hearts that they might be strengthened as you strengthen all of your children.
God of courage, while our bodies do not always have the strength to take action, we pray that your strength and your compassion might go to your people in this broken world. As we continually pray for your children in Ukraine, we can’t help but feel the brokenness in our own hearts as we see babies, young children, and fragile lives being taken away from us much too soon in the most horrible ways we could ever imagine. We witness Russia renew airstrikes in Kyiv. We ask that you be there at a military training center in western Ukraine as, near a border crossing point between Ukraine and Poland, the deadliest westward attack has occurred. God, for those not in Ukraine, we simply cannot imagine what is happening for our siblings, yet we pray as hard as possible, praying for the three million Ukrainian refugees far away from family, homes, and places they love; for the unknown number of people who were mercilessly killed; for those left behind who simply do not know what to do next. Benevolent God, we also pray about the escalation of tensions worldwide with Russia and for the Russian people. We pray for those trapped with a leader who perpetrates hate, violence, and lies, as they live in isolation, as their future lives remain unknown.
God of compassion, we pray for the people experiencing anguish and violence. We witness protests on the island of Corsica. We see serial attacks against the homeless population in Washington D. C. and New York City, USA, with innocent people injured and killed. As we witness all kinds of violence now under the radar worldwide, we pray for your healing and safety.
While some parts of our world are growing safer in light of COVID-19 becoming less deadly, we lift up the tens of millions of residents across China who are under lockdown as the country experiences its worst reported COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic. We pray for your healing and better health for all those whose bodies are no longer whole.
God, while we grieve as an Australian court has overturned a landmark climate ruling, we are grateful for the teenagers who made this bill even possible. We are thankful for the future of our planet as we witness our children making a difference as they care for issues that matter. While our government systems are broken, just as all our systems are broken, we pray for those who care deeply for others and this earth.
God of all, indeed our very bodies are broken, but we also know our bodies can do so much. We are grateful for all of the little joys that hold us in times of grief. For a beautiful day, for blooming flowers, for smiles, for our neighbor who cares for us, for the food we love, for leaders who are trying to make a difference, for our sacred spaces both in and outside institutions, for the beauty of friendship. For all of these things and so much more, we are so grateful that there are things that lift our broken hearts and bodies. Give us strength, God, and please be strength for us and our whole world.
In the name of the one who gives us our very strength. Amen.