Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name. Psalm 103:1
We long to be faithful stewards of your love – to know, love, and serve you and each
other with humility, wisdom and love, but God, at times, our world is full of despair that
we can’t hold ourselves up. We need you, God, to hold us up – to calm our hurting souls
– as we face the hurting world around us – even this day the United Nations designated International Day of Peace.
We ask that you fill us with your peace as we name our neighbors. Although their names are unknown to us, we know you are holding them for us. We lift up the names of your beloveds in Libya where the death toll is now registered at nearly
4,000 deaths. We have no words at times to express how we feel about such devastation, and
so we ask that you may hold the lives of those left behind in your unshakeable arms.
We pray for your children in Australia as they face predicted severe bushfires. As they face the
unknown, we pray that you may walk and run with them as they navigate what will likely be an
awful season of fire ahead.
The news reports of other natural disasters, we pray for your children in eastern China where
tornados have killed ten people and have injured several others. May you hold all of those
mourning the loss of dear loved ones, and be with all of those who are sitting with the unknown
in the face of natural disasters.
It seems there are tragedies that we simply cannot fathom. In simply being human we know
that we are capable of doing awful things. May we remember the words of one of your beloved poets, Maya Angelou:
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
May we her words remind us that we too can fall into hateful acts. We lift up the
people of Manipur, India, where new information is coming out about the extreme violence
against the Kuki people. We cannot fathom it, God, and we pray for your beloved souls left
behind as they witness their family members being raped, tortured, and killed. We pray that you
may hold all of your children in the midst of this devastation.
We pray for Israel as mass protests continue as the court considers its own overhaul and as oppression and violence in the occupied territories continues. We call out the evils of war with the Russian aggression upon Ukraine. May peacebuilding efforts replace the focus of supplying more deadly weapons. We pray that a peace can be brokered.
God, we rejoice as Glynn Simmons is exonerated after 48 years, 5 months and 13 days of wrongful imprisonment in Oklahoma, USA.
“Validation and vindication has finally happened,” Simmons said during his release. “It’s a lesson in resilience and tenacity. When you know you’re innocent, stick with it and don’t ever stop. Don’t let nobody tell you it can’t happen, because it really can.”
We pray for those who have been wrongfully convicted. We speak out against racism. Please God, may your justice reign for all
of these beloved souls.
God, we long to do our best. Comfort us. Be a blanket for our souls. Hold us when we cannot hold ourselves. May we know, love, and serve you and each other in humility even when we cannot do all that we would like to do. In the meantime, may we hold
onto your precious and beautiful name as we lean ever close to you.
In your name, we pray. Amen.