Praying Through the Overwhelm
Last week, we restarted our in-person, monthly prayer service. In preparation, I thought about all of the suffering and uncertainty in the world: from recovery efforts in Haiti to unrest in Afghanistan, from fires in the west to storms in the east. Where do we begin in our prayers?
This is where two types of prayers come in handy to get us started: those in the Word of God and in words that God has given to writers. From the psalms to Paul’s prayers for the church in his letters, and everything in between, the Bible is full of words we can offer when our own fail. Another resource that I love to draw from are prayers that have already been written by others. I often find myself starting with those, and before long, I am adding my own words to the already written ones. Prayer does not have to be isolated; we are created to draw from wells of wisdom already prepared for us.
One such prayer that has helped me this past week was one we shared in at the prayer service last week. Written by Douglas McKelvey, it is published in his collection, Every Moment Holy Volume II, devoted to loss, death, and hope. The title is, “A Liturgy for a Time of Widespread Suffering,” and I love this part:
The Lord’s throne in heaven is yet occupied,
his rule is eternal, and his good purposes
on earth will be accomplished forever.
So we need never be swayed by the brief and
passing panics of this age.
You are the king of the ages, O Christ,
and history is held in your Father’s hands.
I would encourage you to check out a link to the whole liturgy that we posted on Facebook and Instagram last week. My hope is that these words, based on the Word of God, will lead to the utterance of your own words of prayer. And we can rest in confidence that our God in heaven hears, He cares, and even when we can’t see it, He is indeed working.
all good things to each of you,