Praying has never been my strong suit.
Ever since I was little I have been taught the value, importance, and power in praying, but I have never been a “good” (eloquent, confident, etc.) prayer, especially out loud or in front of other people.
But lately I have been feeling like I want to pray, for those who have faith, for those who don’t, for those who have a different faith or any degree of spirituality, anyone and everyone who might be reading this, or even those who aren’t.
Ironically, after starting this post about a week ago and then getting too nervous to post it, the pastor of my church gave a sermon all about praying. I was caught off guard listening to him, noting how some points he made seemed to directly address the fears I was having, but I was also encouraged to take a step out of my comfort zone, which brings me here today. So, if you, or anyone you know might need prayer, this is for you, and for me, and for all of us trying to find our way through this trying time.
I know these last few months have been difficult for most of us, some of us more than others. And I know that I am among so many when I say that I am not just scared of what is happening now, but what could happen, tomorrow or the next day or the next—all the days ahead of us that seem so scary and unknown. There is still so much we have to learn, so far we have to go until we can regain a sense of normalcy, and the imposed limitations have begun to feel suffocating. And so, I pray that we can find a sense of peace. A calmness that doesn’t blind us or numb us to the challenges ahead, but keeps us encouraged to work through them and help one another along the way.
I pray for a peace that abides on the frontlines, bringing confidence and endurance to our nurses, doctors, and frontline workers, helping them find strength and encouragement in their work.
I pray for a peace that reaches those struggling with anxiety, depression, addiction, or any number of mental health struggles that may be exacerbated by this pandemic and its side effects.
I pray for a peace that can overshadow the panic and fears associated with losing a job or being unable to do one’s job efficiently, and can provide courage to those who need to ask for help.
I pray for a peace that can heal the hearts of those who have lost a loved one or who don’t get to see their loved ones for fear of putting them at risk.
I pray for a peace that can keep us united, even as we step further into the unknown. And I pray that we can find compassion and strength alongside each other rather than at odds with one another.
I pray for a peace that can illuminate good moments of mundane days. Whether it be a phone call, a successful pastry bake in the kitchen, a sunset, a smile, or a cool breeze.
I pray for a peace that can give us each a long, deep breath, and encourage us to keep going, along with a confidence that there is not only goodness to be found up ahead, but even right here, where we are.