I often find myself overcome with this desire to pray (for a people, a nation, a friend, a stranger, my kids...) yet also overcome with a loss for words. I know the idea is that we ought to pray in line with God's will, but WHAT, pray tell, is his will? Sometimes I have no idea what to believe for. I have no idea what the answer should be, or which outcome would be best. Or the tragedy around me is so great, and my personal life is so shielded from it, that I'm not exactly sure what those grieving need most.
Liturgical prayers help me start somewhere.
This last year has been overshadowed by a heavy and heated political atmosphere in our nation. Everyone seems to be in agreement that the stakes are high, but the differences of opinion along party lines, candidate choices, and issues of interest have overdosed our society with hate and prejudice. I remember going to vote earlier this year with Norah and Beckett in tow, not wanting to tell them who I was voting for, for fear that they might mention it while we stood in line, and I might have to deal with some stranger's highly charged opinion. The fear wasn't based on a lack of interest in dialogue. I'm all for debating and sharing concerns with passion and intelligence, but the lack of respect and value for people in the dialogue I see and hear out there is enough to distance me from the discussion completely.
Then I found this prayer. It is a prayer for those who influence public opinion:
Almighty God, you proclaim your truth in every age by many voices: Direct, in our time, we pray, those who speak where many listen and write what many read; that they may do their part in making the heart of this people wise, its mind sound, and its will righteous; to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I can't think of a better place to start than this. Join me in praying for the people in our nation, from the voices of experts in the media to the people going viral in twitter or Facebook feeds. May the voices heard loudest do their part to make our hearts wise, our minds sounds, and our will righteous.