As I read the Gospels, I am reminded of the many times when Jesus went off by himself to a quiet place to pray. He did this when he was tired. He did this when he was grieved. He did this when he was overwhelmed. He did this when he was worried.
That is the best thing I know to do today. Not because it is the National Day of Prayer, but because Jesus calls us to pray wherever and whenever we need to touch base with the center of who we are…to remember whose we are.
Today I pray for the least of these. I pray for the poor. I pray for the sick. I pray for the dying.
Today I pray for the over worked and underpaid. I pray for those who are compensated too little for their efforts and their good work.
Today I pray for the stretched and the tired. I pray for those who are weary with the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Today I pray for the forgotten. I pray for the old who feel lost and unwanted in this world. I pray for the young who are discounted and have no voice in the halls of power.
Today I pray for the hungry. I pray for those who have no idea from where their next meal will come. I pray for children who go to bed hungry and whose empty stomachs remain unfilled throughout the day.
Today I pray for the frustrated. I pray for teachers, nurses, administrators, nursing assistants, social workers, para educators, scientists, pastors, nursing home attendants, doctors, hospice workers…for all people who give tirelessly of themselves for good and yet sometimes feel consumed by the bad.
Today I pray for the homeless and unsheltered whose ranks continue to grow. I pray for the men, the women and the children driven from their homes by violence and war.
Today I pray for girls and boys, men and women who have been abused, assaulted, violated–for those whose holy temple of their body has been treated with no regard.
Today I pray for the one who feels not good enough. I pray for the one who struggles to find unconditional love and acceptance. I pray for the one who struggles to accept themselves as they are.
Today I pray for work places, for schools, for churches, for homes where families are divided and torn apart by the wars of culture and the polarities of partisan politics.
Today I pray for eyes that do not see the divine spark inside the other. I pray for ears that have not heard the cries of pain and despair. I pray for the heart that has never experienced grief and loss. I pray for the hands that have never cradled the sick and the dying. I pray for the feet that have never walked the road of hardship. I pray for empathy and compassion for those who have yet to have the need to receive it.