Word of the Week

Do you think words are required to communicate with God?

Have you ever stopped talking (or not started) talking to God simply because there were no words for your situation or you didn't know what to say?

Such brings us to our word of the week: prayer.

Prayer: an address (such as a petition) to God in word or thought.

I like how author Anne Lamott summarizes her experience of prayer in three words: help, thanks, and wow. Sounds about right doesn't it? (I recommend her book to you by this same title by the way).

And I love that she includes the word "wow" as a prayer word for it speaks to the moments in our lives of awe (for good or bad) when we are simply out of words.

We don't need words to pray, I believe.

Though prayer is one of the most spiritual words there is, so many of us feel weird talking about our experience of it often because there is what we learned in a faith community about it AND then there is our real experience of it.

Maybe you prayed for years and nothing came of your requests?

Maybe you were taught a particular way of praying as a child that no longer seems to fit what you believe about God as an adult?

Maybe you don't believe enough to even begin to pray?

I want to clearly say today that prayer is about being present. Prayer is about being transparent. Prayer is about an open heart.

I love what Ann Lamott offers about prayer when she writes:

My belief is that when you're telling the truth, you're close to God. If you say to God, "I am exhausted and depressed beyond words, and I don't like You at all right now, and I recoil from most people who believe in You," that might be the most honest thing you've ever said. If you told me you had said to God, "It is all hopeless, and I don't have a clue if You exist, but I could use a hand," it would almost bring tears to my eyes, tears of pride in you, for the courage it takes to get real-really real. It would make me want to sit next to you at the dinner table.Prayer is taking a chance that against all odds and past history, we are loved and chosen, and do not have to get it together before we show up.

I hope you hear the honesty in these words as a gift.

Friends: you can bring your FULL self to the practice of prayer. You can bring the mess. You can bring your disappointment. You can bring your wonder. You can bring your silence. All of it.

God is with you this week no matter what. May you rest in God's nearness to you even now!



God, on this inauguration day we come to you almost breathless.

We have lived through so much that tested us, exhausted us, and called us to action in ways we never would have expected.

We have watched our Muslims friends be barred from entering our country and protests at airports.

We have watched children from Central America taken from their parents and put in cages while law makers turned a blind eye.

We have watched LGTBQ friends have their advocacy agencies taken away and wonder when the next blow will come.

We have watched the rise of white supremacists grow in power and influence bringing terror to cities like Charlottesville.

We have watched the manifestation of systematic racism as beloveds like Briana Taylor and George Floyd were murdered at the hands of the police.

We have watched 400,000+ Americans die as a pandemic fueled by lies and mismanagement.

We have watched our Capitol looted and overtaken by those who wish our democracy harm.

These have been a long 4 years. Very long 4 years.

We have weeped.

We have marched.

We have prayed.

We have lost friends who called us "too political."

We have voted.

And so even though a new president will take the oath of office today that promises to tell the truth and make the bleeding stop, we have full plates of broken hearts.

In our sorrow--

Help us to believe again.

Help us to work together again.

Help us to laugh again.

Help us lean into the hope that this new day brings. We are ready for change, God.


Today, October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day.

I'm lighting a candle alongside so many of you for all the children in my life who could have been.

In the deepest points of my pain of child loss and infertility in 2011, I found myself on a plane headed toward Israel on an interfaith pilgrimage.

On the day we visited the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, the following is the prayer called "I am a Mother" and laid between the cracks in the wall.

Though my grief is not as raw or even present in the same way that it was back then, I am still so thankful for every time I read this prayer I published in my book, Birthed: Finding Grace Through Infertility. For it reminds me that God begins to heals us (though nothing about our situation many change externally), I believe when we're able to truly say what is on our hearts.

Here's my Wailing Wall prayer-

I am a Mother. Yet in my house there are no stray toys rolling around on the floor. There are no sippy cups with apple juice residue piled up by the sink. There are no schedules of what child goes where and when on our refrigerator.

There are no school papers stacked on our kitchen table or science project parts strewn across our countertops. I am not identified in any communities of mothers. I am not invited to forums of mothers who work outside the home.

I’ve never read What to Expect When You Are Expecting, or gone to a play group with girlfriends and their kids. I cringe when I am asked by strangers: “How many kids do you have?” Why? Because I always have to say, “I have none.”

Rather, my home life is as adult-centered as it comes. Almost never do you find my husband and me sitting at the kitchen table at mealtimes. You wouldn’t find child-protective devices on our electrical outlets or wine cabinet doors, nor do we sketch out our weekend activities around nap times or soccer games. And there are empty rooms in our home, two of them. Though we’ve planned big, it is still just the two of us. But, I am a Mother. I have children. But no one sees them.

There are those who have dwelled within me, but decided to take a short, in fact very short, stay. And I wouldn’t have known about them either, except for the signs that pointed to their dwelling. My body spoke of them through exhaustion, nausea, and cravings of unusual foods. Something new had found its way into me, and my heart counted the days and yearned for them to stay, even—just even—for one more day. I loved them, each one of them. And when they were gone, making their way out of me like a disgruntled houseguest, I wept. I cried tears so big they ran from my cheeks to my navel.

They poured like an upstream river out of my being. I didn’t know when or if the intense pain would ever stop. I couldn’t believe that such a good gift could be so cruelly taken so soon. Yet, these children were never gone from my heart. I was still their Mother. Yet, there remain in this time and space children of mine who I do not mother alone. Some have blonde hair, some have dark skin; some are very young, and others are much older than me in years but alone in their own way.

Each is searching for spaces in this crazy world to call their own and for someone to recognize who they really are. They cry out and, even though my own pain sings a loud song, I do hear them. It is my honor to see them. I fiercely want to protect them from any more of life’s deepest pains. I love them and weep for them too—not because their life has gone from me, rather because it has come and stayed close. They have come into my heart and they are now part of me too. Our bond is undeniably good.

So, no, I may never be able to attend the innocence of the average baby shower with other mothers-to-be, or be invited to a mother’s support group, or even be able to talk fully about my mothering pain and joy in public.

I am learning to accept that the gift of mothering I have been given may never be understood by most. And I might never know what physical life coming from my womb is like. Such is the cost of unconventional motherhood: loneliness.

Yet, no matter how I feel or what others say or even what the future may hold for me, there is one thing I know: I am, and will always be, a mother. 

If you'd like to read more, check out Birthed here.

Know if days like this are sad for you, my heart is with you. You are not alone.

One of the deepest heartaches for any parent is the loss of a child. No matter if the child was a grown adult, a school aged student or a still-born infant . . . I would even add to this list that there's also great pain in the loss of a child who did not make it out of the womb. Failed fertility treatments leave deep wounds of "What could have been." (With nothing to show for it except drained bank accounts!)

As hearts ache, it seems everything in our world says, "Just move on. Get over it."

But I'm a firm believer in lament.

We can't move on if we don't speak our truth before God first.

Some of the best lamenting is done in communities where the grieving can know they're not alone.

For this reason and may more, today I'm offering a prayer I wrote that is meant to be a resource in congregations to honor children both that are a part of communities and those who have been lost.  October is National Infant and Pregnancy Loss month and I'm glad to participate in it. I hope your congregation will too.


Congregational Prayer in Remembrance of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month

God, today we want to thank you for the children who are a part of our community.

For the children that fill our community with laughter, with song and with questions

For the children that teach us in this over scheduled world how to play, how to walk slower, and curiously take in the world’s wonder.

For the children that try our patience one minute but embrace us with joy the next

We say thank you.


But, God for all the children we see and celebrate, we know there are many who we do not.

For the children who filled their parents’ hope muscles with more joy than they ever thought was possible but whose cells did not grow and multiply fast enough.

For the children with names were already spoken aloud and lived in their mother’s wombs 6 weeks, 8 weeks or even just 12 but not any longer.

For the children whose life span could be counted in hours or days but not years.

For the children who were held but whose futures are empty.

We say thank you, God, with tears in our eyes.


For it’s true, our hearts ache for all the moments of what could have been. Our pillows fill with tears of dreams dashed. Our souls overflow with loss beyond what we thought we could bear. But still, today, we want to stop and say thank you God for these children. We acknowledge them. We claim them. And we pray for peace for them and us.

Keep teaching us to welcome all your children in our community of faith.



_93634580_gettyimages-631756268Holy God,

The hearts of so many Americans are breaking today.

A bully with undisciplined tongue--  a man who does not show regard for any who do not look or think exactly like him will be our new President. 


So, today, we'll try to go about our day as normal to give it less power and stay focused on what goodness we can bring to our corners of the world.

But regardless we'll sense what is going on because we're afraid.

We're afraid for the status of our immigrant neighbors as money might be spent building walls not longer tables.

We're afraid that the resurgence of the KKK has not been called out.

We're afraid for the rights of our LBGTQ friends.

We're afraid that the hard conversation about white privilege and racism that we need to be led in as a nation won't happen.

We're afraid for wars that might be started over middle of the night tweets.

Some of our fellow citizens criticize our grief saying:

We're sore losers for a national election with different results as we liked.

We're not simply going with the flow of what is and praying for the best.

We're inspiring fear with our fear.

We respectfully listen. But, we acknowledge where we are and stay the course. To remind ourselves that you, God are always on the side of the stranger, the refugee, and the downtrodden. We want to be where you are!

So, we can not close our eyes and pretend things said and done aren't happening.

Yet we know this: in our heartbroken state, God, you're asking us to move through our grief into action.

You're inviting us to be the change we want to see in the world. Black, brown, gay, straight, Jew, Muslim, and Christian together.

You're teaching us to speak up when false words are spoken.

You're telling us to stand up for the rights of our all neighbors when they're challenged.

You're saying, "Welcome, welcome, and welcome just as I have welcomed you!"

This is a hard path, God in times like this.

But we're committing to stay the course till we've overcome, no matter the cost.

No one is free, till we all are. This is the gospel.  We want to be bearers of good news for all people even those who are confused by our heartbreak today.


As a child growing up in an evangelical branch of the church, I was taught that prayer was talking to God.

It was right to give thanks to God for food. (God is great. God is good, anyone?)

I was encouraged to pray for those who were going through difficult times. (There's nothing longer than a church prayer list is there?)

I learned that if you didn't confess sin before you prayed then God wouldn't be too happy with you. (I can just hear one of my Sunday School teachers saying: "Confess, confess, confess!")

And, while I learned a lot all through these years of Christian education-- all of the "rules" of prayer seemed to be just that, rules.

I didn't understand why my relationship with God needed to look one way. Did it have anything to do with my particular personality? I wondered. CDB_2614

I took a break from prayer for many years in my 20s.

I know that's not something that preacher types usually share; for they fear it will ruin their holy complex. Well, if you have a holy complex about me, let it go now. I'm just a human being like everyone else.

Sure, I could stand up in church on Sunday mornings and ask God to bless the sick in my congregation, those with troubles in the world and find a way to end with the Lord's Prayer-- but things weren't so intimate with God and me.

I didn't see the point, especially as I walked through difficult situations and nothing about my situation seemed to change . . . (insert forthcoming memoir on infertility here).

But over the last year or two, this has shifted. And I now pray for completely different reasons. My baby steps back toward prayer centered on praying for those I love.

I don't know if you are like me or not, but when I love, I fiercely love.

I love my congregation members if I'm serving a particular church.

I love my husband.

I love my dear kindred friends.

I love those that find a way to intersect my life in unique ways.

And for me, sometimes, it is hard to know what to do with that love. I truly want the best for them. I want to see them thrive. I want life to be as good to them as it possibly can. However, there comes a time when relationally I have done or can do all I can, but yet my heart isn't at peace for them. So I pray.  I find joy in giving those I love to God.

And, so I've learned to pray-- love by praying. To ask God, who I believe is the divine parent of us all-- to watch over those I know are in need of peace, support or wisdom.

A funny thing has happened to me along the way. I have found myself wanting to pray more. It's no longer a chore. It's a sweetness in my day. It has become a relationship between God and my community.

While many might think, it's shallow-- to just pray for people who you love-- I say, don't judge too quickly. In getting the conversation going again, God has come near to me in other ways. I'm beginning to get back to all the other stuff too like "Oh, God I have fallen short of your best for me in this way" or "Oh, God bless those in need in far away places" or "God bless so and so who really annoys me."

So, why do I pray now?

I pray out of relationship. Sometimes there's lots of talking. Other times there's not.

But, like any relationship I know a spiritual life has ebbs and flows. But prayer is the conversation starter.

This is what I know for sure: I am a creation of the great Creator who loves me. I want to grow to love God more. So I learn to pray.

Why do you pray?

CeKATZ_WIAA9ax-Our hearts are overwhelmed this morning as we woke to the news of another act of terror. Another mass attack. Another senseless taking of lives. How can it be?

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

How could this happen to the innocent again? How could this happen in an airport? How could this happen in a subway? How?

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Our minds go to those who lost a daughter, a son, a brother, a sister, a friend, a teacher, a lover, a neighbor and who are now thinking of funerals they never thought they'd plan.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Our minds go in anger to those who take credit for these acts-- those who believe their hate can grant them achievement and a voice. How can this evil be stopped?

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We ask for peace and wisdom to all of those who will support, treat, help and love on those now in physical, emotional and spiritual pain and for the long days to come.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all of us with Brussels on our minds today feeling just less and less secure. Wondering what can make us feel safe again?

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We worry, God, about those who will use this crisis to push their own political agendas rather than love. We worry the more events like this keep happening the more calloused we will be!

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Most of all, God, grow our compassion muscles so that we live less in isolation and more in abiding communion with You and one another.

Lord, in mercy hear our prayer.

Do what you can only do O God. Come close. Bring your Spirit. Teach us again how to be human beings that love each other hand in hand.



The weather folks make it sound like Jesus is coming back this storm is going to be so bad.

First 12 inches, then 18, and now they say 30!

Is that even possible?

From our airwaves, we've heard: "Prepare promptly."

It will be the worst, worst than 2010! 

It will be the worst, worst than 1996!

It will be the worst, worst since 1922!

(Ok, this sounds bad, maybe we should listen . . .)

So, we've stood in long lines at the gas stations, the grocery stores and Home Depot. We've fought fellow shoppers for parking spaces. We've grabbed batteries till the shelves were bear. We've remembered where our shovels are and put the bags of salt in our hall closets on alert. We thought we were ready.

But now as we watch the news, it's turned into "Prepare to panic. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOUSE!"

With refrigerators full of frozen pizza, cheese and lunch meat, we've started to worry about when the power goes out. What fun is it to be at home in the freezing dark? All our meat will spoil. . .

Yet even if they call 2016 the worst and it is the ultimate worst.

You tell us not to fear. You tell us that you are in the storm. You tell us you are the Creator of this day.

And like any other day. You are before us. You are behind us. And most of all you are with us in the middle of it.

And because you are with us, might this storm be an opportunity OUT of our normal ways?

Out to let a neighbor use our snow shovel. Out to check on the lady across the street who lives alone.

Out with kinder hearts when this Sabbath us over.

Lord, be our eye in the middle of the storm. Watch over us the whole night through. But don't let fear steal the show! We've got better stories to tell.


This week, I'm on travel with Feed the Children. Kevin and I have come to Africa to support the launch of the new Feed the Children brand  and do some other important work as part of moving the mission of this organization forward.

It's been a joy for me to reconnect with the larger FEED family and put my feet on the soil of a nation that I adore! I've tasted again ugali and greens and some of the best tea you can find anywhere on earth. I've hugged some babies who were crawling the last time I saw them, but now are walking! And I've been given the given some amazing gifts of love and acceptance by co-laborers here in our great mission of no child going to bed hungry.  

And as I'm having this fabulous multicultural experience, I've thought much about "What Americans Can Learn About America From Not Being In America." So I want to begin to share this three-part blog series with you: 

Pride in one's country-- no matter where this is-- is something most of us share no matter where we live.

To be formed as a human being by a particular culture, language and cultural stories is simply part of what it means to be alive. We all love what we know.

However, what happens when your particular national story grows to be the ONE acceptable take on history?

What happens when your particular nation becomes the ONE acceptable point of view?

What happens when your traditions and practices become imposed on people of other nations as the ONE way?

While I am an American through and through, traveling always makes me quite aware of how Americans-- sometimes even unconsciously-- enter spaces.

We see the world from our distorted lens.

We think we know best-- in most things.

We are so good at giving advice to solve problems, but not staying around to see things through. (Read American foreign policy for the last 50 years if you don't believe me!)

We think the way we eat and bathe and dress is the only acceptable way to find happiness.

Coke and IHOP pancakes anymore? You, don't have a granite tub? How can you live like that? 

We think we can ignore the pain and suffering, the hardships, and the real stories of what it means to be a human being in a places without running water, refrigeration or two cars parked in a driveway.

Because why? We're American! Things are different in our context. Why must we adapt to anything else?

With living like this, we find ourselves with a spiritual problem: we see the world we want to see. We live in a world of blessings. Yet at the same time we are so poor.

In response, I found myself writing this litany of repentance for my fellow Americans (maybe even some other Westerners too). Maybe you might want to join in with in prayer as you read:


One: Lord, we confess to you that we've lost sight of how our world really is: a world where mothers must take 3 buses to find work. A world where children make their own toys with cardboard cut-outs in the street without supervision. A world where even the best education can't lift a man out from the slums.

Many: Lord, in your mercy, forgive us.

One: We confess how quickly we are to judge-- to enter as know-ers, not listen-ers. We talk without taking breaths about our plans, our programs, our successes. We assume that hard work and determination is all that a child needs to rise above their parents without ever meeting a child turned away from learning because her school fees weren't paid.

Many: Lord, in your mercy, forgive us.

One: We confess that we adore our ways of living. We like driving big cars. We like eating at restaurants where too much food is served on one plate. We like wasting toothpaste at the end of the tube. We like shopping in big bulk stores for what we already have.

Many: Lord, in your mercy, forgive us.

One: We confess that we like obsessing about problems like colors of cake frosting, wrinkles on our foreheads and the right kind of beer at baseball games. We consider our appearance and our bodily pleasure above all else.

Many: Lord, in your mercy, forgive us.

One: We confess that we money we spend on Starbucks, fast food and take-out dinners that could be better spent on putting a child with big dreams in Africa through college.

Many: Lord, in your mercy, forgive us.

ALL: We confess, O Lord, that as Americans we have fallen short of your best ways for us. Help us take "I" out of the subject lines of more of our sentences. Help us move our money into different kinds of purchases. Before we speak so much, remind us that we're a part of a global family, in which we are just one part. AMEN

As a child, I was taught that prayer was talking to God, but because God was God prayer came with a lot of rules.

Rules like:

1. Always start with thanksgiving.

2. Always confess your sins after that.

3. Don't be surprised if God doesn't hear your prayers if you have unconfessed sin.

4. The best prayer you can pray is the Lord's Prayer. Learn the words. Say them often even if you don't know what the word "trustpasses" means (really that what I thought the word was as teen!)

5. Don't treat God like Santa. Consider carefully what you ask for.

I got disillusioned from all this rule keeping when it came to prayer about the time I entered seminary.

I took a break from prayer for many years in my 20s, at least serious prayer that is. I didn't know how to follow all the rules anymore. I didn't know if the rules really mattered. I didn’t see the point, especially as I walked through difficult situations and nothing about my situation seemed to change . . . Was God really listening?

But then, a  shift happened several years ago. New friends came into my life who seemed to have a whole other relationship with God than I did that had nothing to do with the rules. They loved me more than I'd ever experienced before in my life. And I loved them for it. My baby steps back toward prayer centered on praying for them.

I don’t know if you are like me or not, but when I love, I fiercely love. I love my husband. I love my dears kindred spirit friends. I love dear ones of all kinds that find a way to intersect my life in unique ways. And for me, sometimes, it is hard to know what to do with that love.

I truly wanted the best for them. I wanted to see them thrive. I wanted life to be as good to them as it possibly can.

And, so I’ve learned to pray– love by praying. To ask God, who I believe is the divine parent of us all– to watch over those I know are in need of peace, support or wisdom in their daily lives.

A funny thing happened along the way. I found myself wanting to pray more. It wasn't a  chore, but a sweetness.

While many might think, it’s shallow– to just pray for people who you love– I say, don’t judge too quickly. In getting the conversation going again, God came near to me in other ways. I’m began to get back to all the other stuff too like “Oh, God I have fallen short of your best for me in this way” or “Oh, God bless those in need in far away places” or “God bless so and so who really annoys me.”

So, I began to pray out of relationship. I prayed for relationships.

But, now sometimes such doesn't even really work anymore. I don't have that warm and fuzzy feeling about people enough to even get me to pray. So what does prayer look like for me now?

I am learning to pray all over again as I just sit. Sit in silence. Sit to remember. Sit to honor all that I was created to be. Sit and hope for the Divine to show up in a way I can't control or even predict.

I am relying on the discipline of sitting and BE-ing.

Though my more evangelical friends might tell me that I am doing it all wrong again, it's ok. I'm ok. God is most certainly ok. And I'm going to keep learning about conversing with the Holy for many years to come.

Recently, I've found myself in circles of people where the word "prayer" is not often used in conversation. No one seems to talk much about actual talking to God or Jesus. They just promise to hold one another "in the light."

I'm not quite sure what it means other than sending good energy toward a person in a difficult or challenging situation or a desire for good things to come. And while I don't think any of us would refuse such an intention in our direction (who doesn't want a good life?), whenever I hear it I wonder where is God? What is the person hoping between me, God and my understanding of the Divine?

I believe such an intention sets up a light vs. dark dichotomy Light is good. Dark is bad.

Good happens in the day. Bad happens in the dark.

We are living close to God when we are living in the light. We are far from the presence of God when we are in the dark.

All the buzz in theological circles I run in these days is Barbara Brown Taylor's book, Learning to Walk in the Dark.

(Here's my 5 second commercial: It's SO good I tell you. You. Must. Buy. It. Soon. It's a book that Christians will have in their collections for years to come because the theology is just SO good, SO fresh and SO timely for so many of us).

According to Taylor, we need not to be afraid of the dark. Dark is not the absence of God.  Think of all of the Biblical characters who encountered God at nighttime or in a cloud of smoke. Remember Abraham, Jacob and Moses?

God is not ONLY found in the light. God speaks and dwells and abides in the dark too.

So as we seek to know the Divine, the dark nights of our soul are not just annoying times to somehow "get through" but opportunities to more fully Know.

Consider these words from Chapter 2:

The way most people talk about darkness, you would think that it came from a whole different deity, but no. To be human is to live by sunlight and moonlight, with anxiety and delight, admitting limits and transcending them, falling down and rising up. To want a life with only half of these things in it is to want half a life, shutting half way where it will not interfere with one's bright fantasies of the way things ought to be. . . . Those of us who wish to draw near to God should not be surprise when our vision goes cloudy, for this is the sign that we are approaching the splendor of God.

So, maybe there are more helpful ways to pray than holding each other in the light. Could we consider holding one another in the dark too? 

And it's true isn't it? Our lives are lived as much in the light as it is in the dark. As much as we know what we know, we also don't know a lot.

So, then to pray for another to live in the light is to keep from one another the possibly some of the best (though painful) experiences of the Divine possible on earth.

What if the next time someone comes to us in crisis we promise to sit with them in the dark?

What if we helped one another embrace the dark by reminding each other not to be afraid, to keep walking baby step by baby step even if we have no idea where they going next?

What if we prayed for the moonlight to be tender and the howls of the darkness to be full of some comfort as our night journeys tarry on?

These are the kind of prayer utterings I want around my life.

Not Pollyanna promises of all will be well. Not pep rally prayers of "cheer up sweetheart." Not even more light send my direction. I don't want that.

But if  the darkness is where I am or where I need to be then come be with me there.  Remind me that God is not absent, even when I feel that way. Hold my hand, keep showing up in body and spirit and let's navigate through this darkness together. Let me tell you want the darkness is like. Be my darkness companion.

Don't let me not miss out on the smoke, the fog, the clouds of what I could behold . . God who shows up in darkness too.

How do you pray when your heart is full of uncertainty?

How do you pray when you see the structures you once leaned on for security like a good paying government job fail you?

How do you pray when a simple drive across town pulsates fear as imagines of gunfire and hate mongering have filled your computer screen for days?

How do you pray when there is no 10 month plan in your day-timer or 10 week in advance or even 10 days from now plan because you wonder how you are going to make it till tomorrow?

How do you pray when your heart feels unable to trust in the possibility of "the right answer" anymore because the world seems all do evil for that kind of blind faith?

How do you pray?

As much as there are no words, as much as there is no comfort, as much as the rage in us seeks to overflow in the places where love for neighbors dwelled . . . there was once a Teacher. There was once a Teacher who was asked by one of his disciples, "Teach us to pray . . ."

And to this request he answered:

hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”

Such words came from a Teacher with an uncertain future. Sure, he knew that all would be well in the end-- the darkness would not overcome the light. But the world was not there yet. Suffering, great suffering awaited him and awaited all those in whom he loved. This journey of hoping without giving up would be a long road ahead.

So he prayed.

This Teacher taught us to keep praying this prayer.

Alone. Two by two. In small community. In large groups.

Whenever we needed direction. Whenever we needed Him the most. Whenever.

A prayer that would give us the words for the days when we felt overcome with the hardship of our uncertain futures.

Today join me in praying a prayer this heart weary with the complexities and uncertainties of our world truly needs right now.