This Week's Prayer

“It doesn’t have to be the blue iris. It could be weeds in a vacant lot, or a few small stones. Just pay attention. Then patch a few words together – and don’t try to make them elaborate. This isn’t a contest but the doorway into thanks, and a silence in which another voice may speak.” (Mary Oliver, "Praying")
God of dirt, from which and for which we live:

Grow in us the faith to trust in your care even in the midst of pain. We are never alone, ever in your midst, and yet so often we seem astray and estranged.

We mourn this week and hold in our hearts:
The deaths of 15 from suicide bombers in Lahore, Pakistan, outside two Christian churches.
The destruction by ISIS of the 2000-year-old temple in Palmyra, Syria.
The chemical attack in Syria affecting dozens of civilians.
That continued use of rape as a weapon of war in many places throughout the world, where women are devalued and seen only as property
The extreme volatility of stock markets worldwide.
The continuing flood of refugees largely from Afghanistan, Nigeria, Eritrea and Syria struggling through hardship and danger to seek a new life in Western European countries.

Where our hearts are fearful and constricted, may we find courage and hope.
Where our minds are infected by anxiety, may we find peace and reassurance.
Where our vision can see no possibility, may we find imagination and resistance.
Where our spirits are daunted and distrustful, may we find connection and strength.

We celebrate:
The work of “Doctors Without Borders” whose members are treating the all victims of that chemical attack in Syria.
The firefighters laboring at risk against those wildfires – they have come from as far away as Australia and New Zealand.
The one surviving panda cub born at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
The diplomatic agreement between North and South Korea, which will result in the reunions of families separated by the Korean War.
The courage and faith of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter dealing with his diagnosis of advanced cancer.
The resilience and courage of the people of New Orleans, ten years after Hurricane Katrina.

God of dirt, grow in us the resolve and capacity to be agents of healing love and liberating justice.

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