In moments or seasons of difficulty it can be hard to find words in prayer. Anger or tears are sometimes our deepest expressions of what is in our hearts. God is the one who created us with both of these – the anger of emotion that lets us know something we care deeply about is at risk. The tears that are literally our bodies expressing deep joy and deep sorrow.
Many of us are praying for people we love who are grieving recent loss, struggling with illness, being courageous in healing, and some humbly preparing for death. Words tend to fade. Silence comes. Tears, anger, hope and love sit in every situation we hold in our hearts. Someone else sits there too. The resurrected Christ. Yes…the resurrected Christ. By the bedsides, in the surgery rooms, at the caskets, in your living rooms and parking lots; at the desk of your virtual classroom; walking down the street. Christ is there.
If you need words to pray for the people you love, I offer this familiar Psalm as a way to give words to your heart. Fill in the blanks with the names of your people. Write in the situations, even “enemies” that war in this moment. Name before the one who created us, all of your heart. God meets you right here.
The LORD is ______’s shepherd, _____ will not want.
The LORD makes _______ lie down in green pastures,
He leads ______ beside still waters,
He restores _______’s soul.
The LORD guides _______ in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake. God is present with her/him;
the LORD is shining light on ______’s path for this day.
Even though ______ walks through the valley
of the shadow of death,
_______ will fear no evil, for the LORD is with her/him.
The rod and staff of the resurrected Christ,
comfort and guide __________.
The LORD prepares a table today for ________
in the presence of enemies (like cancer, death, betrayal, grief, addictions, illness; despair)
The LORD anoints ______’s head with oil, providing a special blessing upon her/him.
The cup of _______ overflows with God’s love and presence.
Care and hospitality and grace are abundant.
Mercy stands guard at _______’s door.
Surely goodness and love will follow _______
all the days of her/his life,
And ________ will dwell in the house of the LORD
We are not alone. We are with one another in spirit and in prayer. The resurrected Christ is also there.
The Prayer with Andrea Bocellli