A prayer for the twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time


I wrote myself a note.

“Smile as you are praying,” I said.

It is hard to smile, God. At least for me.

And for the people of Haiti unrecovered from the last traumas and in an earthquake again.

And for the people of Afghanistan, especially those who love you and who got mail this week, “We know who you are and what you are doing.”

And for the ICU nurses and techs and doctors here watching an illness return.


when people ask us to pray for their recovery when they didn’t do what they could to stay well, do you listen to them?

Do you give up on them?

Do you give up on us?

Do you give up on me?


in the disaster and the disruption and the distraction,
you do not give up on us even when we despair of life itself.
Even now, you listen to us.

You offer wisdom to leaders who actually turn to you and listen to you and follow you more than their polls.
You offer comfort to us as we grieve what we have lost, including lives and love and hope.
You offer a listening heart when we bring our questions and frustrations and fear.

Like these words.

And God, your people in Afghanistan and Haiti and here need your courage right now.

And we need, as we are able, to learn to submit to one another out of reverence for you.

We ask through Christ our Lord.