A prayer for the thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time


I know that someone once wrote that you watch over the foreigner and that you sustain the fatherless and that you care for and about the widows and that you frustrate the ways of the wicked but it sure doesn’t feel like it.

We watch those who are different from us, whichever that us is, be mocked and hated and feared. Every day we are aware that someone we know becomes fatherless or childless. Every day we are aware that someone we know becomes spouseless or friendless. Every day we think that your watching and sustaining doesn’t fix life.

That feels hard.

That feels, a little, like you aren’t doing everything you could to fix the problems in our lives. (If we can be honest.)

We know that you are powerful, we feel like we are hurting, and so we need help.


Help us understand that the story we are telling about you is not the story you are telling about us.
Help us understand that your story, unfolding across millennia and nations, is a better story than we can ask or imagine.
Help us understand that what looks like over often is in the middle,
what looks like irretrievable is often unnecessary,
what looks like failure is often a turn toward hope.

Help us remember that when we are focused on progress, you are focused on us, with a single-hearted awareness of all of us each at the same time.


Help us say to you, with Ruth, wherever you go, we’ll go, where you stay, we’ll stay, your people will be our people, you, God, will be God. And where you died, we die with you, and as you were raised, we will rise with you.

We ask, through Christ our Lord,



Reflecting on Ruth 1 and Psalm 146