When the world hurts, a prayer

This originally appeared in The Inquirer, Issue 8041

Let us join together in a time of prayer and reflection.
Let us turn our minds and our hearts to that which is, for us, sacred, and let us draw ourselves into the
presence of that spirit which some of us call God.
And let us pray.
We are sad, and we are scared. We are sad and we are scared because this world is full of pain and fear, and
because we feel helpless in the face of it. We don’t know what to say, or to do.
And so we pray, first, for ourselves. Because that must be where prayer starts. We pray, for ourselves, that
we may accept our sadness and our fear, and that we may have the strength not to fight against. Let us
acknowledge those feelings as important, as sacred, as valid.
And let us pray, next, that we may turn that sadness and fear into resolve and action. That we may begin
with praying, and use that prayer as a spur to acting. That we may do whatever is within our power to do – no
matter how small it may feel, no matter how daunting it may feel – to bring about change.
And now, having acknowledged our sadness and our fear, and having resolved to act, let us act next by praying
for others. Let us pray, as so many others are praying right this very minute, that all of those who are enduring
the horror of the conflict in Ukraine find such comfort as they can, such safety as they can, such strength as
they can.
Let us pray for those who must flee, and for those who must stay. Let us pray for those who face impossible
decisions. Let us pray that those who must stay find safety and comfort, and that those who must flee find
sanctuary and a welcome. Let us encourage those around us, and those over whom we have any influence
whatsoever, to work to make that welcome happen here in our own land.
And let us pray that those charged with leadership may turn towards peace and that they may be blessed with
the wisdom, vision, and perseverance to end this conflict and restore peace. May they act with compassion
and love.
We pray for those countless thousands of people unknown to us, caught up in these terrible events, and we
pray, too, for those known to us who are most closely affected.
Holding all of this pain in our hearts, let us be aware too that glory does not stop because of pain. Let us name,
silently, in our hearts, a joy, that it may bring us comfort in this time of pain. Let us be grateful – without guilt
– for the many blessings we all have.
And let us be together now, in the quiet.

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