Last night, I prayed for four hours. That’s right, from 4pm to 8pm I was in prayer with a succession of individuals and families who are members of the church I pastor. I know that seems like a long time, but this is a pandemic we are living through. To put my prayer time in perspective, before the pandemic, I would pray for 5-6 hours standing in the well of the church sanctuary, greeting families, offering the sacrament of communion, anoinint with oil, usually frankensence and myrr, and offering personal prayers. This year is different. Because of the virus, like many others, the church has made an effort to adjust for precautions of safety. Also, with new technologies, our prayer service did something I never imagined possible – many persons joined the prayer service from multiple time zones across the nation and in one instance, from Rome, Italy! I never imagined we could pray like this!
When the personal prayers ended at 8pm, I felt like I was walking on air! The spiritiual emotion of praying for that length of time for me is almost an out of body experience that has no parallel! For each individual I asked the same question, “What is your hope and prayer for next year?” I was struck that several individuals, primarily younger persons, but not all young people, said their hope for next year was for, “Peace and Courage.” These people were not aware of what others were praying for, because we were praying via Zoom breakout rooms. I want to thank Tasha Washington, of my staff at the church for coordinating the prayer service. I mentioned to some of the persons near the end of the prayer service that one day I would probably preach a sermon on, “Peace and Courage.” I begin that process with a prayer today, this Christmas Day, on “Peace and Courage.” I invite you to join me now in prayer.
Lord, I pray today for peace and courage. I pray for peace world-wide, but I also pray for personal peace. Grant that the nations of the world would cease in conflict with one another, but also that on an individual level, that you might provide peace in the internal struggle many of us have with our own values, principals and goals. Grant us courage in the struggle for justice and peace, and courage to stand up for truth and righteousness as we seek to live our lives in a world that often is so confusing. Bless us now with peace and courage and fullness of your favor both today and one day in the world to come. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Questions for Reflection:
- What are your thoughts regarding this piece of writing?
- Do you ever pray for peace and courage? Why?
- Why do you think others are praying for peace and courage?
- What can the Christian do to attain peace and courage?
- Other thoughts on this subject?
Written by Pastor Nick Hood3
Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3
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