When we discussed structured prayer a few weeks ago, I forgot to mention how this practice has helped me pray for you, my readers.
Many of you I know by name, and when I’m asked to pray, I do my best to remember. A perpetual doubter, I am humbled when entrusted with such requests, and grateful to The Book of Common Prayer for providing the words when I cannot generate them on my own. When praying more generally for you—for those I know and those I don’t know, for the commenters and lurkers, for the fans and the critics—I love this simple compline prayer, which reminds me of the old adage that “everyone you meet” (even on the internet!) “is fighting some kind of battle”:
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for you love’s sake. Amen.
I know that tonight there are those of you who are working and those of you who are resting, those of you who are celebrating and those of you who are suffering, those of you who are sick and those of you who are tending the sick, those of you who just want a few hours of quiet, and those of you who feel lonely, those of you who will stain your pillows with tears, and those of you who will sleep with smiles on your faces….(or, if you’re like me, with drool on your lips!)
I guess I just want you to know that I think about this from time to time, that I do my best to acknowledge and pray for the unique and sacred people you are.
What prayers do you gravitate toward when praying for others? How do you pray for those you do not know well?