O Lord, that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.
—William Shakespeare, 1564–1616

The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Even as we take small steps toward life beyond the most restrictive restrictions of COVID-19, I am awakened to the ways we have already been transformed by this season of crisis and change. I did not realize what we took for granted. I did not realize how much we relied upon and were blessed by the social fabric that daily knit us together in tangible reality. How precious the act of gathering. How precious the sound of a room full of voices praying aloud: Our Father…. How precious the handshake, the hug, the crowd, the shared meal. How precious the choir’s descant, harmony, melody, procession reverberating off the sanctuary walls.

These last months of worshiping from home have pushed us to pray differently, to approach God differently, to rely on our faith community differently. We have needed a generous measure of God’s patience and grace. We have cried out in lament. We have asked the ancient questions, “Why?” and “How long, O Lord?”

Praying in this unfolding time of COVID-19 is in some ways no different from praying any other time, but prayers seem more universally pressing. Praying at home has always been part of our Christian calling, but now, with home as the temporary central place for school, worship, work and almost everything else, praying at home seems more poignant.

100 Days of Homegrown Prayer is an attempt to name and draw near to the presence of God growing within and beyond and between us as we reflect on what it has meant to worship from home. 100 Days of Homegrown Prayer will be a daily reflection and prayer specially created to deepen your relationship with God, broaden your theological horizon, and bless your day. To receive this devotional daily via email, please sign up here. Each day will include a short reflection about prayer and a short written prayer.

  • What is prayer?
  • How might we pray?
  • What is transformed in us when we pray?
  • How might daily prayer become part of your daily routine?
  • What lasting impact will worshiping from home during COVID-19 have on our church and our faith?
  • How can the familiar architecture of our homes—windows, doorways, dining rooms, front porches—and the wild familiar growth of summer—sunshine, rain, flower gardens, vegetable patches, solstice, fireflies—become metaphors to teach us about prayer?

My hope is that 100 days of prayer will move and change us. My hope is that 100 days of prayer will push us into new ways of knowing and experiencing God. My hope is that 100 days of prayer will move us toward gratitude and a reframing of the gift of this day. My hope is that 100 days of prayer will push us from early summer into the beginnings of autumn, wherein we can expect much will change. My hope is that some of you may also have reflections on what homegrown prayer means to you these days. May God be a blessing as we seek to draw near to such deep and wide divine love.

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