Sometimes it is difficult to trust in the power of prayer. Sometimes in public discourse “thoughts and prayers” are dismissed as inadequate and insufficient in response to the world’s deepest needs. But so often our own prayers to God, which ultimately connect us to God, move us and shift our way of thinking and doing, living and being. So often our prayers to God change us, and therefore change the trajectory of our own personal and collective lives as we seek to line up our lives, with God’s vision for the world. So I trust that the quote above by Tennyson is true. Prayer does bring about change when we allow prayer and thus our relationship with God to change us.
With so many uncertainties, whether in our personal lives, as part of this global pandemic, or as we watch and participate in anti-racist protests around the globe, it is powerful to hear from the young adults in our congregation who remind us to look to God. In our High School Psalm Sunday, Ben Akason reads Psalm 43 and reflects on the power of this text saying, “right now, we are all struggling with our own things and need to find ways to persevere.” Lifting up verse 3 in which the psalmist asks God, “Send out your light and your truth,” Ben suggests, “we need to look to God because God can lead us and help us persevere.”
May you look to God today, and may God’s presence change you.
Let us pray:
When we see injustice,
When we mourn,
When our soul is downcast,
When hope seems lost,
Be our stronghold.
Send your light and faithful care.
Bring us up to your holy mountain.
Let us praise you with song,
O God, our God.
We put our hope in you,
We praise you,
O Savior, Our God.
—Psalm 43, adapted by Katie Snipes Lancaster from the NRSV