During the day, I pray a lot of "are you kidding me?!" type prayers, and a lot of "Please God protect" kind of prayers, and a fair number of "may the odor of skunk fill his nostrils day and night" sort of prayers. At night, I ask God to bless particular people or groups who are resisting the forces of hate and fear around us. It is a discipline that makes me notice those who are working for good, and to hold that which is positive in the light of God's mercy. I post them here because I want to be connected to all of you in this moment. Some of you have found these prayers helpful, and I am glad for that. I try to remember to make them public so they can be easily shared.
This morning, I received a prayer request. A loved one who served in the military was joining other veterans in South Carolina to protest the current administration's policies. One veteran said, "this is horrifying to what WE stand for. It is a disgrace." Another veteran lamented, "It's breaking my heart." It has been a privilege to pray for them all day.
Dear God, please bless the veterans who are protesting. These brave souls have shaped their lives in an effort to serve the common good. When it comes to the aspirational values of the United States--justice and freedom for all--they have skin in the game. And arms. And legs. And lives. The sacrifices they have made on our behalf command respect.
Now, they are fighting for our country in a different way, by demanding that we move towards the values we proclaim and not away from them. From South Carolina to Standing Rock, veterans around the country are calling the government and the people of the United States to become who we say we are.
God, please surround these veterans with your grace and peace. Give them a steady sense of your presence as they, again, work for the common good. Energize them with a sense of community, purpose, and calling. Grant them levity; bless them with joy. May their demonstration of true patriotism instruct and inspire us all. Amen.