I'm not the type to wear my faith on my sleeve. For me, it's intensely personal and private -- even though I strongly believe in the value of a faith community. But I was stricken tonight by the number of prayer needs that friends of mine have posted on various messageboards, mostly prayers for healing. I was absolutely dumbfounded by the magnitude of the medical needs -- people fighting cancer, a little girl who lives with a rare form of epilepsy, someone whose brother is receiving a transplant (and the family who so graciously gave the gift of life in the midst of death), someone else whose relative was in an awful car accident ..... the list goes on.
I think no matter what our professed faith is, the need to tap into some power beyond our own is important. And I am humbled and awed by the sense of my prayers reaching into God's ears and into His merciful sacred heart. So for all those who have asked my prayers, I offer this:
Kind, loving, and merciful God, I come before you tonight -- thankful for the many gifts and blessings you have bestowed. I come to you, source of all that is good, seeking special favors for those I love -- and for those near and dear to their hearts.
So many are battling life-threatening medical issues; please heal them, and hold their families up through these difficult moments. Grant them a special measure of grace, strength in trials, and a heart full of gratitude.
So many are in need of other miracles; please provide all their needs, and if it be your will, maybe a couple of the small wants.
So many are overwhelmed by the burdens of life; grant them peace of mind and strength of spirit to handle what they can, and the grace of surrendering the rest to you.
So many are without even the basic necessities which I so easily take for granted; provide them with food, clothing, warm and dry shelter, a living wage, companionship, and strength for each day's labor.
I pray that you comfort the afflicted, tenderly receive the dying, open our hearts to the wonder of life, and help us all to thank and praise you for every gift you send our way.
In Christ's name, amen.