Updated: Apr 7
Whenever I hear a siren, I take a minute to pray for the workers who are in the vehicles and for those that they are caring for or helping. I have been doing this for years. I cannot remember how or why I started doing it, I just do it. Maybe I do it because my thoughts tend to run to “Thank God that is not me” or maybe I do it because it is a way that I can help. Most importantly, praying is a way that I can care for others, and it is an opportunity for connection.
Just the word, pray, lays it all out there. It is a verb, an action word, when we pray, we are doing something. By praying we are actively connecting with others in a positive way. If we are praying for ourselves, we are showing self-care and using our faith to connect with one who is greater than us for help, support, and guidance.
Here are some examples of praying for strangers; when my children were younger, we would take walks around our neighborhood and stop to pray at each house that we passed. When doing this I felt connection to those that were prayed for. I many never know how our prayers touched their lives, but I do know that the prayers made a difference. Last month I put my sister and brother-in-law’s name on our church’s prayer list. My sister shared that they could feel the difference in their lives the day that I put their names on the list. She said that things just seemed a little easier. I received cards and emails from the people in my church who let me know that they were praying for my sister and brother-in-law, whom they have never met, when I shared these with my sister she was overwhelmed with the love and care that was being sent their way. I recently attended a prayer vigil for Ukraine. It offered me an opportunity to help and support others, something of value to do instead of feeling helpless. I am sure that you have your own stories of the blessings that your prayers have bestowed.
Some other examples are in a book that I just finished reading, Praying for Strangers, an Adventure of the Human Spirit written by River Jordan. An uplifting look at the power of prayer. The author shares how her new years resolution to pray for a stranger everyday changed her life and the lives of those she prayed for. An engaging read about making a difference in the world we live in.
In this season of Lent and beyond, I invite you to join me in the spiritual practice of actively praying for strangers and experience the connections that are created.
Don't miss next week when Henrieta will be looking at the redemptive value of music.