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Praying for the World

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As Martin Luther observed, “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of [God's] willingness.” As Christ-followers we have been instructed to pray and to lay hold of God’s desires for all of creation. The practice of praying for the world is one way we can do that.

Begin by taking a few slow, deep breaths, centering your awareness in the present moment. Ask the Holy Spirit to flow through your heart, mind, and spirit as you pray.

Envision the earth as astronauts in space see it. In your mind’s eye, see the jewel-like orb: the blues of the bodies of water, the browns and greens of the landmasses, and the clouds hovering around it all.

Imagine the whole planet being surrounded with the light of God’s compassion and love for all creatures. Let this light surround you also as you join in the Spirit’s intercession for the world.

Also notice that within God’s light, there are individual stars of light, those children of God who care, pray, and work for good in the world. See how those stars are so numerous that they also encircle the globe. Acknowledge that your prayers join those of all who also love God.

As particular situations of need or trouble come to your mind, focus on the places on the planet where each exists. Be aware of these specific needs, but also remember that God’s light surrounds them all.

Conclude the prayer with your agreement that “God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

I could not have found The Upper Room Moments of Prayer (on Facebook Live) sooner. For it is during these moments of centering spiritual practices, meditating on the words of scripture, praying with and for the world, that I find moments of transcendence, hear whispers of peace and hope, see glimpses of truth and justice, behold visions of love and beauty amid all the stark realities that are around me.”

Join us every Monday and Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. (CST) for prayer and worship on Facebook Live.