By Reggie Connell
Whether it's smooth sailing or unsteady waters, prayer has often been used to seek wisdom, demonstrate thankfulness, and discover peace in our lives. Prayer sustains us through uncertainty, grief, and trauma. Prayer allows us a time of reflection for expressing our hopes, desires, and fears. Prayer offers strength in the face of trials and tribulations, and redemption when we stumble.
And in a time of global crisis, God is no doubt hearing a chorus of prayers from a suffering world.
"Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening."
Every day, people use the wisdom and revelations gained from prayer to spread kindness and to make our world better. Faith communities in Seminole County, in America, and globally, have helped feed the hungry, heal the sick, and protect innocents from violence.
Communities with love and understanding turn to prayer to inspire their work, which embodies a timeless notion that has kept humanity going through the ages - that one of our most sacred responsibilities is to give of ourselves in service to others.
The threats of poverty, violence, and pandemic around the world are all too real. Our faith and our earnest prayers can be cures for the fear we feel as we confront these realities. Prayer offers a powerful alternative to pessimism. It helps us resist despair, paralysis, or cynicism.
Prayer is hope. It's a conversation with God.
"Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness."
--H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Through prayer, we often gain the insight to learn from our mistakes, the motivation always to be better, and the courage to stand up for what is right, even when it is not popular. Each of us can be an author in this collective story, and participate in the discourse to address some of our greatest challenges.
We can also be reminded of the blessing we have to live in a land where we are able to express the beliefs we hold in our hearts freely. We, as a praying nation, will continue to stand up for those around the world who are subject to fear or violence because of their religion or beliefs.
Thank you, God, for the freedom and liberty we enjoy and celebrate on this National Day of Prayer 2020.
As a nation free to practice our faith as we choose, we must remember those around the world who do not share this freedom, and we must recommit to building a society where all can enjoy this liberty and live their lives in peace and dignity.
On this day, may our faith enable us to sow the seeds of progress in our ever-changing world. Let us resolve to guide our children to embrace freedom for all, to see God in everyone, and to remember that no matter what differences they may have, we will always be united by our shared humanity.
Say a prayer for someone you love today, and pray for the world to overcome COVID-19. Pray for the United States. Pray for the doctors, first responders, healthcare workers, and nurses fighting on the frontlines of this pandemic. Pray for caregivers, cashiers, cooks/chefs, delivery drivers, educators, farmers, food manufacturers, grocery store workers, janitors, pharmacists, postal workers, scientists, truckers and waste management workers. Pray for Florida, Seminole County, your city and neighborhood, and for our leaders to guide us with wisdom as we press forward and past this crisis.
On this National Day of Prayer, and in this time of COVID-19, let this also be a time to rededicate ourselves to the culture of prayer.
Enjoy your time with God, and have a happy and inspiring National Day of Prayer.
"To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing."
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