I pray every night before I go to sleep. I have a litany of things I pray about. For the most part, my prayer list is just individual expressions of hope for good things for members of my family, my friends, myself and the world. I truly believe you can make a difference by naming your hopes deliberately and routinely and sending those sincere desires out into the universe or winging up to a divine power. I know reminding myself each night of the things I hope for, also inspires and motivates me to take whatever actions I can to make my prayers a reality.
In the past, my prayers for the world have always been pretty general. I pray for things like an end to poverty and an end to war and conflict. But at the beginning of June when I saw President Trump waving a Bible around in front of a church, I was so sad at how negatively the world has been affected by having an American leader with such a lack of moral integrity, I actually started praying specifically for many nights in a row that President Trump would lose the coming November election. That prayer didn’t sit well with me though. I hated to say his name and honestly I didn’t want to use my prayers to wish anyone ill.
Then I heard an interview with Stacey Abrams, an American lawyer and a former member of the Georgia House of Representatives who is one of the candidates Joe Biden is considering as a running mate. She was talking about how voting is an act of faith. She said her parents had both been pastors and they had taught her to believe that you get what you work for, but you also get what you pray for. She compared the act of voting to an act of prayer, a prayer that good people with good hearts and good intentions would be elected.
I loved that. I decided I would stop praying that President Trump would lose the election and instead pray that good people with good hearts and good intentions would win. I would pray that those who loved mercy and justice would prevail in our world.
Of course, I never know in what way, or in what time, the things I pray and hope for will come to fruition, or unfold. But that has never stopped me from praying for them in the past and won’t stop me from praying for them now.