A Prayer to Share

Cathryn Vitek   -  

I discovered one of my favorite new authors by accident.
I was searching for a resource and Amazon suggested I might like
liturgy of the ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren.
Amazon was right.
[It’s sometimes scary how well they seem to know me! : )]
But honestly, what kids’ pastor could possibly pass up a book with a cover that has
the church word “liturgy” and also features the mouthwatering image of
a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich?
Tish Harrison Warren is an amazing author with a real gift for writing about the
intersection of faith and life. She is also an Anglican priest, a wife, a mom and has
the illustrious title of “Author in Residence” at her church. She’s much, much younger
than I am, but I kind of want to be her when I grow up.
Only at Bethany.
I digress.
A number of months ago Tish Harrison Warren began writing a subscriber-only
newsletter for the New York Times which posts on Sunday. She writes about where
faith meets life and where life meets faith. She has written a great deal recently about
the crisis in the Ukraine, and in one of her columns she asked people to send in the
prayers they were praying about the crisis;
she shared a selection of them in her newsletter last Sunday.*
All of them are beautiful, but there is one in particular I’d like

I pray it touches your soul as it touches mine.

Cathy

An excerpt from
“How readers around the world are praying for Ukraine”
By Tish Harrison Warren

“I’ll close with a prayer that was offered by a woman after evacuating from Ukraine. She has
asked that her name be withheld. Her husband is a Ukrainian pastor, and she noted that his
family is currently in occupied territory and she is unable to have contact with them. She
wrote:
Father-God, may the attackers’ fingers freeze; may they drop things; may they not see clearly;
may their equipment malfunction; may they experience overwhelming hopelessness,
enormous fatigue and a complete loss of any desire to fight; may their communication be
broken; may there be confusion. Lead them to surrender. Stretch the kilometers before them
into endless kilometers of nonadvancement. Remove their leadership and replace them with
people who make decisions that reflect a fear of you.
Oh, God, infuse defenders with incredible surges of renewed alertness, strength, hope,
courage. Inspire those who want to help. Show them specific, effective ideas. Move them
swiftly and safely.
The worst is yet to come, Lord, if you do not stop it.
But please, no peace where there is no peace.
We ask for peace united with righteousness and truth.
God of all comfort, be physically present with all the mothers, fathers, grandparents and
children who are hiding, hearing, smelling, enduring. Warm them; fill them with food; give
them water, toilets, communication with their loved ones, the Gospel, hope in you.
We repent of making idols of political leaders and news outlets.
Forgive us for wanting them to be our gods and saviors.
Forgive us for being unreasonable, for not wanting to admit both the good and bad in all of
our leaders. It is this spirit that leads us to dictators because we abandon responsibility and
reason.
We confess the seeds of war that live in our own hearts.
We humble our hearts, our bodies. We ask you for mercy.
Thank you that you love mercy and have all power.”
Amen and amen.

*If you are a subscriber to the New York Times you will find Tish Harrison Warren’s
full Opinion newsletter in the 03.13.2022 edition. It was also posted on social media,
@tishharrisonwarren on Instagram.


Cathy