Advertisement

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Praying again, “God Bless America!”

“Oh, my God!”… We each remember where we were that horrible morning eight years ago today. We remember the sick pit in the stomach, the rancid taste of fear in our mouth gaping in disbelief as we stared at our television screens listening for commentators to make sense of the senseless. I remember watching a shot of a group of New Yorkers staring up at the inferno and reading their lips, all of them. In near unison they mouthed, “Oh, my God!”

 

That’s what we say when there is nothing more or nothing else to say. And “OMG” is a prayer at the primal level! We reach up and out to God. We pray when we’re pushed to the edge. We prayed that morning, all of us. Whether or not we knew it, or even believed in the process; we all prayed. It’s a good day to remember that. Today we remember many things: the terror, the heroic courage of many, the anger, and the prayer of that darkest of days.  

Advertisement

 

In our book “Six Prayers God Always Answers,” Jennifer Schuchmann and I included the following about 9/11 and its aftermath. I offer it here as another way to remember…

It is hardly an exaggeration to call prayer an instinct. Before we think, consider the implications, weigh the probabilities, or balance our philosophic algebra, we pray.

Advertisement

 

Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 many New Yorkers found themselves in the throes of two indulgences most would have resisted in less complicated times. Hundreds threw themselves into sexual encounters with total strangers and thousands lost themselves in public displays of prayer Peggy Noonan described the latter this way in her Wall Street Journal column on September 28, 2001.

 

In the past 17 days, since the big terrible thing, our country has, unconsciously but quite clearly, chosen a new national anthem. It is “God Bless America,” the song everyone sang in the days after the blasts to show they loved their country. It’s what they sang on television, it’s what kids sang in school, it’s what families sang in New York at 7 p.m. the Friday after the atrocity when we all went outside with our candles and stood together in little groups in front of big apartment buildings. A friend of mine told me you could hear it on Park Avenue from uptown to downtown, the soft choruses wafting from block to block.

Advertisement

We prayed it then; may we do so again, fully intentional and again desperate: “God, bless, comfort, heal, encourage, challenge, restore America.”

 

 

Previous Posts

A Prayer When You're Grieving a Beloved Pet
“At your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11b Father, I miss my right-hand friend. My darling and beloved companion’s absence is sorely felt in my soul. Would you hold me now? Part of me wonders if I’m making more ...

posted 2:33:45pm Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

A Prayer When You’re Wrestling With God
So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me ...

posted 11:20:11am Feb. 02, 2016 | read full post »

A Prayer of Desperation
The ropes of death entangled me; floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path. But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me... my cry ...

posted 11:55:50am Jan. 27, 2016 | read full post »

A Prayer to Believe That You Can Change
As Jesus left the house, he was followed by two blind men crying out, “Mercy, Son of David! Mercy on us!” When Jesus got home, the blind men went in with him. Jesus said to them, “Do you really believe I can do this?” They said, “Why, ...

posted 1:17:15pm Jan. 25, 2016 | read full post »

A Prayer of Thanks for Good Gifts
Every good thing I have comes from you. (Psalm 16:2) Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17) Our recent post about creeping atheism ...

posted 12:50:24pm Jan. 23, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.