The importance of praying always and never losing heart came alive for me this week.
This past week my prayers were dominated by concern for two friends and their newborn premature twins. One twin died soon after birth; the other struggled on for life for six days, finally falling asleep in the Lord last night.
I found myself astounded at the deep faith of Luisa and Jarrett whose prayer for their children left open the possibility of their passing on to the Lord. They had found the strength to pray, “Thy will be done.” I pray that God may continue to give them the comfort and courage they need.
But what also impressed me was the community of prayer and concern that arose. People were praying for them; people expressed their concern, their solidarity, their love. These are signs of the Reign of God.
I have been troubled by the bitter and abusive conversations in this election season. No, they are not conversations; they are accusations. They only provoke anger and fear and tear apart the fabric of a civil society.
But, in the midst of this, some of us experienced the presence of the God who brings people together – in love, in concern for the most vulnerable, in prayer.
Yes, the two newborns, Joseph and Matthew, have died, but a community of love was created around them and their parents and family.
May these types of communities grow and flourish – in the midst of times of fear and mistrust. May God be shown in our mutual love and support.
For this I pray – and, because of what I’ve witnessed in Luisa and Jarrett and the community that arose around them and their sons, now with the Lord, I have another sign of God’s presence to help me never lose heart.