“Pray for one another, so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
Reading this in September 2021, after 18 months of COVID-19, made us think today about what we’re praying for when we pray. We have seen plenty of evidence that we can’t pray ourselves out of a pandemic, or to heal from a virus. But still we pray. We offer to pray for friends and even strangers who suffer illness or loss. We pray for ourselves and our loved ones, for peace and wisdom, on a regular basis. We pray for our worshiping community. We pray for refugees and migrants, for the hungry, the sick, and those who care for them. We pray for our nation and the world. It’s not magical thinking: we haven’t ended hunger or illness; there are still refugees and migrants. Instead, in doing so we are connected, to God and to each other. When we pray we are not alone, and those we pray for and with are not alone. We know that God is with us, present in the world.