all of the selves we Have ever been
It is the 2022 National Day of Prayer. The President has offered this proclamation:
Throughout our history, prayer has been an anchor for countless Americans searching for strength and wisdom in times of struggle and sharing hope and gratitude in seasons of joy. In public reflections on life’s many blessings and in quiet moments during life’s most difficult trials, Americans of nearly every background and faith have turned to prayer for comfort and inspiration. Prayer is a sacred right protected by free speech and religious liberty enshrined in our Constitution, and it continues to lift our spirits as we navigate the challenges of our time.
On this day, we recognize the healing power of prayer, especially as we recover from the trauma and loss of the COVID‑19 pandemic. Today we find ourselves in a moment of renewal — of lives saved, of new jobs created, and of new hope for rebuilding America. Today is also a moment of reflection when we are called to address some of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced — saving our planet from the existential threat of climate change; responding to attacks on democracy at home and abroad; and living up to our Nation’s promise of liberty, justice, and equality for all.
As the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “There is a need we all have in these days and times for some help which comes from outside ourselves.” Across our diverse and cherished beliefs, on this National Day of Prayer, no matter how or whether we pray, we are all called to look outside ourselves. Let us find in our hearts and prayers the determination to put aside our differences, come together, and truly see one another as fellow Americans.
For me, prayer is more than just my daily bread; it is my glue, a time for mending and strengthening. And in this frightening time of disease, war, political unrest, and incivility, I find myself praying continuously.
Most days, it is all I can do to face the problems in the world, but I ask myself: What is it that is my responsibility to do? I feel too small for the size of the task, but too fearful to do nothing. I reflect on the words of Jon Acuff:
“God found Gideon in a hole, Joseph in a prison, Daniel in a lion’s den. Next time you feel unqualified to be used by God, remember: He tends to recruit from the pit, not the pedestal.”
I await my orders.
And as I do, I further reflect on the wisdom of the poet, Kahlil Gibran:
And if you cannot but weep when your soul summons you to prayers, she should spur you again and yet again, though weeping, until you shall come laughing.
When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet.
I know that I have met you there in that invisible temple. We will find our way. Together.