Stuff happens. All the time. We are constantly getting news - news of trouble as well as news about happy things. Storms come through, fires rage, wars go on, trees fall over, people get married, people die, people get new jobs, people have babies.
All of this stuff is always going on.
It's hard to keep up. It's hard to keep up with prayers, too. I try to keep a list, but it is always on its way to becoming obsolete. It's always incomplete.
So we do what we can. We hug the person when we see them. We go out to help people pick up the pieces, we put apples out for the animals after the storm. We check on our friends and neighbors. We pray what we can remember to pray.
I used to worry about this. I used to worry about keeping up with the prayer list. But I don't so much any more. Because God knows what's going on. I'm not holding up the world with my prayers. It won't all fall down if I miss one or two or three.
But I try to keep my eyes open to what's going on in the world, far and near. I try to keep aware. I try to remember to put out the apples for the animals and to hug people who I know have been hurting or to smile with those who are celebrating. I try to remember what's been (or still) going on and to pray accordingly. I try to look around me through the lenses of prayer, knowing that I only have partial vision.
What am I praying about now?
The Episcopal Church is about to begin its triennial General Convention. So I'll be praying for The Episcopal Church and all who are at the convention as delegates and visitors. The fires are still raging in Colorado, so I'll be praying for the people there. We as a country are about to celebrate our national holiday of independence, so I'll be praying about that.
We've had a couple of deaths in our community this weekend. I've already been able to share one hug and will share more as I am able. Ditto for some of those unhappy diagnoses.
The storms in our area this past weekend were very strong; lots of damage in Washington DC as well as in places around Virginia. Prayers for those in affected areas - many thousands of people are still without power during a period of intense heat. Continuing prayers for those in Colorado.
Some of my family is traveling during the holidays, so I'll be praying for them and for all travelers.
Friends and family are celebrating weddings and anniversaries. Someone has a new job. Happy prayers!
And throughout it all, I'll be saying prayers of thanks to God, for my life, for my family (including my pets), for my parish, for friends, for all my many, many blessings. I am one blessed person.
As I said, stuff happens. It's hard to keep up. Sometimes I can't remember all the things I ought to be thankful for, either. But I can always remember Anne Lamott's favorite two prayers: Help me, help me, help me and Thank you, thank you, thank you!