When We Are All In The Valley of Suck Pray Together

I have written and spoken throughout the start of Covid. We moved as a family.  I have prayed. I wrote about prayer. I have struggled to be positive and optimistic.

But this sucks. 

When I wrote Life Sucks Seek God, it was about getting through difficult times and for me, that was the loss of my wife. The valley of suck sucked all the joy, hopes and dreams out of our family. We were ruined. I was in ruins. 

Today, as we creep closer to the two year mark of dealing with Covid, as a pastor, I am worn out. It has been a long journey to get to where we are and today we are looking at infection rates in Anchorage that are nearly at the same point as the height of the pandemic.

Oh, I am not about to give up - not by a LONG SHOT! As I reflected on turning 50 this year, a lot of things become more clear to me.  One thing is, I am an optimist. Period. I hate getting negative or being negative.  I am wired that way but following Jesus, well, that kicked things up a notch.  I keep hearing the Apostle Paul's words that three things remain: faith, hope, and love and the greatest is love (1 Corinthians 13:13). That sounds like an optimist to me!

So, the valley of suck is still here, unfortunately. For those who are shut-in, this makes it all worse. For folks trying to get out of tough financial situations, it really sucks.  I surely don't have the answers to many of these things. What myself, and clergy can offer is faith, hope and love. We've GOT to hold onto the promises of the gracious and loving God we worship.  I know and have read some who already thrown in the towel.

I am trying to get more creative - provide what I can provide.  I am going to keep Prayer Simply Breathe at the lowest prices I can.  I am going to provide free downloadable pages for you to print from the journals I have been working on so you can use them or get the books.

And I am going to pray. More. More creatively. More consistently. More compassionately.

We are in this together - this journey of life and we still are.  So let us pray together this amazing prayer for Covid:

We Asked

Loving Creator,

We asked for strength, and you gave us difficulties to make us strong.

We asked for wisdom, and you gave us problems to solve.

We asked for prosperity, and you gave us purpose and brains to use.

We asked for courage, and you gave us fears to overcome.

We asked for patience, and you gave us situations where we were forced to wait.

We asked for love, and you gave us troubled people to help.

We asked for justice, and you called us to be just and lead with integrity.

Lord, we have received nothing that we asked for or wanted.

And yet, we receive everything that we needed.

For this we give thanks.

- By Colleen Hanycz, PhD incoming President at Xavier University


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