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Season of Hope

"It's like what we did for Lily," Dana said in response to the adults trying to articulate the concept of prayer. It was the second week in Advent and Temple Lutheran mission partners were gathered in a circle, reading a study guide published by Lutheran World Relief. We began to ask about the prayer list, what it meant to us and those that we are praying for. As with any theological topic, varying points of view were shared and we struggled to convey with words what it meant to us individually. Does God only work or care if we pray? Can we really change the will of God by asking? Doesn't God already know what we want before we pray for it?

Our analysis of prayer went on for a while until Dana's words seemed to pierce through our thoughts. Dana proposed that prayer is like what we did for Lily, a young teen facing a cancer diagnosis. The community responded by putting green lights on porches, wrapping them around trees, creating a wave of green through the streets. The lights beam for Lily and her family as they drive through the neighborhood. Lily feels the love and care from some she knows well and others she will never meet. It is always light that finds its way through the cracks of our doubt. It is light that shone through Dana's words to us in the room that night during Advent, reminding us that prayer is action and it is not as complicated as we make it out to be. It is the simple act of letting someone know you care. And that they are not alone.

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