Prayer is the best response to hatred. Charles Spurgeon
Meditation: When injustice happens, we feel outraged. When discrimination happens, we get angry. When abuse of power happens, we want to scream and rise up and stop the abuse. All those reactions are understandable. And we need to protest, we need to make our voices heard, we cannot be silent.
And yet, the outrage, the anger, the inner and outer screaming cost us a lot. We feel toxic. We can’t focus. We feel overwhelmed, tense and somehow beside ourselves. How do we care for ourselves and for others in times when the emotional waves rise high?
Hearing the words: “Prayer is the best response to hatred” helps me focus. It helps me ground myself. It reminds me whose I am.
But what if there are no words? What if I can only sigh? Or cry? Or moan and groan? The Christian tradition knows of prayer that holds feelings that are too deep for words. Sometimes emotions are too deep to find any shape other than sounds.
And so our spiritual invitation in times of outrage and anger is to groan freely and see those sounds as prayer that God understands. We can scream or cry, and know that whatever is behind those sounds, God knows.
Prayer: God, you know us even before we utter one word. You know our inner emotional world, more so than we even know ourselves. And so we pray without words, just with sounds in this time of need, outrage, strength and weakness. And we find comfort that those sounds, even if some of them are silent, are being carried, held and understood by your supportive Spirit. Amen
Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings