Today is World Day of Prayer. Individuals the world over are coming together as one in their hearts and minds to pray for the goal of “Peace on Earth.” In churches, communities, homes, and between their ears at work, people are focusing on the thought of peace. The thought has an impact—you can feel the very vibrations in your soul. There is power in prayer, and power in positive thinking. Realizing that a blanket of this power is enfolding the earth right now gives a feeling of community and comfort—and strength.
When I awoke today facing a bout of depression, I had forgotten what day it was. I spent way too much time trying to swim through a dark pool of sludge in my emotions and thinking. It’s a side effect of chronic carbon monoxide poisoning—I never know when it’s going to hit me. In a case like this, self-esteem is nonexistent. All I can feel is failure. Hope is there, but I feel unworthy of it. Not only do I feel unable to do the work that is mine to do, but my thoughts tell me I will tank miserably if I even try.
This was my thoughtset as I forced myself to start working. I had to, otherwise I knew the self-condemnation would be worse than ever if I didn’t get anything done today. I sat down at the computer, began checking e-mail, and saw the announcement of World Day of Prayer. At the thought of all those people praying together in the world, I immediately felt the strength of Spirit. And at that, I felt condemned—because, after all, I had spent my morning in pathetic misery, while others were praying for peace with faith and hope. I was worse than worthless.
But I read on, and came to a compelling article by Rosemary Fillmore Rhea. As she spoke of young people from South America and Jamaica who are living in a word plagued by turmoil, I was instantly reminded of the children of Africa, who face the same danger. These children had touched my heart, and I’ve started to try to do my piece to help them. But that was part of the work that I now felt so inadequate to.
Rosemary’s words, however, shook my thinking awake. They told me that regardless of how I am “feeling,” there is necessary work that needs to be done. I need to work despite the darkness or my weakness.
God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) I never used to like that verse very much—back in the days when I felt strong within. Oddly, though, now that I am without strength of my own, that verse radiates a hope that makes me want to cry with gratitude. Good Lord, I don’t need to do it myself. “Oh, my God,” my heart mumbles. “It’s going to be all right.”
It’s World Day of Prayer. Someplace, somebody is praying for me. And they’re praying for you, too.
The lack of peace is endemic throughout the world—and really, it always has been. But it won’t always be, if we work together. One by one—cause by cause—and prayer by prayer—we truly can win the race, and establish peace on earth. With God’s help, all things are possible.
Even for me.