Two amazing things happened this past weekend. We start and end our prayer time in every chapel with the Taize chant “Your Prayer is My Prayer Too.” Those are the only words to the song and the meaning of it seems pretty self-explanatory to those of us who lead it each week. But this past Sunday, we witnessed a serious spiritual ah-ha moment. Someone gave thanks that their peer got to go to the symphony. That prayer of thanks started a conversation about the “Your Prayer is My Prayer Too” chant. In that moment, there was a realization of what the chant really meant as they celebrated having a Joy for someone else. “Oh! When we have a Joy or a Concern for someone else – or when someone else’s prayer means something to us – then their prayer becomes our prayer for them too. Oh! That’s why we sing that song huh?”
This past weekend we also were hugely blessed to have Harriett Olson visit our campus. Harriett is the General Secretary and CEO of United Methodist Women. To have in our midst the current top representative of the woman’s ministry group that started our agency 124 years ago was amazing and humbling to say the least. Harriett was here for the Annual Alaska UMW Gathering. We spent the weekend together lifting up and celebrating ministries that UMW supports all around the world including AK Child & Family and the Nome Community Center. To be a part of that circle of care is a beautiful and powerful thing. We could not do the work we do through our Spiritual Life program without the abundant support we receive here in Alaska and nationwide from our ecumenical partners.
From the very first prayers lifted by Women of the Methodist Church in the late 1800s to this week’s prayer chain, our agency is surrounded and uplifted by a multitude of prayers every day. I like to think that our prayers for one another can open our eyes to seeing each other as God sees us. And in so doing, we can enter into and participate in the stream of love that God already directs towards us. Our prayers connect and unite us in a powerful way. It is an amazing thing. Whether we are together in the same room hearing one another’s voices, or thousands of miles apart sending our prayers to one another, in that sacred, holy moment we are bonded, and we might as well sing, “Your Prayer is My Prayer Too.”
Make this your common practice:….pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. James 5:16 from the Message by Eugene Peterson