In the hall of my home hangs an ancient map of the world. Whenever I look at it, I see a frowning face with eyes and a nose. (FYI: The ability of the human mind to see forms in things like clouds is called pareidolia.) This map reminds me to pray for people who are suffering in my country as well as in other countries. In my daily prayers are petitions for my family members and people I know. I admit I am negligent in including serious problems beyond the scope of my little world.
I don’t think that this is unusual. At Mass when the congregation voices its petitions, individuals pray for a sick son, an unemployed uncle, a neighbor who was in a car accident. Seldom is there mention of crises in other countries, or in our own for that matter. (Maybe it’s different at your church.)
A helpful practice would be to keep informed of current national and international problems in the news. Then list some of these on a card and keep it in our prayer book. So what would this list look like today? A peaceful solution to the escalating tension between Israel and Syria . . . comfort for the families of those who lost loved ones in India when the factory collapsed . . . justice for those involved in prominent murder cases, like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Amanda Knox, and Jodi Arias . . . peace between the Muslims and Christians in Tanzania . . . an end to the partisan gridlock in the US Congress . . . safety for the families and homes threatened by the California wildfires . . . healthy dialogue between the Sisters’ LCWR and the Vatican hierarchy. Actually we could be on our knees all day!
How do you pray for the world? What current situation do you consider greatly in need of prayer?