How do we pray in 2020?

“The Inhabited Psalter” by Jan Richardson

How do we pray in 2020?

This question has been rolling around my head, heart, and soul lately. I’ve never been more in need of my faith AND been so disoriented in my faith as I have been in 2020. “Why do we pray” is a question that life is answering for us.

We’re praying because there’s a global pandemic plaguing us, a racial reckoning calling us, a political season dividing us, families are together 24/7, single people are without community, and the list could go on. We need prayer because we’ve got some things to say to God, and God listens and responds to those who are listening.  We are yearning for prayer because 2019’s faith no longer fits, and 2021’s faith depends upon what happens within and around us now.

Let’s finish out this year by leaning into the question the year implores us to explore – How do we pray right now? What do we pray? To whom are we praying?

We ask these questions not as the first people to face disorientation, disconnection, and disease. We are “generation to generation” people whose faith has been handed down to us by our ancestors. Therefore, we will bring today’s concerns to God with the Psalms as our guide.

If you worry that this will be an exercise in “toxic positivity” or “solar-powered spirituality,” as Mary Alice preached on October 18, then you haven’t read the Psalms. Walter Brueggemann’s teaching on the “Psalms of Disorientation” will show us how the Psalms are a place where “one speaks unguardedly about how it in fact is.”

As the priesthood of all believers, let us seek God together in prayer, for our future faith depends a practice of honest dialogue with the God who is leading us forward into the great unknown.

“I believe that I shall see
the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and
let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!”
– Psalm 27:14

Praying the Psalms

Week One, November 1, Psalm 74
Week Two, November 9, Psalm 86
Week Three, November 16, Psalm 23
Week Four, November 23, Psalm 30

Want to read more about the Psalms?

Spirituality of the Psalms by Walter Brueggemann
Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer by Eugene Peterson
Praying the Psalms by Thomas Merton

How do we pray in 2020?