Daily Reflection
September 12th, 2005

Barbara Dilly

Department of Sociology and Anthropology
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1 Timothy 2:1-8
Psalm 28:2, 7, 8-9
Luke 7:1-10

First of all, we are reminded to ask that “supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,” says Paul in his letter to Timothy. No better time to reflect on this priority than in the wake of hurricane Katrina. The lessons today are about prayer and about asking God to help us when we cry out. And they are also about the attitude we need to have when we ask for help.

Certainly, there is a great crying out along the Gulf Coast, indeed across the nation, these past weeks and will be for some time ahead. I was touched by a man’s petition on National Public Radio recently. He said, as if in prayer, “God bless us, somebody please bless us.” I have taken his prayer as my own, joining in with all the faithful who are praying for God’s strength and shield at this time of great need.

The lessons today remind us that the first thing we need to do is pray. But I think there are a few lessons about how we are supposed to pray that can be helpful here. Paul writes that the best way to pray is without anger or argument. That is becoming more and more difficult to do for people in Louisiana and Mississippi. Patience is running thin. And some are probably asking God, “What did I do to deserve this?” Or, “what do I have to do to get help?” Jesus says, when we ask him to do something for us, we shouldn’t think about whether or not we are deserving. Nor should we think about whether or not we have the authority to do anything about the crises at hand. No matter who we are, it is our faith that gets the attention of God, not our status. Our faith is a great resource here.

I am confident that the prayers of all the people of faith who read this site each day are adding to the strength of the Lord’s people and will carry them through this ordeal. And these prayers are also helping each of us to find a way to do the Lord’s work at this time. In the midst of supplications and petitions, I give thanks that the Creighton community has launched a number of initiatives that are being met by the faithful. But the first thing we did was to pray. And we will continue to pray.

“Lord bless all those people in harm’s way by sending them help and comfort, through us. And please give them strength and patience. We thank you for hearing our pleadings.”

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