Rev. Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager is the Senior Associate Minister at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, CT.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 1:15 (NRSV)
But Hannah answered, ‘No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.
Reflection: Hannah's Prayer
Any day now, an Afghan family of six will be arriving to stay in our church’s refugee house. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of a team of volunteers from several churches in our area, this three-bedroom ranch is sparkling with freshly painted walls, crisply laundered curtains, and gently used furniture, making the house a home. They are one of many families whom our church has been fortunate enough to welcome over the years from Congo, Syria, Burundi, and elsewhere.
I know from the news reports that this family has probably known trauma beyond what many of us can imagine.
We hope and pray that we will be worthy companions on their new journey. That the refuge and freedom they seek will be theirs in abundance. That they will encounter only hospitality and welcome along the way. We hope and pray that the couple’s four children ages 3-8 will run and play and squeal with delight in the spacious yard that awaits them.
Our ancient Matriarch, Hannah, suffered tremendously in her life. Denounced and marginalized, her fervent prayers came fast and furious, spilling out from her lips, with an embodied prayer that was directed to a God of liberation and hope.
Wrongly accused by Eli, the priest, Hannah stands firm in her own convictions that God is listening to her. So many strong women throughout history have spoken truth to power, declaring their truths regardless of those wrongly accusing them. Witnessing to their strength, stories, and wisdom is our task.
Reading ahead in the story, we know that Hannah’s anguish will turn to song, that her prayers will be answered in hoped for and unexpected ways. May it be so for all who suffer and pray for deliverance this day.
Holy One of Many Names, Whatever prayers flow from our lips, may we wait in hope with Hannah and all those for whom the journey has been too long. Inshallah, inshallah. Amen.
New Prayer Requests:
We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Drew Page at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayers of Intercession:
- For the victims and their families of the 611 mass shootings already carried out in 2021 [Note: 611 is the total number of mass shootings in 2020 and the highest number since mass shootings were centrally tracked beginning in 2014. There are 53 days left in 2021.]
- For the families and friends of more than 751,000 who have died due to the Covid-19 disease
- For those grieving after a crowd surge at a Houston music festival lead to the deaths of 8 people and more hospitalized
- For the family and friends of Rev. Gary Marks, former pastor of The Church of the Pilgrimage in Plymouth, MA, who died Oct. 28
Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:
- For those who have served or are serving our nation in the armed services
This Week in History:
November 11, 1921 (100 years ago) On a celebration of Armistice Day, three years after the end of World War I, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is dedicated in Arlington Cemetery. Just days before, the remains of an unknown fallen soldier were buried beside the Memorial Amphitheater. These remains have been joined by the unidentified remains of other soldiers from conflicts throughout the 20th Century. Guarded 24 hours a day by members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the tomb remains one of the most honored military sites in America.
“Study the past if you would define the future.”
The Rev. Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager is the Associate Pastor at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.