A Prayer for the Bored

For all those whose minds are restless

Blank slates searching for words of meaning to fill them

Idle hands searching for distraction to occupy them

Struggling with not needing, not being needed, not having something, ANYTHING to do

Angry, disinterested, neutral, or lonely

We pray that you would find a way to live into not doing, but being, not acting, but feeling.

Sit with yourself, and be satisifed. You are good. You are enough. You don’t need anything else to live and be joyful.

Find the things of interest lying in your own heart and mind, your own reflections on the state of the world. Think of others. Love them Pray for them.

We pray that you would find meaning where you need it, activity where it is satisfying, friendship and curiosity and wonder in the infinite places where they are.

But for now, in your boredom, we pray that you would remember that nothing lasts forever. That there is always more. That the seed of intention in your heart for the world would be fed by the next thing to come your way, and provoke a question that begets a practice that nourishes a love, leading you on towards a world where interest and meaning are easy – but where you are never afraid to do nothing, because in times of rest you have no fear of who you are.

A Prayer for Facing Infertility

At my church, as at many, we have a time dedicated to sharing our prayer concerns which ends with acknowledgment that God hears “all prayers, spoken and unspoken.” I love these times. But there are always topics lots of people deal with that we don’t hear as much about, because our society has taught us to be ashamed or scared of sharing these struggles with others. In this series I will share prayers for the people whose prayers too often go unspoken – people struggling with infertility, addiction, boredom, rage, and many other realities of human life. Please let me know if you have any such prayers, or have a suggestion for a person or group of people who could use prayer. 

Father God, Mother God, Creator God,

We stand before you holding broken hopes in our hands. We wanted so much to join you in creation, to feel new life growing within us, to dedicate our lives to your (and our) little children.

But the tests keep coming back negative. The ache in our heart remains. Our prayer go unanswered. Why God, can you not grant us this one thing? Why are we surrounded by people who get pregnant with ease, even accidentally, when it remains so maddeningly out of reach for us? Have we done something wrong? Are we not enough?

God, we know you make families in a thousand divine and precious ways. But we thought ours would be made this way. We had a plan. We had a dream. Now, it seems so far away.

God as we seek out the light in what feels like darkness, open our eyes to new possibilities. As we mourn lost visions, comfort our hearts. As we seek medical solutions, heal our bodies. Guide and enhance the minds of our surgeons and doctors. Help our families and friends to be sensitive to our needs, and help us to be honest and kind to them in the midst of our frustrations.

God, we know we are not the first to pray this prayer. Sarah, Abraham, Hannah, Elkanah, Rachel, and many others stand with us in our waiting and in our pain. As you touched their hearts, allowing them to trust in you and love you as either their prayers were fulfilled or their hearts found new desires, we pray that you would touch our hearts. Help us to know how much you love us. Help us to trust that there are great, joyful, and creative things ahead for us, whatever form they may take.

You have always been a God of surprise, second chances, and life where it looks like there is no life. Let us be people of You, who hold onto hope and learn compassion, growth, and faith from our times of hopelessness.

Amen.

The Bible in GIFs: Genesis 21

The Lord dealt with Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as he had promised. Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age,

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at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to his son whom Sarah bore him. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old,

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as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.Now Sarah said, “God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.”

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And she said, “Who would ever have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” The child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.”

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The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you. As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.

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When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, “Do not let me look on the death of the child.”

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And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept.

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And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.

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She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow.

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He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.