A Call to Stop and Pray Daily at 1:11

5/22/2020 – article by: Cleo Graham, Scott Spencer, Tiffany Vail

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23: 4
There are many aspects of the pandemic that are difficult and challenging. As a result of these dynamics, many people are suffering in so many ways. Their heartaches profoundly touch us. We also look forward to consoling those in our communities who have lost jobs or are facing financial uncertainty. We celebrate the courage and the dedication of front-line health care and nursing home staff, grocery store workers, and others now recognized as essential. We remember with gratitude those who work every day to care for the vulnerable and marginalized. We seek systemic policy changes to create a safety net under those struggling with hunger and homelessness and those who have to choose every day between work and their safety.  
 
Amid all these circumstances, each day, we read the growing number of those who have died. Deaths that are often experienced through great suffering and fear and separated from the direct presence of loved ones. The rising number of deaths can be so overwhelming and yet, a constant factor in our daily lives. However, we can quickly become numb and can begin to only see the end as another number to track before moving on.  

We are asking our Southern New England Conference United Church of Christ (SNECUCC) clergy and laity and the wider community to participate in a daily discipline of prayer for those who died due to COVID-19 and to support the families and loved ones who are grieving their loss. As God’s beloved children, we are asking in prayer to lift them to God’s eternal care and comfort. 
 
The method of practicing this discipline is an existing prayer ministry called “Park and Pray at 1:11 PM,” started and developed by Rev Cleo Graham in 2015. We are encouraging others to participate in “Park and Pray at 1:11 PM” as a spiritual practice of daily prayer by stopping to pray at 1:11 PM each day. For additional information, you may refer to the website. www.parkandprayat111.com.
 
Please consider joining us in this daily discipline of prayer by first dedicating yourself to set your alarm to pray each day at 1:11 PM, and then going further to encourage those in your congregation, family, and friends to join with you in prayer.  
 
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalms 23:6 
 
Yours Truly, 

Let us Pray:

(You may use your own prayer or the suggested prayer below)   
 
Almighty God, we humbly park and pray at 1:11 PM. 
In your Holy presence, we imagine lighting a candle.
For there’s no place, we’d rather be than in your presence. 
God, we come before your presence with praise and thanksgiving,
We come as privileged people who can go to God in prayer, to receive God and for God to welcome us. 
 
“What a fellowship, what a joy divine to lean on the everlasting God.”
 
Bread of Life, Breath of Life, Light of the World, and our Hope eternal. Thank you for your sinless sacrifice to redeem us and restore us to a right relationship with you O God. 
We seek your guidance, your healing power, and the blessings of your Holy Word and protection.
 
We call on You O God to:
Forgive us for disconnecting our lives and separating from you. 
Forgive us for failing to seek you during these difficult times.
We seek forgiveness for our sins and we ask you to make us whole again.
God, we pray the world may know you, hunger, and thirst for you.
 
We pray for our homes, our families, our friends, and neighbors.
We especially pray for our children who are missing schools and friends.
We pray for children who will experience Confirmation, Baptism, and other milestones in new ways.
 
May the glory of God’s Peace rise above any strife, neglect, disharmony, and bitterness.
 —–
We pray for a united church that seeks Christ, his wisdom, his word, his will, and his ways.
 
We pray for (Names) those who are unemployed.  Gracious God, build new employment.
 
We pray for (Names) who are sick and distressed, especially all who are affected by the Covid-19 virus may they experience your healing.                                                                
 
We pray for (Names) those grieving from a loss.  May they experience your Comfort, O God.
 
We pray for (Names) those who have died.  May the end of each life journey celebrate in the kingdom of God’s eternal home.
 
We pray for (Names) those who are financially burdened and unemployed that they may experience your Grace, O God.
 
We pray for all who keep us safe, that all will practice social distancing, barrier protection, and social isolation as protective measures warrant.
Relieve the stress associated with loneliness and solitude.

Merciful God, help us to unite in prayer this day and every day.
Strengthen our faith and renew our daily commitment to prayer.
O God, we glorify your name as we Park and Pray at 1:11 PM. 
 
Amen          
 

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Ahmaud Arbery of Georgia R.I.P

Before we turn the page let’s park and pray at 1:11 for Ahmaud

God, You who formed his inward parts; You, Almighty God knitted him together in his mother’s womb. We praise you, for he was fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works.” Psalm 139:13-14.

Dear God, your eyes beheld his unformed substance. In Your Book were written all the days that were formed for him. A precious gem, a work in progress and a life that tragically ended.

Merciful God, comfort his family, friends, community and world, shaken and awakened again by the stench of evil. Hear our prayers.

Almighty Healer, search all who are wicked. Give them a clean heart, a renewed spirit, and a mind that rejects evil and delights in goodness.

May the Light of your Holy presence be our Guardian and Protector. Thank You for promising to love us, give us grace and eternal peace.

Lord, hear our prayers. ICN, Amen

Cool Mom

Renay Intisar Jihad – Welcoming our Guest Writer

Cool Mom

unhandlin’ things
just lettin’ go
of all those things
I think I knew or know
‘bout love,  life,  livin’
& naggin’ cravins’
I’m no wannabee
bein’comfy in
my own brown skin
 
unhandlin’ things
for now, ‘tis good
to just be here
in the now, not the should
 
gonna kick up my feet
& read a book
not a “how-to” book
somethin’ funny & good
 
be lazy as hell
no one bet-not say nothin’
sleep as late as I want
even eat in bed often
 
gonna swim in a lake
with my clothes off, too
not for exercise
but for sensations brand new
 
gonna shop at the mall
not for a “minimizer” bra
or a tummy-thinnin’ girdle
or a “sliminizer” dress
somethin’ simple, but loud, will do
long as it’s comfortable
 
share with my hubby
a ton of love
give to my family
go beyond and above
 
get on a plane, go
to who knows where
get on a train, go
to who dares care
 
just stroll, crack jokes, ease
my way through crowds
talk soft, talk junk
talk loudly, talk punk
doing whatever
I damn well please

Renay Intisar Jihad B.A., M.Ed., C.A.G.S.

Visit us at: https://www.renayspace.com

https://medium.com/moments-polished-supremely

Newest Book are Now Available on Amazon.com

     
YOU ARE ALL THAT and MORE is a  journal book designed just for you. 
  • Includes Original Quotes inspired by Famous Black Americans
  • Top Ten Journal Prompts that will make you smile.
  • Sentence Starters to support your daily journal and gratitude writing.

 
 
 

A 1:11 Prayer

Let’s park, breathe and pray.

Spirit of the living God breathe Light, life, and healing in our lives. Almighty, strengthen our endurance. As we enter the Sanctuary of Your love, build our spiritual relationships with you, and your children.

Let this be the fast that connects us in spirit. Keep us safe. Let us tap into your Power that’s beyond our finite imagination. Help us use this power to serve You and Your will, O God.

Let us bear witness to the gift of faith. O Lord, grow the seeds of caring and compassion within me..

Let’s call You, O Holy Lover, the Great Stream of Light, the Almighty, and the Creator.

Let’s Park and Pray at 1:11 pm., by pressing the reset, and calming the toxic impulses.

We pause, fast, give and stretch our spiritual muscles. We open space for You are Holy, Almighty, a Love Supreme and the Beam of Light pulsating throughout darkness.

We pray, Lord, have mercy on those who are sick, separated, in harms way, and without a place to stay. Help us overcome invisible attacks, losses, feeling flatlined by heartbreaks and heartaches.

We give thanks for our loved ones, especially those who are no longer with us. Help us to live peacefully without them.

Help us to love, comfort and care for one another. Help us to do and to be our best. To trust You, O God will do the rest.

Let us park and pray at 1:11 pm.

Pray these words, “As You will O God, as You will.”

“Thank you God.” 🙏🏾❤️

RX for a City Flatlined

Have you ever read a blog and felt like having a conversation with your inner self about it?

I’d like to hear your thoughts after reading my blog, inspired by this blogger’s message, “http://www.beautybeyondbones.com/Covid-19 NYC, a city flatlined.”

The story in Beauty Beyond Bones captured the pulse of my prayers for NYC and other communities that feel flatlined by the Covid-19 pandemic. The author of the blog, a resident of New York City, said, “NYC flatlined.” The NYC that I know and love is a vibrant, bustling, spirited city fueled by the lifeblood of her people. Beauty Beyond Bones wrote about a current Pandemic view of NYC where empty streets, closed businesses and the uncharacteristic silence of a city mourning the loss of many people. I wondered if NYC flatlined. I’ve heard a variety of opinions from my NYC relatives and friends. Most people agree NYC streets are quiet, relatively empty and stillness penetrates the air. Yet, I find stillness can be a strength.

Imagine a race without shoes and a clear path.
Imagine addressing Covid-19 without
preventative teaching, testing, treating and tracking.

As a former NYC resident I imagine her pulsating through this second tragedy in two decades. Several years after 911 the city was filled with tension and restless anticipation of another tragedy. This is certainly an indescribable time in our country’s history. My heart goes out to anyone who lost loved ones. Sending my deepest condolences. I hope all who suffer find relief, healing, comfort and peace.

We are called to separate from friends and loved ones during crushing times in our lives. Many learned to pray and plead for God’s presence in ERs, waiting rooms, ICUs and wherever Social Distancing dictates. NYC is getting ready for this next sprint where she presses on toward the mark of her higher call. If, NYC and any community shows up for the race toward less contaminated fields without their shoestrings tied they could experience flatlines instead of a finish line. The prospects for success are shady without essentials such as, protective equipment, tests supplies and the means for processing Covid results.

NYC and other communities struck by the Covid-19 virus may appear lifeless or flatlined due to the numbers of deaths and sickness. It’s difficult to rebound when so many people are still sick and dying. But, the pulse of life is present and daily recovering. Many thanks for the nurses, doctors and others on the front lines rescuing patients and sacrificing their lives to do so. Let us pray they receive the highest praise by giving them a higher measure of preparation,k and tools to meet the challenges. We can prayerfully wrestle with this pandemic and win while we also embrace the hope of saving lives and our livelihoods.

During my years as a Critical Care Nurse in a New York City Hospital I wore clogs because shoestrings were not dependable in a busy surgical ICU. I cared for many patients including Arthur Ashe during his first Open Heart Surgery. He was young, robust, and vibrant. The standard of care was not compromised or threatened by a lack of equipment or supplies for patients and providers. I recall changing my mask more often during one shift than current nurses do in days.

In some ways, NYC resembles the heart. It’s always beating, pulsating, contracting, and relaxing. Prolonged relaxation without contractions may lead to lethargy. Lethargy May feel like you’re flatlining. Exercise such as marching in place may reduce that feeling, and add cardiovascular benefits. There are other risk factors.

One of our best weapons against disease

Friends, the tenets of Florence Nightingale’s days during the Crimean War saved lives. She instituted hand washing and reduced infections and the hospital’s death rate by two thirds according to her 1860 publication, “Notes on Nursing.”

“I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug.” (Florence Nightingale)

My faith inspires me to practice speechless praying while examining patients in my clinic. I would pray as I passed my stethoscope across a patient’s chest years before attending seminary and becoming an ordained pastor. The gap between Practitioner and Pastor was a wilderness experience. Some patients sensed my prayers and welcomed the feeling of calm and peacefulness.

If you or someone you know experienced the death of a loved one from this Covid-19 Virus then, feeling flatlined may describe your feelings. Give your self time to grieve. Others should stay in touch with you.

Love never dies. It grows deeper.

As a Nurse, I couldn’t fully process the deaths of my patients until midnight, the end of my shift. During my walks from the hospital to my NYC apartment I experienced NYC as a city that never sleeps. The pulsating skylights seemed to affirm these thoughts. “I did your best, and I trusted God to do the rest. Peace Be With You.

These days, I write prayer prescriptions(RX) for anxiety, fear, grief, hopelessness, sadness, isolation, insecurities and more. Prescriptions (RX) are free, without risks or adverse effects, and known to benefit all. Prayers are powerful. I call the Higher Power, the Holy One, God, more often these days. “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on…(add name).

Let’s breathe and pray.

Spirit of the living God breathe Light, life, and healing in our lives. Almighty, strengthen our endurance. As we enter the Sanctuary of Your love, build our spiritual relationships with you, and your children.

Let this be the fast that connects us in spirit. Keep us safe. Let us tap into your Power that’s beyond our finite imagination. Help us use this power to serve You and Your will, O God.

Let us bear witness to the gift of faith. O Lord, grow the seeds of caring and compassion within me..

Let’s call You, O Holy Lover, the Great Stream of Light, the Almighty, and the Creator.

Let’s Park and Pray at 1:11 pm., by pressing the reset, and calming the toxic impulses.

We pause, fast, give and stretch our spiritual muscles. We open space for You are Holy, Almighty, a Love Supreme and the Beam of Light pulsating throughout darkness.

We pray, Lord, have mercy on those who are sick, separated, in harms way, and without a place to stay. Help us overcome invisible attacks, losses, feeling flatlined by heartbreaks and heartaches.

We give thanks for our loved ones, especially those who are no longer with us. Help us to live peacefully without them.

Help us to love, comfort and care for one another. Help us to do and to be our best. To trust You, O God will do the rest.

Let us park and pray at 1:11 pm.

Pray these words, “As You will O God, as You will.”

“Thank you God.”