I wouldn’t call myself a woman of prayer. If I say I’ll pray for you, I do. Often right then and there so I don’t forget. And sometimes again later. But praying without ceasing is so far beyond my sights it still doesn’t quite register.

But I pray for you on Sundays.

Never during prayer time in the service. I’m too distracted by the mass of people and what the pastor is saying to commune with God in any meaningful way.

But I pray for you on Sundays.

When I’m getting the kids ready by myself because my pastor-husband is already at church, I pray for you. I pray for my many friends in ministry. I pray for the ones already at church and the ones wrangling kids by themselves. I pray for protection over you because I know Sundays can be devastatingly discouraging. I pray for joy for you this morning.

When I drop my kids off at their classes, I pray for you. I pray for all of you who are nursing infants and not sleeping. For those who only get a break for half of a service before cries for milk bring you back. I know Sundays mess up nap schedules and you wonder why you even bother. I pray for rest for you this morning.

When I wonder if my kid has calmed down after drop off, I pray for our many friends and church families who are SAFE families, who foster, who are waiting and hoping for adoptions to finalize. For whom drop offs and pick ups aren’t always permanent. I pray for hope for you this morning.

When I pick my kids up and we head to lunch with our life group, I pray for you who long for community. For whom Sunday mornings are an object lesson in disappointment. I pray that you find your people.

When we get home exhausted and a bit grumpy, I pray for all of you who slept in and stayed home this morning because you just couldn’t face church today (been there, done that, still sometimes do). I pray you know that God isn’t judging you based on your church attendance. I pray you know you’re loved.

When rest time is over and we get up feeling refreshed, I pray for those of you begging for God’s healing. Those of you with cancer and lupus and chronic migraines. Those of you who never feel refreshed. I pray you know you’re not forgotten.

As the kids wait for daddy to get home, I pray for you who are single parenting. And for those whose spouse is deployed overseas. I pray that you are surrounded by family – of origin or of making and that they are partnering with you as you raise these kids by yourself.

When the last hugs and kisses are given, and I’m grateful to be (hopefully) done parenting for the evening, I pray for those of you who would give anything for middle of the night wake up calls. I pray for peace for you.

And as I lay my head on the pillow and try to quiet the voices in my head that wonder if I’ll ever get this parenting, this Christianity, this marriage, this friendship thing right, I pray for me. For a deeper understanding of grace and love and forgiveness.

Amen.