O Raphael, lead us toward those we are waiting for, those who are waiting for us: Raphael, Angel of happy meeting, lead us by the hand toward those we are looking for. May all our movements be guided by your Light and transfigured with your joy.

Angel, guide of Tobias, lay the request we now address to you at the feet of Him on whole unveiled Face you are privileged to gaze. Lonely and tired, crush by the separations and sorrows of life, we feel the need of calling you and of pleading for the protection of your wings, so that we may not be as strangers in the province of joy, all ignorant of the concerns of our country. Remember the weak, you who are strong, you whose home lies beyond the region of thunder, in a land that is always peaceful, always serene and bright with the resplendent glory of God.

Flannery O’Connor quotes this prayer, which she attributes to Ernest Hello, in a letter dated 14 July 1964, less than a month before her death.



Who will pray for you now that she’s gone?

That was the question I asked the six-hundred or so in attendance at the memorial service for The Redhead.

But it’s a question I think about nearly everyday.

Who prays for me the way she did?

I never feel more alone, more desolate, more overwhelmed than when I move through my days without the benefit of others praying for me.

What about you?

Whose prayers do you miss the most?

Don’t you sometimes wish we would do as so many other faith traditions do and gather at the temple daily for prayer?

Wouldn’t it be something if we started staging praying flash mobs in the halls of Congress, on the National Mall, at university campuses, or Wal-Marts across this land? What if we had prayer gangs? Or prayer parades? Or prayer parties? Wouldn’t it be something if prayer, not porn, dominated the Internet? What if in addition to Linsanity, the nation rallied around Prayersanity?

What about you?

How can I be praying for you this week?



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  • AFRoger

    Please pray for D., a woman overwhelmed by such polarities that her extended outbursts at me twice this week have left my ears still ringing–literally. War, ethnic cleansing and mental illness do not mix, and she carries them all.
    For B., a saintly young man of incredible heart, who stumbled and fell last week before his own demons of PTSD and substances. Thank God he is still alive, and pray for his healing and peace.
    For me, that in a time of spiritual thinness this membrane of faith and trust will hold.
    Thank you, Amen.