For those so inclined, prayer request…

This week my friend Dannielle Brown could use your prayers as she wrestles this week with the one-year anniversary of her 21-year old son’s death; a death with a multitude of unanswered questions.  I ask that you each pray or pause for 40 seconds in recognition of his football number at Duquesne University.


From the hundreds of people packed into the stadium church at his funeral we saw the impact of your joy through Jamal. It’s clear he grew up in a faith-filled family and made witness to you on a daily basis. His early, tragic and mysterious death makes the loss more devastating.  

As his family faces the rawness of loss this week, along with his birthday, give them comfort through the legacy of his life. Help them see the ripple effect of his strength, kindness, humor and compassion.  

For his mother, continue to shore up her faith … 40 seconds to 40 minutes to 40 days at a time. Help her know she’s not in the wilderness alone.  To those who have information enable them find strength to bare their burdens and bring peace to all.  

Danni, when you can’t breathe, exhale and know I’ll take your pain for 40 and give you this in its place.

Romans 12:9-21. “… Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need…”



Prayer request for those so inclined…. today’s request is for those in need and their caregivers.

God. Oh God.

There is a coldness in the air that is seeping into our bones and being. A loneliness growing like rings in a tree in our extended time in separation. An exhaustion that holds us down, dampens our response, and dims our perspective. A loss we cannot fully understand or express — and dare yet try to process.

We are stagnant, stricken, sick, sad, succumbed, and stressed.

– We are fearful to start day 1 of chemo

– We are in pain from chronic neurological damage

– We are healing from knee surgery

– We are anxious to keep COIVD away to travel to MD Anderson for stage IV cancer care

– We are waiting for our loved one to die in final states of Parkinson

– We are wresting mental health and the dark shadows that linger

– We are lost, seeking solutions to a new heart illness diagnosis

– We are confused when our dementia-riddled brain won’t work

– We are pissed our kids must see this, live this, have this

– We are afraid of action, postponing a doctor’s appointment for fear of the diagnosis

– We are battling Long COVID and its multitude of disabling illnesses

We, as patients, are in need of healing.

– We are there for them, always – and the care feels more like work

– We are there for them, always – and the anticipation of all we must do for them leaves little time for anything else

– We are there for them, always – and there is slow, no, little change

– We are there for them, always – and I miss the old version of them

– We are there for them, always – and I put my own health second which is risk

– We are there for them, always – and I want a break I cannot take

– We are there for them, always – and I mourn with them of all that is lost

We, as caregivers, are in need of healing.

Yet there you are in the cracks. Another sunrise. A warm casserole. A funny text. A thoughtful card. A song. An errand run. A smile. A solution. A connection.

Yet we want more.

Help us see the small things. Help us do the caring things. Help us face the big things. Help us help others.

Together, our warmth, can counter the cold.


Uncle John

Prayer request for those so inclined for the passing of my Uncle John.


Grief – cold, crashing, and continuous like a stormy, winter sea. We feel the dark pull yet are buoyed by memories of him which keep us afloat. We seek to swim to the safety of our loved one, only to be reminded of his absence.

While our minds may understand that grief is the result of love, our hearts don’t care. While our minds replay happy memories, our hearts don’t care. While we know he’s in a better place out of the constraints of Parkinson’s, our hearts don’t care.

We only know what we feel. The loss washes over us. Steeling our breath. Pulling us down.

Be with my family as they float without the steady anchor of their husband, father, and uncle.

Help his family, friends, and coworkers bask in the light of his legacy: 

  • Caring husband
  • Dynamic dad
  • Boisterous belly laughing uncle
  • Protective and joking brother
  • Education advocate
  • Faithful Lutheran
  • Davidson graduate

Remind us, in our loss now, that there is eternal comfort through your love.

Keep us connected to each other in this time of need, celebrating the man who lived in your grace and shared it with others.



Prayer request for those so inclined…

Two weeks ago a coworker’s 30-year-old son was killed instantly in a car crash leaving behind a very young son. Today was her first day back at work and she sent out an all-staff email thanking folks for their support.  In this email she listed several reasons why she was thankful for God’s grace and mercy with what occurred.  Powerful demonstration of faith and a mother’s heat-crushing pain.  In the email she asked for prayers, so here’s one for who I’ll call Grace.


We cannot understand all that is around us, and what happens to us and the ones we love. We crave answers and order to our whys.

Thank you for giving us Grace who focuses on blessings and shares her faith amidst tragedy. Help us see as she does.

Remain by her side as she grieves her loss, and clings to memories rather than the man she raised. Enable her to foster faith in her grandson as he struggles with the big concepts of death and life without dad.

Help Grace see flickers of her son in her grandson and find comfort that he and his love live on. Deliver friends and family who let Grace “be” with loss, and support her to move forward in life. Continue to fill her with an appreciation of your grace and mercy so that she can be a witness to her community.



Prayer request for those so inclined…

A friend’s daughter is traveling to various national hospitals like Mayo and Boston in hopes of finding answers to an undiagnosed neurological disorder that took her from a dancer on point to disabled on a scooter at 19. I’ll call her Misty.


We begin life wrapped in the miracle of our bodies. Our limbs, organs, bones, skin and hair are our external essence in the world—identity.  Because our bodies grow and change with us, we often take them for granted.  Your creation of our packaging is stunning!  

Be with Misty as she struggles physically, mentally and spiritually with her body’s demise. Her path to a new normal is littered with unanswered questions, dashed dreams, and false friends. Strengthen her resolve as her body weakens.  

Direct her to the people who matter … specialists, friends, mentors and motivators … who will shore up her resilience, lighten her load, and bring her joy.

Give physicians a new perspective to connect the dots and diagnose the problem.

Support her family as they work to adapt. Most of all, keep Misty’s light bright so she continues to share her talents, passion and love with the world. She is a force of good who will always be on point for those she loves and the causes she’s embraces.


Combat Warrior

Prayer request for those so inclined…

Several years ago I sat in the main hanger for the 82nd Airborne at a military event.  Impressive is the only word that comes to mind nearly 10 years later.  Many were called up this week, families separated, and lives changed.  


You call for peace, but you give us the freedom of war.  Until we can do a better job listening, seeking to understand, digging deeper than a tweet on a narrow-minded feed, accepting different, and seeking nonviolent thoughts, emotions and solutions — be with those who defend and fight on our behalf.  As we struggle for what is “ours,” open our hearts and minds to what is there’s… and the new perspective that comes with new understanding.

Our Warriors do what most of us don’t want to or can’t.  We pass our buck to them — out of ignorance, fear or avoidance.  We appreciate their gift to us… a gift of serenity to live life outside of human blood shed and battle. Give them mental fortitude and the strength to seek help along the way. While we want them safe, combat doesn’t work that way.  Surround them with a connected pack of battle buddies and a broader network of family and friends who cheer, listen and comfort them.  

Help their loved ones at home manage fear, cope with challenges, and “go it alone” missing a parent, spouse, friend and companion.  Give the leaders – political and military – patience to see new options and courage to take them.  Until a day comes when the need for Warriors ends, cloak them in our appreciation of their service and sacrifice— and post combat support.


Kairos Prison Ministry

Prayer request for those so inclined…

Today I learned about Kairos Prison Ministry (http://www.kairosprisonministry.org) … multi-denominational program that brings faith and forgiveness into the lives of many incarnated people — as well supports their loved ones outside.  Ex-convict, Veteran, father of 4 girls, employed roofer, Christian, and now volunteer Michael Woods shared his story.  He asked for prayers.  


Michael said you put all the “knuckle heads in one place” so it’d be easier to reach them rather than “find them all on the outside one at a time.” But yet we (your servants) left them alone, without support. Without connection. Without light. Without a plan forward. Consumed in greater darkness. 

Michael shared that anyone who serves in prison could be our neighbor one day — standing next to us in line at Walmart, doing a home repair, playing with their kids in a park — and wouldn’t it be better if that person had support in prison, experienced a larger love and had sanctuary in your forgiveness?

Help us put aside our judgement, fear and ignorance to be a part of their faith journey.  Be with those “on the inside.” Pull them to meaningful programs like Kairos. Reinforce the faith of those who volunteer in the program by giving 4 days of direct program support for a kick-off retreat. 

Be with the volunteers who bake thousands of “forgiveness cookies” for the retreat; create inspiring posters and make prayerful placemats for the participant’s cells; participate in 24-hour prayer chains; and donate. Deliver a network to prisoner’s loved ones “on the outside” who are jailed in their own way.

Fill in the gaps of a missing mother, father, sibling, best friend, or spouse — gone and largely inaccessible for years of life’s major milestones. Remind us that no one should be written off. 


Princess Alex

Prayer request for those so inclined…

This one is for my friend “Princess Alex” as she and her family work through her father’s advancing Parkinson.


For so many of us, our parents are the closest relationship we have to you… guardian, teacher, sage, guidepost, disciplinarian—all wrapped in unconditional love. We idolize, cling, question, push away, and return to their love time and time again. Changes in our parents leave us on shifting sand and facing an encroaching sea of loss, anger, and uncertainty.  

Be with Princess Alex as she struggles to handle her father’s medical challenges and changes in how he can show up in the world due to Parkinson Disease. Give her strength to support him, fortitude to endure the slow progression of the illness, humor to balance the darkness, providers to offer creative & comforting care, friends who can lessen her load, and faith that you are with her constantly.

Thank you for the gift of her dynamic, dedicated dad—who’s love empowers Princess Alex, envelopes her friends, and lives actively through everyone he connects with. Bring comfort to her dad and mother as they work through such a monumental and scary life change. Put joy, compassion and flexibility in their path, along with your grace.


Veteran Caregivers

Prayer request for those so inclined…

Today I offer prayers for both a group, and one of them specially, LeWan Nichele. The Veterans Affairs healthcare system is the largest US hospital system, serving 9 million of largely the most vulnerable to COVAID-19 (over 65 with multiple complex conditions). Additionally, the health care system is BACK UP to every hospital in the country and must handle overflow in a national health crisis. There are more than 300,000 medical employees within the VA.


Thank you for those called to care and heal our sick and wounded. They put other’s health first, often at the expense of their own. They go where others won’t, they do what others can’t, and they care when others haven’t.

For those providing medical care to our Veterans we ask for endurance, compassion, rest, humor and recognition—especially for LeWan and her nursing peers who carry the full weight of the health care system and their patients concern on their compassionate and weary shoulders.

Give LeWan, and her coworkers nationwide, moments of peace to recharge.  Remind those they care for to celebrate their caregiver — their technical knowledge, their attention to protocol, their firmness, and their warmth. Our country is fortunate to have both those who served and those who serve them now.


Little Miss Sunshine

Prayer requests for those so inclined….

This week I rushed out of the metro in DC and breezed past a dad and two young children who were at the top of the metro; he asked for money to feed his kids.  About 10 steps after I passed them my brain and heart actually “saw” them.  

The dad tired, worn and concerned—but attentive to the kids. The kids were in a stroller, guessing under the age of 5.  The youngest, a boy, strapped in.  The girl, standing in the stroller facing her dad, chatting, wearing a yellow dress.  

I stopped and actually thought, what the hell is wrong with me—it’s insanely hot, no one wants to ask for help, and it’s clear he’s worried about his kids.  How can I walk by?  I went back, handed him $20, and said “hope this helps today.” His eyes lit up and he blessed me and gave me a sincere thank you.


I pray for Little Miss Sunshine in her yellow dress, her dad and brother.  Help their neighbors see them… truly see them. Wash away our disdain, judgement, and self-centeredness.

Enable us to see the person and extend humanity to them as we can… a smile, a meal, a donation, a contact, a prayer. Surround them with compassion. Connect them with programs.  Blanket them in hope. Protect them with your grace.