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Pray the Alphabet—Wherever You Are

During a recent hospital stay, prayers were inspired by the letters A to Z.

Praying doctor
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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As I’ve written before, I like to pray my way through the alphabet. It’s a great way to fall asleep at night. Usually, I find the name of a loved one or multiple loved ones under one letter and pray for them. And by the time I get to Y—for Yahweh, God who hears all our prayers—and Z, I’m ready for lots “zzzzzzzzzzzzzz” of sleep.

I’ve also found when I’m wandering through prayer—it happens—no matter where I am, it helps to ground my thoughts through letters A to Z. For instance, as I was recently in the hospital, it helped to go through the alphabet to pray for the people and needs in this wonderful, helpful, healing place.

I’d start with A for Aides, those wonderful women—and they seemed mostly to be women—who helped the nurses by keeping things clean and neat and organized. Then came B. That seemed a no brainer. Beds. The hospital is full of beds, but in some wards and hospitals—especially those in the midst of the COVID crisis—there aren’t enough.

I pray that there are Beds for all those who need them. Good, comfortable beds.

C could be for the Caregivers, those who take care of the patients and worry about them and look after them, whether they’re in the hospital or at home (and the additional care they might need there). for the Doctors who work so hard and seem to show up at all hours (do they ever go home?). for the Emergencies that have brought many of the patients to the hospital and the Emergency workers who risk their lives helping others. F for the Family members who come and visit, G for the Gurneys that whisk patients from place to place.

There’s no sort of right word or wrong word for a letter, but I find the exercise is a way to ground my prayers and expand my compassion. You start asking questions and look for understanding. When I talk to the N for Nurses, I like hearing about their families and their commutes to work and how they found their calling. I know what to pray for. The same with the X-Ray technicians and the Techs who administer EKGs and other procedures.

There are places like I for Intensive Care, those floors in the hospital that have special concerns with all the demands on their workers and patients or M for Maternity wards (what joy hatches there—as well as the need for prayers). I also think of for Miracles because they happen all the time if we can only be aware and have our eyes open to them.

How does G for God help us? When we reach out and give our worries and concerns up to the Almighty. Like I say, from A to Z, there’s always something.

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