From the time I was nine years old until I left northeast Ohio around my 30th birthday, it seemed I was always around politicians and politics.

My mom, Blanche, was a politician. She ran for office only once, but she was always in and around campaigns, and public service.  She was once the executive assistant to the mayor of Cleveland and held all kinds of other appointed positions. Mom was even treasurer for a couple of runs for the White House.

I used to know politics. I used to read newspapers end to end. I used to follow the machinations of politicians just as I followed baseball box scores, in-depth and always analyzing.

Over the years I have lost interest in the sport of politics. I don’t read newspapers.  I glean news from channel surfing early in the morning and updates on the web. I don’t really enjoy the news as I once did, but we must stay informed.

One strain of Christianity says that we should always preach with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. I don’t hold with that, except to say, we need to know what is going on and be in constant prayer for what is in the news.

This morning I am sad, and feeling kind of empty as I think about the latest senseless killings. I went looking for a way to pray for the people there, our country and ourselves, and I found the following from Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471).

Write your blessed name, O Lord, upon my heart, there to remain so indelibly engraven, that no prosperity, no adversity, shall ever move me from your love. Be to me a strong tower of defense, a comforter in tribulation, a deliverer in distress, a very present help in trouble, and a guide to heaven through the many temptations and dangers of this life.  Amen.

Thomas didn’t have the mass media. He lived long before America existed, and I’ll bet his mom never campaigned for a president in her life. But Thomas gets the depth of feeling we are experiencing. Please pray this week. Feel free to use Thomas’s words or your own. Just pray for those who need Jesus!