As a hospital chaplain, I constantly get to come alongside my patients and families in prayer. It’s an amazing role and I never take it for granted. They have taught me so much about what it is to look at the Divine and seek help and give thanks. I also get to serve as a communications manager for a church and I do social media series about prayer (currently going through the Lord’s Prayer line by line).

Another way that I’ve learned more about prayer in this season, though, is through following some amazing BIPOC-led Instagram accounts, and I wanted to lift them up and celebrate their work on this National Day of Prayer. Some of these are particular to one religion, but many have prayers open enough in their language to be multifaith, and I pray that you will find solace and challenge in them.

Black Liturgies (@blackliturgies)

Cole Arthur Riley writes that her Instagram is “a space where Black words live in dignity, lament, rage, and hope to the glory of God.” I couldn’t agree more, and when there is a crisis in our country, her approach to longer prayers and breath prayers alike is stunningly beautiful, raw, and real.

J.S. Park (@jspark3000)

J.S. Park, like me, serves as a hospital chaplain. However, he is also an Asian American who uses his platform to remind others to fight for the dignity of all people. (And how not to be a dick to people in general, especially people with mental health problems or who are multiply-marginalized.)

Morgan Harper Nichols (@morganharpernichols)

MHN, as she calls herself, is an autistic African American woman who expresses herself through poetry and art. Her work is consistently encouraging, especially in seasons of doubt, change, and fighting to stay present.

Enfleshed (@enfleshed)

Enfleshed is a collective of writers who focus on prayers of liberation and hope for a new and more just world for all people, including LGBTQIA+ folks of faith.

Prayers from Terry (@prayersfromterry)

Terry “Big Common Prayer Energy” Stokes is one of my dear friends and also one of my favorite Christian writers. He is an African American youth pastor who loves traditional liturgies and transforms them into important topics and goofy topics alike. He is coming out with a book in the fall.

Rabbi Sandra (@rabbisandra)

Rabbi Sandra is an African American woman who serves within the Reform tradition of Judaism. She often has short videos explaining the meanings of holidays and inviting spiritual reflection in the everyday.

May these accounts bring you a deeper understanding and a wider lens of prayer. I know they do for me.

Emmie Arnold

Emmie Arnold (she/her/hers) is a palliative care and intensive care hospital chaplain at a children’s hospital in New York; a candidate for ordination in the PC(USA); avid cook; traveler (on hiatus); friend and family member to many; writer; and musician.

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