That’s the goal anyway.
Do You Pray
I’ll be adding prayers here daily (July, 2021 on) and filling in the past months this year as time allows.
My mom and I have begun to pray on the phone every day. My friend Helen and I are trying to find a way to blanket the world with prayers for peace all day, every day, with a sign-up time. And most recently I decided I want to help the thousands of families with missing loved ones by dedicating prayer days to them.
Background: Prayer has been on my mind a lot in recent days. I don’t really understand it and, truthfully have been avoiding it for years. I liked the idea of listening in meditation. But prayer has seemed like the opposite.
There are exceptions. The Prayer of Saint Francis has been my daily prayer for decades. I have a prayer of thanksgiving I say every day as a way to plug in to Source. Recently my friend Helen posted an article about 70,000 people united in prayer before the Berlin Wall came down. We began talking about how powerful minds united in prayer can be. She has been asking people in her church and among her friends about how to facilitate this. I searched online. I found a online calendar that can be broken up into half-hours and invited everyone to pick a time:
Alas, you have to be invited by email. (You are invited, by the way. If interested, let me know.) It’s just for a 30-minute time slot and you don’t have to stop everything to pray. It just means at that half-hour you will say a prayer, or a few during that time as you like.
21-Day Prayer Renewal with Gyrocloudy
On KindSpring my friend who is known as Gyrocloudy began a Prayer Renewal 21-Day Challenge. Every day features a new prayer, song and suggested reading. It’s been great. All welcome to that as well.
Missing Persons Connection.
There are two days especially that are hardest for the family of a missing person — the day they disappeared and their birthday. This is unlike mourning a death. This is like hope being assaulted by fear every moment of the day. Psychologists call this “Disenfranchised Grief.” They advise a ritual of letting go. I thought about that a lot but realized that felt like a betrayal. So I have spent the past five years learning how to build hope and to dismiss fear.
So, if there are others with missing loved ones who will join me on this prayer journey, I will make a promise. Those two days, their birthday and the day their loved one went missing, will be dedicated to their loved one and their family. Every year. One thing that helps immeasurably on those days is connection.
The idea that many people would be saying a prayer for our Benjamin on his birthday (February 21st) and on the day he disappeared (March 2nd) fills me with gratitude. I hope it will help other families too.
Conclusion: The prayers here will be a daily paragraph. If you have a suggestion for a prayer, let me know. If you wish prayer for yourself or a loved one or a specific part of the world, or anything, let me know. This is for all of us.
♥. Niki Flow
Update 5 July 2021
I spent some time yesterday on the NamUs site (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System) searching for people missing in July for over1000prayers. My search for “July” (any year) yielded 20,491 results. This site is for the US only. I asked my case liaison officer at NamUs if they planned to make NamUs international. She is a retired homicide detective from Washington, D.C. She said that the funding for such an endeavor would be astronomical and that it’s not currently a priority. A friend from South Africa has a brother who disappeared on March 2nd, the same day as Ben, the same year. Mary Lyall’s daughter Susan also disappeared on March 2nd. Mary and her husband helped start a site to help families with adult missing children. The NCMEC.org helps families with missing children. I used to think it was remarkable to know two other families whose loved ones disappeared on the same day Ben did. But after seeing these numbers…not so much, now. If 20,491 was split evenly across 365 days, there would be at least 56 people who disappeared on March 2nd. And on July 5th.
It’s my goal to choose at least one family a day for prayer with a missing loved one. Today it’s Linda Barnett’s family and friends. I found this image on the internet in one of the news stories. Photographer unknown. The necklace she is wearing is one-half of a heart. Someone else has the other half and today will be especially hard for him or her. I won’t write this much for other prayers. This is just such a huge weight on my soul today. Prayer connects us to each other where we all have part of the answer. Please join me in praying for Linda today. Thank you.
*Update 13 July 2021: I learned today the number of missing loved ones is closer to 240/day according to FBI Statistics (from 2019). FBI.gov 2019 Missing Person Statistics.
We are united. We all have part of the answer. If you look at these photos, thank you! You never know what small bit of insight you may have stored in your travels that can help reunite these families.
I’m especially grateful to anyone who offers prayers, good thoughts, and metta (which I learned is a term that means “an intentional wish of wellness and love towards a person”). Anything written in comments, spoken aloud where you are, or in your heart is a blessing and deeply appreciated.
On July 9th, I posted that day’s Gem on Instagram as well as two photos of missing adults. I’ll post these weekly as a 1-minute video on Instagram on Sunday starting this week, July 17th and every week on our YouTube channel.
On Twitter I post each day’s photo(s) and tag the city from which the loved one is missing and the police office handling the case, if possible. I also create a hashtag of their full name in case the family has one already. If they do, I can let them know about our page. It is very healing to know people are praying for your missing loved one. I found this out often in the past five-plus years since Ben disappeared.
♥. Niki Flow (Tizz O’Toole)
Some prayers that have come in since we began:
A prayer 🙏 for each…without ceasing, until all are found 💕.MindyJourney KindSpring.org