Phillips Brooks asks us not to pray for easy lives but to pray that we might be stronger women and men:
Pray not for tasks equal to your powers.
Pray for powers equal to your tasks.
Then the doing of your work will be no miracle
But you will be a miracle.
And every day you will wonder at yourself,
At the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.
(Herald of Gospel Liberty, 1920)
When I heard this quote Sunday I had the impression it was from Martin Luther King, Jr. It turns out instead to be from the author of "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem," a 19th century Massachusetts clergyman named Phillips Brooks. I still find it inspiring to me both in my own struggle and for what we face as a nation and a world.