Holiness in our Midst: Session 116

Holiness in our Midst


Story Circle Prompt: What prayer note would you tuck into the Wailing Wall to address these times?

Historically, the Wailing Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem has been the holiest site in Judaism. For 2002 years, the cracks in the ancient stone wall have been the repository for the most fervent, heartfelt written prayers. Prayerfully, tearfully, pilgrims of all faiths bring their deepest, most desperate needs to this place. 

Since the start of the War in Ukraine, the Wailing Wall has become central to my prayer life. When I needed a visual image to address huge issues, like senseless war, I found myself writing “Wailing Wall” prayers. I read that people actually send their prayers to be placed in the wall, addressing them to “God, Jerusalem.” For myself, I established a section in my journal to preserve my outpourings about intractable situations, ones where the possibility of a healthy outcome eludes me. Mindful of the Wailing Wall, I feel connected to Peoples, Ancient and Modern, who find themselves in grievous circumstances.

One of my Wailing Wall prayers grew out of a news story I heard on Craig Melvin Reports on MSNBC on St. Patrick’s Day, 2022. An older woman named Katerina from Kyiv, Ukraine was standing outside her apartment building when it was hit with a missile. It blew off her leg and sent shrapnel in her back, piercing her lung. From a hospital on the outskirts of the city, she said, “Before, I had a house and work. Today I am disabled and homeless.” 

My prayer: 

Dear God,

Please take good care of Katerina. Keep her strong by day and help her sleep at night. Be with her and the other refugees of all wars as each seeks to find a safe place in the world. Show me ways that I can be an instrument of peace. 

Love always, Janis


  1. Read the above reflection. In your journal, answer the following: What is a personal prayer that you would like to place in the Wailing Wall? 


       1.   Read aloud Session CXVI.

       2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt

[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our MidstSharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

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