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Praying for Prevention

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My family found ourselves sitting in a sanctuary once again last weekend, listening to the prayers lifted by churchgoers for the sick and dying.  A special prayer was said for the senseless tragedy in Colorado, then there was the usual litany of cancer victims, sprinkled with other ailments like heart disease, punctuated by anguish over worries about children that only some parents could understand.

Amid all of our human heartache, we have what people of faith might call a reason for praise this week.  A new report draws on scientific studies and peer reviews of the facts that connect the dots between certain exposures and devastating diseases like cancer.  The report is called Chemicals and Our Health:  Why Recent Science is a Call to Action, by the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition of medical, science, consumer, environmental, business and parent partners.

Even as a person of faith, I feel compelled to pray for more than the sick and dying among us, but to pray for prevention.  This new, fact-based report challenges us to imagine a world where fewer children are suffering from leukemia, where fewer women are battling breast cancer, where fewer parents must shake their heads over autism and where fewer adult children wonder how they’ll help Mom or Dad through the years of Alzheimer’s.

You can read this new report and decide for yourself:  should we continue to only pray for the sick and dying, or should we be praying and acting on behalf of prevention?  I’m appealing to Tennessee’s US Senator Lamar Alexander this week to support the Safe Chemicals Act as a positive step that could help nurture healthier families.  If you feel moved to share your concerns, here’s an easy way you can take action by emailing your senators.  You can also connect to watch a critical hearing Tuesday and a vote on Wednesday, so that our leaders know we’ll be watching and praying.

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