Bearing witness to the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic
When New York City went into lockdown in March 2020, spiritual leader Micah Bucey found the world and himself in desperate need of prayer. While social distancing created disconnect, Bucey began a daily practice of writing a “Tiny Prayer” each morning and posting it on social media, each offering a reflection on what was going on in his own heart and in the wider world. Soon, a solitary practice became a communal one, with others engaging and sharing the prayers that touched them most, suggesting issues and topics for future prayers, and creating connection across a digital divide.
Over the course of a year filled with fear and faith, protest and possibility, Bucey composed prayers for frontline workers and activists, those lost to illness and wins for democracy, for civic leaders, celebrities, and everyday emotions. While overwhelm threatened to engulf us all, these short meditations invited a combination of attention and intention in bite-sized form that aided the reader in focusing on one issue at a time, from the rise of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths, to police violence, social justice uprisings, immigrant detentions, catastrophic climate events, mass shootings, and violent right-wing insurrections.
Now, all 366 “Tiny Prayers” are collected here, together forming a chronicle of a specific moment in time and modeling a form for everyone to compose their own tiny prayers to engage the everyday around them. The Book of Tiny Prayer recalls a very particular year, but its spirit is universal, inviting all to quiet themselves, name the pain and the joy around them, and recommit to the change required for collective liberation, during the worst times and far beyond.
“Just as one tiny speck of glitter lights up an entire face, each of these radiant tiny prayers sparkles with huge hope. They are jewels of honest introspection, poetic gifts born of a year of turmoil, collected as a trail of glitter crumbs, lighting up our way back home to the soul”.
— Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, Founding Spiritual Leader, Lab/Shul
"Prayer changes things; this was central to my childhood faith training. And the older I get, the more the world turns in ways that cause me deep concern, the more I believe it to be true. These tiny prayers from Micah Bucey’s big heart add up to something far larger than first meets the eye. In the midst of fear, grief, and continuing injustices, these are sincere expressions of the desire to dream God’s dream, with the power to center us, comfort us, ground us, and galvanize us for the sacred work we must be doing in order to heal our souls and the world. This collection is a very specific record of a very specific year, but the sense of yearning and hope will inspire lives of love and justice for years to come."
— The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church, and Author, Fierce Love: A Bold Path to Ferocious Courage and Rule-Breaking Kindness That Can Heal the World