I greet you with words from 3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in health; I know that it is well with your soul.”
These days, prayers have been sent, sung, shared, posted, prayed in all kinds of settings. Prayers are lifted during morning devotions, on-line worship, daily walks, sleepless nights…. Prayers unite us to God and to one another. We entrust our lives, our loved ones, and our world to God’s loving and faithful care.
I’d like to share with you two prayers that I have discovered, that seem especially meaningful and timely. Would you pray with me?
God of Hope and Healing, in this time of uncertainty and global health crisis assure us of your presence. Remind us of your constant Love. We give thanks for the doctors, nurses, and technicians caring for the sick, and we pray for their strength, health and well-being. We give thanks for those providing vital services, janitors, delivery drivers, grocery store clerks, and we pray for their safety and protection. We give thanks for the researchers and scientists working on a vaccine, on treatments, and we pray for their wisdom, endurance, and imagination. For all who have contracted the coronavirus, we pray for care and healing. For those who are particularly vulnerable, we pray for protection and your sustaining grace. For all who experience fear or anxiety, we pray for peace of mind and spirit. For affected families who are facing difficult decisions between food on the table or public safety, we pray for policies that recognize their plight. For those who are afraid to access care due to immigration status, we pray for recognition of the God-given dignity of all. For all those whose lives are disrupted, for teachers, students, and parents engaged in new ways of learning, we pray for patience and creativity. For our brothers and sisters around the world, we pray for shared solidarity. For public officials and decision makers, we pray for wisdom and guidance. Help us to reach out with our hearts when we can’t touch with our hands; to be socially connected, when we have to be physically distant; to love as perfectly as we can in spite of the epidemic, in spite of the fear. Help us, O God, that we might help each other so that your Church may be a sign of hope, comfort and love to all. Grant peace. Grant comfort. Grant healing. Be with us, Lord. Amen.
(adapted and modified by Karen Scheib from prayers by the Right Rev. Richard Bott, Moderator, Church of Canada, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Permission to reproduce or use portions of these prayers granted by both authors.)
O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where impossibilities close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination. Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grant soaring wings and strengthened dreams. All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Amen.
(Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 76)