Appear to us
Appear to us, O Lord Jesus; open our eyes; may we recognize you
as we break bread, remembering those who will go without,
as we serve others, remembering those whose cries for help receive no answer,
as we shelter at home, remembering those who are forced to flee,
as we sow seeds of hope, remembering those who farm to survive.
In this time of loss and confusion set our hearts burning.
Stay with us Lord Jesus, as we journey, moving forward as one people,
remembering that you have called each one of us according to your purpose,
to participate in your new Creation.
Bless the Lord
Bless the Lord, my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, my soul; Do not forget all the gifts of God, Who pardons all your sins, Heals all your ills, Delivers your life from the pit, Surrounds you with love and compassion, Fills your days with good things.
– Psalm 103:1-5a
We must move forward together, as one,
in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity,
cooperating generously for the common good.
– Pope Francis
Prayer for leaders and those giving care
Thank you, Creator, for all forms of governments and leaders around the world. Lead them as they determine how best to govern in these uncertain times. Let this be a time of care, not fear. Unite them and us in this time where we are seeing that borders mean nothing. Form their leadership and decision-making with mercy, compassion, and wisdom.
Please be with all of the emergency responders, doctors and nurses, and others whose service is essential. We are grateful for all those who stock the shelves at the grocery store and help keep things as normal as possible. Cover all those who are exposing their own health to save others. Protect them physically and emotionally. Guide their hands and give them wisdom. Protect their families as they spend extended time away from home. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
– adapted from various / elca.org
Prayer for a Pandemic, by Cameron Bellm
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country,
let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
A prayer during times of COVID-19
In this time of COVID-19, we pray:
When we aren’t sure, God,
help us be calm;
when information comes
from all sides, correct and not,
help us to discern;
when fear makes it hard to breathe,
and anxiety seems to be the order of the day,
slow us down, God;
help us to reach out with our hearts,
when we can’t touch with our hands;
help us to be socially connected,
when we have to be socially distant;
help us to love as perfectly as we can,
knowing that “perfect love casts out all fear.”
For the doctors, we pray,
for the nurses, we pray,
for the technicians and the janitors and the
aides and the caregivers, we pray,
for the researchers and theorists,
the epidemiologists and investigators,
for those who are sick,
and those who are grieving, we pray,
for all who are affected,
all around the world…
May we feed the hungry,
give drink to the thirsty,
clothe the naked and house those without homes;
may we walk with those who feel they are alone,
and may we do all that we can to heal
in spite of the epidemic,
in spite of the fear.
Help us, O God,
that we might help each other.
In the love of the Creator,
in the name of the Healer,
in the life of the Holy Spirit that is in all and with all,
May it be so.
—by the Right Rev. Richard Bott, originally posted on Facebook. Moderator Bott encourages the sharing of prayers he posts throughout his term.
Food for Thought
With the beckoning and dawning of another day,
can the fragile, yet extraordinary words of Jesus
propel us to a wider awareness
a gentler compassion?
To the rediscovery of the sacred in ourselves and in our world.
To that risk-taking place
where we are free to be aware?
To a different journey
in a listening companionship
with these prophets of our time –
the wounded and weary
who, amazingly, announce the Kingdom
and carry in their stories
the seeds of the morrow?
The ‘hidden ones’ whose joy and pain
when threaded through our lives
enlarges the heart and brings new meaning to God’s story.
The God whose light still shines, and who tenderly invites us
to love our neighbours as ourselves.
– Anna Briggs, The Iona Community
O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
– Samuel F. Pugh (1850-1922)
For Those in Need
Let us pray for all our fellow men and women whose pain and misery comes to us every day in the newspapers, on the television, and face to face.
The group’s response will be: “We pray to the Lord.”
for the millions who are starving to death,
for those who are without adequate shelter,
for those who lack clothing,
for those whose human rights are ignored,
for all who suffer from illness,
for refugees who have had to flee from their lands,
for all who are chronically hungry,
for greater action on our part to feed the hungry,
for all who have to live with injustice,
for those who have seldom known peace,
for all who have lost hope,
for those who harden their hearts against the poor,
for all who work to eliminate world hunger,
for the unity of the human family.
May your mercy be on all of us, Lord,
as we search for better ways to heal and serve your people.
Give us insight, sensitivity, creativity, strength and courage
as we seek together ways to end hunger in the world. Amen.
– from Banquet of Praise (1990), published by Bread for the World.