Prayers in a Time of Pandemic

Gracious Father in heaven, your Son taught us to be anxious about nothing and to let the day’s cares be sufficient for the day. These days have been hard and full of anxiety. Still our minds and hearts, we pray. Grant us nights of restful sleep and refreshment. Watch over us, our families, our neighbors, our communities, our nation, and all the nations of the world. Preserve us from discord and strife. Endow our leaders with wisdom and sound judgment. Protect us from every evil of body and soul. And remind us of your ever good and gracious will to save and to bless. As you have reconciled the world and all things to yourself in the death of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, so grant to us all a measure of your peace. For your Name’s sake, we pray.

For scientists and researchers

Gracious Lord, Creator of the cosmos, Maker of all things visible and invisible, who in holy Wisdom orders and sustains all things in wondrous and grand diversity and splendor. In Your lavish grace, you have given Man the gifts of reason and senses to plumb the wondrous mysteries of Your creation. Bless those whose vocation is the study of viruses, diseases, and their cure and containment. Grant them wisdom, perseverance, and clarity that their efforts would serve to protect and preserve life and increase knowledge and understanding. With knowledge comes responsibility as well as fear and humility. Teach us to use our knowledge in wisdom and faithfulness. Protect our scientists and medical researchers from any harm or danger that their work might entail, and grant your benevolent blessing; for Your Name’s sake, we pray.

For those in medical vocations.

Gracious God, our Father in heaven, Your Son is the great Physician of body and soul, who healed with a word and touched the unclean rendering them clean. Bless those who work in medical vocations – our doctors, physicians’ assistants, nurses, orderlies, those who clean hospitals and clinics. They are our soldiers standing in the front line of the battle against disease putting their own lives at risk in order to save others. Protect them, we pray, and grant them courage, vigilance, wisdom, and skill that through their ministrations, You would work your healing. Have mercy, we pray, and hear us, in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

For governments and leaders

Gracious God, our Father in heaven, You have given Your Son all authority in heaven and on earth as the King of kings and the Lord of lords, You have established for our common good and blessing all temporal authority. Bless the president of our nation, the governors of our states, the mayors of our cities, the Congress, legislatures, and judicial benches of our land, and all leaders throughout the world. Grant them wisdom and courage to meet the challenges of the days, weeks, and months that lie ahead. Surround them with wise and capable counselors. Deliver them from petty partisanship and needless division so that all who lead would work together in a spirit of cooperation for the common good and well-being of our nation and its peoples. Temper their words with wisdom and their decisions with courage and conviction. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done among us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who with You and the Holy Spirit, live and reign, one God, now and forever. Amen.

For the most vulnerable among us

Gracious Father in heaven, Your Son taught us that as we serve the least among us, we serve Him. We pray for the most vulnerable in our communities – our elderly, our sick, those who live in the streets and in tents, those who are isolated. Forgive us, when we have forgotten them in our haste to fill our own cupboards. As Your compassionate heart is turned toward the poor, the widowed, the least, and lost, and lowly, turn our hearts toward them too, and make us instruments of Your goodness. Hear us, in the Name of Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord, who in His poverty, weakness, and death won life for all. Amen.

For those who are sheltering at home

Gracious Father in heaven, Your Son went the way of death, resurrection, and ascension in order to prepare  for us a place in your eternal home. Our homes have now become a shelter in this viral storm, and yet they feel like prison. Bless our homes, we pray, and all who dwell in them. Stir up in us a deeper affection for one another, and manifest the fruit of the Spirit who dwells among and within us – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-discipline. Make our homes dwelling places of your Word, little monasteries of devotion, prayer, and common life together. We thank you for the science and technology that enable us to talk to each other even as we shelter in place. The tools that once threatened to drive us apart now enable us to reassure and comfort our friends, family, and neighbors. Remind us all that we are but pilgrims and travelers here, and that we our true home and shelter is with You in your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Hear us we pray, for His Name’s sake. Amen.

For Perspective

Gracious God, our heavenly Father, Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, taught, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). The fear of You is the beginning of wisdom, for in the fear of You, there is nothing left to fear. Our world is in turmoil and fear. We fear for our health, our lives, our future. Calm our fears in the fear of You. Turn our hearts and minds toward You and keep them in Christ Jesus, our Savior. Fix our focus on Christ and His coming, lest in our anxieties over things temporal we lose sight of the things eternal that He has won for us all by His dying and rising. Hear us, for His Name’s sake.

For Endurance

Gracious God, Your holy apostle has written that suffering produces endurance, character, and hope (Romans 5). Grant us patience endurance in this time of anxious waiting. Straighten our crooked backs and strengthen our wobbly knees and arms. We have grown flabby and complacent in our comforts; now make us spiritually strong, lean, and fit at the very core of our being. Build our character through this, that we may emerge a stronger people, bold in faith and prodigal in love. Instill hope in our hearts for the glory yet to come at the coming Day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Hear us, for His Name’s sake.

For Reordered Priorities

Gracious God, heavenly Father, Your Son taught us to seek first Your kingdom and righeousness and all that we need to support body and life will be granted according to Your fatherly goodness and mercy. We confess that we lived as though You did not matter and we mattered most. We have idolized celebrity and wealth, and have been lured by the glamor of greed and gain. We have been concerned that our pantries are filled with provisions, yet are unconcerned that are hearts are empty of your Word. Reset, reorder, and renew our lives according to Your will, that we would seek Your kingdom and righteousness in Christ, and trust that in all things You know best what we need, even before we ask it of You. Hear us, in name of Jesus, Your Son, our Lord.

For Temperance of Speech

Gracious Lord, your blessed apostle James taught that the tongue is a boastful and deceitful member than no one can tame (James 3). Bridle our tongues, we pray. Keep our lips from lying, and our tongues from deceitful and hateful speech. Burnish our lips with the burning fire of Pentecost and give us the breath of your Spirit that we may speak Your wisdom and mercy to all within the sound of our voice. Grant it, for Your Name’s sake. 

For Repentance

Gracious Lord, your Son Jesus taught that when tragedy, evil, and sudden death, our first response is to be one of repentance (Luke 13:1-5). Grant metanoia, we pray. Change our minds, we pray, to recognize your fatherly hand of discipline at work in, with, and under this present crisis in all its forms. Discipline not in your wrath, O Lord, but in mercy teach, lead, and guide us in Your way. Topple our idols in whom we put our fear, love, and trust above You. You have brought us to our knees, now lift us up and set us high upon Christ, our solid Rock. Remind us that Your ways are not our ways, and Your thoughts are not our thoughts. Conform our minds to the mind of Christ, and let us be as clay under the shaping hand of You, our divine Potter. Hear us, we pray, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

For Order in Our Lives

Gracious God, our heavenly Father, your Word brought order out of chaos and orders our life in a sabbatical rhythm of day and night, work and rest. The liturgies of life have been disrupted by the urgencies of the moment. We are enveloped by a flood of formlessness and emptiness. Speak your Word into this present chaos and bring order to our lives. Let your Spirit blow across the face of the Deep and renew the face of the earth. Instill in us the rhythms of Word and prayer, work and rest, singing and stillness. Restore the liturgy of our lives and return us to the holy Liturgy of your gathered people; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

For Farmers

Gracious God, our heavenly Father, You give seed to the sower and bread for our tables. Bless our farmers and all who grow and supply our food. They stand at the source of our daily bread. Watch over their fields and their farms. Grant them wisdom in the management of their resources and laborers for their harvest. Give rain and sunshine in due season, that we may enjoy the fruits of the earth with thanksgiving to You; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, and the Bread of life for all. Amen.

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