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The Prayers of the People in An Unprecedented Time


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You sent plagues to free the children of Israel. We are faced with deaths we cannot understand and a way of living that is new, constantly changing and often incomprehensible. We come to you in a time of uncertainty and confusion, a time of repentance and conversion. Ours is a liminal time, a time between what was and what is yet to be. A time when the eyes of all have been opened to realities previously unseen. And so we pray …

We pray for repentance from the global epidemic of predatory greed and exploitation that, like the virus it mirrors, has devastated our world:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

We pray for repentance from our national shadow side, the history of greed and exploitation that has blinded us to the lived reality of faces that differ from our own:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. 

We pray for those who have to enforce their community’s laws: embed Your Word in their hearts and tenderly protect them – you who alone holds all power and who are love itself:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

We pray for scientists doing the basic research to try to understand the COVID virus. Sharpen the minds of the researchers who work to develop a vaccine, treatments, a cure and improved measures to reduce its spread:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

We pray that we may be kept from the arrogance of our fantasized invincibility to a disease that is no respecter of persons:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

We pray for the aged, vulnerable and the poor of this earth who suffer most from this deadly disease: give us hearts of courage and service to work to protect them:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

We pray for the forgotten suffering extreme need, isolation, destitution, homelessness, hunger and betrayal – that they may know the kindness of strangers and our God whose eye is on the sparrow:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. 

We pray for those who have died, often frightened and alone, and the thousands whose families have been unable to publicly grieve or memorialize them:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

We pray that our nation and the family of nations may have the wisdom, diligence and dedication to develop structures and long-term solutions to help prepare for or prevent future, similar outbreaks:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

We pray for those possessed by COVID rage at so much that is beyond their control: the abused, the abusers and the traumatized who witness or collude with it, that they may find all together another way forward:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. 

We pray for all parents and educators that they may understand and provide the best possible learning for the children in their care this coming school year:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

We pray for the fair, peaceful election of a strong and just president who will seek to bridge our country’s polarities, empower the powerless among us, solidify the common good of us all and guide us through to safety, recovered prosperity and the happiness of mutual accord:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

We pray for all those who bear the authority of government, the decision makers who set the policies and the media that interpret their actions and messages: that they may communicate humbly, clearly and truthfully – restoring our hearts to trust and our spirits to hope:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

We pray for all worldwide economies that they may recover, and that those in power will seek to provide available, equitable opportunities, enough for all.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

We thank God that, in this time of social distancing, while our institutional structures have foundered, our grassroots communities have flourished:

             Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

We thank God for the skill, perseverance, solidarity, generosity, advocacy and kind tenderness of our frontline workers:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

We thank God for the achingly beautiful summer all around us and the golden harvest season we are entering upon:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

We thank God for this pause we’ve been given in our busy lives with its opportunity for more intimacy and reflection:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

For whom and for what else shall we pray?

Lord Jesus, you go before us through all darkness to turn it into light – ever caring, ever strong, always present and always just.  May we faithfully follow wherever you may lead – trusting even beyond our sight, hopeful despite all our doubts, generous beyond our strength and loving in that way that can only be your gift alone.  Amen.