April 2, 2020
One way to stay grounded in God while reading or hearing the reports about the spread of COVID-19 is to pray as we process the news. This week we pray for the sick, those who have died and those who mourn, those who care for coronavirus patients, prisoners, those who are working in necessary occupations, and those without work, ever mindful of the connections among us and our global siblings and among we humans and everything else in creation.
O most mighty and merciful God, in this time of grievous sickness, we flee unto thee for succour. Deliver us, we beseech thee, from our peril; give strength and skill to all those who minister to the sick; prosper the means made use of for their cure; and grant that, perceiving how frail and uncertain our life is we may apply our hearts unto that heavenly wisdom which leadeth to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Prayer In Time of Great Sickness and Mortality (The Book of Common Prayer 1928, p. 45)
Please pray especially this week:
For coronavirus patients in our own communities and around the world, and for everyone dealing with the effects of COVID-19. More than 215,000 Americans are known to have had the coronavirus as of Wednesday, April 1. According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services data dashboard for COVID-19, 214 Nebraskans have now tested positive for the coronavirus.
O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: Mercifully accept our prayers, and great to your servants who are ill the help of your power, that their sickness may be turned into health, and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.Prayer for Recovery from Sickness (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 458)
For those who have died from COVID-19, and those who loved them. A week ago, we had passed 1000 coronavirus deaths in the United States. This week on Wednesday, April 1, more than 1000 Americans died on that day from COVID-19. As of Wednesday evening, there had been more than 5000 coronavirus deaths in the United States. Four Nebraskans have died of the disease.
Almighty God Father of mercies and giver of comfort: Deal graciously, we pray, with all who mourn; that casting all their care on you, they may know the consolation of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.(From The Burial of the Dead II, The Book of Common Prayer, p. 505)
For medical professionals and other healthcare workers caring for coronavirus patients or preparing for a possible wave of hospitalizations in their communities.
Sanctify, O Lord, those whose you have called to the study and practice of the art of healing, and to the prevention of disease and pain. Strengthen them by your life-giving Spirit, that by their ministries the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.Prayer for Doctors and Nurses, (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 460)
For prisoners and others confined to crowded and unsanitary spaces. There has been growing concern for prisoners and the effects of the spread of disease within prisons to surrounding communities. Some places are beginning to release nonviolent prisoners.
Lord Jesus, for our sake you were condemned as a criminal: Visit our jails and prisons with your pity and judgment. Remember all prisoners, and bring the guilty to repentance and amendment of life according to your will, and give them hope for their future. When any are held unjustly, bring them release; forgive us, and teach us to improve our justice. Remember those who work in these institutions; keep them humane and compassionate; and save them from becomingbrutal or callous. And since what we do for those in prison, O Lord, we do for you, constrain us to improve their lot. All this we ask for your mercy's sake. Amen.Prayer for Prisons and Correctional Institutions, (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 826)
For those are working in necessary occupations and those who are without work. We pray in gratitude for people working in grocery stores, pharmacies, child care centers, transportation, and other occupations that meet our basic needs while many of us are able to stay home. We also pray for those who have suddenly lost their jobs because of the pandemic.
Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good: and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out fo work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.Collect for Labor Day, (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 261)
As we pray for others, let us pray for our own hearts to be open so we can see the needs in the world around us and gladly respond to those needs. As springtime arrives even during this pandemic, pray that we find refreshment and inspiration in the beauty of God’s creation:
O heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty; Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.Prayer for Joy in God’s Creation (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 814