March 26, 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, journalists, and those who are alone, every 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.
Six more cases were identified in Nebraska on Wednesday. Local news sources have begun updating information for our communities regularly. Earlier this week, the United States had more than 55,000 cases. The Centers for Disease Control updates the numbers for the United States daily, while the World Health Organization provides updates from around the world. Of course, the numbers alone can’t convey the severity of the disease or its effects on patients and their families and communities.
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.
The United States has now had more than 1000 deaths known to be from this virus.
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.
Read about the experience of the medical staff at one Brooklyn Hospital to get a sense of the huge challenges they face when coronavirus cases surge. The health workers in the emergency department at this hospital are beginning their morning shift with prayer, and we can pray with them and all the other medical professionals, hospital workers, and first responders putting themselves in harm’s way to care for others.
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 journalists who go out to gather news to keep us informed.
As journalists interview government authorities, medical personnel, and people in places most affected by the coronavirus, they expose themselves to potential infection. In a democracy, their work is crucial especially when the decisions of those in power carry the power of life and death as directly as they do in a public health crisis.
Almighty God, you proclaim your truth in every age by many voices: Direct, in our time, we pray, those who speak where many listen and write what many read; that they may do their part in making the heart of this people wise its mind sound and its will righteous; to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.Prayer For those who Influence Public Opinion, (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 827)
For those are alone.
More people than usual are alone and feeling lonely as care facilities bar visitors, older people are advised not to visit with grandchildren and adult children who are unable to practice social isolation, public worship is suspended, and friends cannot gather. Along with our phone calls and notes to people who are alone, we can assure them of our prayers.
Almighty God, whose Son had nowhere to lay his head: Grant that those who live alone may not be lonely in their solitude, but that, following in his steps, they may find fulfillment in loving you and their neighbors; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.Prayer For Those Who Live Alone, (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 829)
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)