Prayer of the Church in the COVID-19 Crisis

Indian woman pray make wish sit at home with laptop

M:    Dear Father in heaven, we come before you during this time of uncertainty and stress and plead for your mercy. We merit nothing from you but punishment, for we are sinners whose flesh is always turned toward its own ideas and desires and turned away from you and your will. Were you to treat us as our sins deserve, we would be destroyed.

C:     Father, forgive us our sins.

M:    You sent your one-and-only Son to suffer and die as our Substitute, and in saving us you showed us your boundless love and abundant mercy. You met our deepest and greatest needs in Jesus Christ, and we, therefore, approach you in confidence, knowing that you will also meet the needs of this present time. Answer our fears, relieve our anxieties, strengthen our hearts, and guide our steps.

C:     Lord, have mercy.

M:    In asking for your blessings in the face of COVID-19 and all its complications, we do not forget that you have already given us great gifts that are too easily overlooked and left unappreciated. We, therefore, thank you that till now we have been unfamiliar with pandemic and plague — that we have been spared from the fears, sorrows, and deprivations, as well as the pain and death, that came with the catastrophic and uncontrolled ravages of infectious disease. For this,

C:     We give you thanks, O Lord.

M:    We thank you for the marvels of human ingenuity, which is a reflection of your own creative mind. Our lives are better, longer, and freer of pain because of continuing advances in medicine, science, public health, and administration. For this,

C:     We give you thanks, O Lord.

M:    In all our troubles and through all our days we have the assurance that you have all things well in hand and work them out for the good of those you have made your own. We have your promise to hear and answer every prayer that flows from every need and desire of your people. We have your guarantee, secured by the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that through all and at the end of all, no matter what happens, we have a home with you in heaven, in bliss and for eternity. For all this,

C:     We give you thanks, O Lord.

M:    You have provided professionals who are now united in battle against this disease and its spread: nurses, doctors, other hospital and medical workers, laboratory technicians, pharmacists, public health officials and scientists of many kinds. For them,

C:     We give you thanks, O Lord.

M:    Our people, properties, and the public sphere are kept safe by first responders: firefighters and EMTs, police officers and others who keep order and keep watch. For them,

C:     We give you thanks, O Lord.

M:    Behind the scenes, often unnoticed until they are needed, are men and women dedicated to maintaining, repairing, and optimizing what is vital in our communities and homes: our infrastructure, utilities, systems, vehicles, appliances, and more. For them,

C:     We give you thanks, O Lord.

M:    You provide us what we require for life, but use people to get it to us. Some produce and package our food, some prepare and sell it; some transport the things we need to maintain our lives and keep our society running smoothly; some make the items we need to live, some the items that bring joy and relief to our lives, and others deliver these things to us. For them,

C:     We give you thanks, O Lord.

M:    In this time of insecurity, we recognize all who work to maintain the health and safety of our nation and homes, whether the threat comes from foreign enemies, domestic dangers, natural disasters, or transnational diseases. For them,

C:     We give you thanks, O Lord.

M:    You have also given us, as your representatives, the men and women in our government — national, state and local — who are willing to step up and take responsibility, make hard decisions, and work to keep us all safe and healthy. For them,

C:     We give you thanks, O Lord.

M:    We also think of those people without title or position who still go out of their way to look after those in our society who are most vulnerable, fearful, or neglected: families, neighbors, volunteers, community members, and everyone willing to help their neighbors. For all these servants of yours,

C:     We give you thanks, O Lord.

M:    And having thanked you for them, dear Father, we also pray for them. Give skill, strength, wisdom, patience, understanding, compassion, energy, discipline, honesty, and devotion to all as they need it to do their duties. Help us to support them as you support us in our various vocations, serving as your representatives to this sin-sick and troubled world.

C:     Hear our prayer, O Lord.

M:    We pray, of course, for all those who are sick from COVID-19 in our community and nation, and in the wider world. Grant them comfort and peace when they suffer, provide them with the care they need, and give healing as it is your will. As we have the opportunity to be of help, guide us to love and serve them as Jesus loved and served us. Let us also not neglect those who suffer from other illnesses, disabilities, and deprivations, and not forget to serve the needy and troubled.

C:     Hear our prayer, O Lord.

M:    Guide and enable all citizens, but especially our fellow Christians, to make good and wise decisions in these stressful days. Help us to respect those you have placed in authority over us and to act with concern for the vulnerable in our society. Give us patience and clarity not only in dealing with new restrictions and discomforts but also in dealing with each other, particularly our spouses and families, as we struggle with these stresses.

C:     Hear our prayer, O Lord.

M:    Not in greed but concern we pray for our economy, which has been devastated by the steps taken to confront this coronavirus. Remember with mercy and blessing all those who have lost employment and income, those without resources and at risk, and those in danger of losing businesses and investments, careers and long-nurtured dreams. Enable our nation to bounce back quickly, with minimal disruption to its commerce, so that none are left impoverished and all are able to thrive.

C:     Hear our prayer, O Lord.

M:    As we hear tragic stories of choices made, both unfortunate and evil, we also pray that you would use this crisis to raise up and strengthen the cause of life in our nation. As we pull together to fight off death from disease, let the people of our nation and those who serve them also pull together to protect life whenever and wherever it is vulnerable from neglect, abuse, abortion, euthanasia, and encouraged suicide. When hard decisions must be made by mothers, medical professionals, and family members, lead them always to value life over convenience, comfort, and economics.

C:     Hear our prayer, O Lord.

M:    Finally, Lord, we ask you to regularly remind us to rejoice in our redemption and at all the blessings with which you have filled our lives. Where there are beauty and joy, let us appreciate and share it with others. Let this time of testing result in stronger and more vital faith for each of us, even as we find ourselves separated from each other in worship, and bring us quickly back together around your Word and Sacraments. Through this crisis, let the witness we present as your people give us opportunities to reach those around us who are without Christ. Make us always ready and move us to gladly give the reason for the hope that we have.

C:     Hear our prayers, O Lord, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

 

 

Pastor Jeff Samelson
www.christlutheran.net
Christ Lutheran Church (WELS)
Clarksville, MD
Vice-Chairman, Christian Life Resources’ National Board

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