There are a limited number of things most of us can do in the face of COVID-19.

Confronted by this pestilence, it is impossible to avoid feeling somewhat paralyzed. Coronavirus is not amendable to reason; it does not submit to our grand plans and schemes of what life should look like.

But One thing we can always do when we feel powerless is to pray.

Prayer may not alter the reality of our circumstances. But prayer will alter our inner response to the awkwardness and tragedy of this time. Below is a COVID prayer that tries to capture some of the hopes and aspirations we might hold in this troubled time.

For a video of this prayer, go here: https://studio.youtube.com/video/YNefQLF-MnI/edit

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A COVID PRAYER

God of grace you hold the broken state of the world in tender hands and feel the sorrow and sadness that unite all nations at this time. Grant to us the deep assurance of your presence in this troubled hour.

We pray for all those whose loved ones have died as a result of the coronavirus. We pray for those who continue to struggle to return to health and for those whose health has been permanently damaged by this affliction.

We pray for the elderly and all those who are especially vulnerable at this time. We remember those who are in desperate need of medical care for sicknesses unrelated to COVID-19. May they receive the care they need and find their way to good health.

We give thanks for the courage and dedication of health care professionals who put themselves day after day in harm’s way with the possibility of COVID exposure always at hand. Protect them. Strengthen them and their loved ones. Give them wisdom and steadiness.

May the medical institutions that serve us be adequately equipped to meet the challenge of this time. Make available the resources that are essential to care for the needs of those who are ill and to protect all workers from the risk of infection.

We thank you for those who are working tirelessly to find ways science might help to protect us from sickness. May they be filled with inspiration and with the energy and strength to carry out their research along a fruitful path.

We bring before you all those whose material livelihood is threatened at this time, those who have had to lay off employees, or who have lost their source of income. Help us to find creative ways to support those of our community who are most threatened.

Be with those who live on the edge of our social fabric. Touch with healing those who were profoundly vulnerable even before COVID arrived. Help us to respond to their unique plight with compassion and wisdom.

We pray for safety, health and protection for those who continue to work so that we might eat, and live in safety and that essential transportation methods and communication technologies might remain available.

We ask that you give wisdom and a deep willingness to see clearly the reality of our situation to all those who are in positions of authority. Guide those who are making critical decisions for the well-being of our communities and the safety of all people.

We thank you God for the power of technology and the way it allows us to maintain some sense of connection. But we also pray for guidance to use technology wisely that it may not crowd out the silence, stillness and space that this time provides.

May those who are lonely sense your presence. May they know that they are not alone. We are all connected in the love that holds all of life. May we await with patience the day when we can again embody this love in the beauty of physical form.

Help us God to be responsible and to understand deeply that we are all connected. Our decisions are not just for our own safety and well-being but for the whole community, the vulnerable, the disadvantaged and those with inadequate support networks.

Help us to trust the deep bonds that tie us together as one human family. My we deepen our determination to live tenderly in creation, and to respect and value all forms of life with whom we share this planet.

Enable us to live with patience and kindness towards those with whom we share confined spaces. Help us to find ways to continue nurturing and supporting the energy of children that they may be able to express the joyful freedom of their childhood.

Help us God to hear the wisdom of this hour. May we look deeply at our own priorities and examine honestly the forces that drive our lives. Help us not to miss the deep lessons these uncomfortable circumstances may have to teach us.

Allow us to bear the pain of this time with courage. May we hold the awkwardness and tragedy of these days, knowing that, like Jesus by bearing the suffering of the world, we bring wholeness to the desperate and broken realities we encounter.

May we live as fully as possible in this present moment despite its confusion. May we be able to perceive beauty and wonder even in the midst of darkness and uncertainty. Help us to stay present and open to life when our hearts are tempted to withdraw in confusion and fear.

May we know your peace. May these difficult days cause our hearts to break open more deeply to the gentle sweetness of your presence. May we know deep in our hearts that the light shines in the darkness and there is no darkness that can overcome your light.

Thank you for the gift of life. Thank you for the love that never dies, for your Spirit who dwells in our hearts and sustains us with strength and hope. Thank you that in Jesus we see that life is eternal and there are no forces stronger than the power of life Jesus manifest on this earth.