Mar 12, 2020Prayer in the midst of an epidemic

Prayer in the midst of an epidemic

Prayer Candles, St. John’s Cathedral, Denver, Colorado

COVID-19 is causing disruption to our daily lives like no other circumstance in my lifetime. Not since W.W. II has the United States’ “home front” been forced to alter every aspect of our daily journey through life to the magnitude the coronavirus has already changed our routines. It is unprecedented.

So, rather than offer a prayer and ask you to pray it, which would be my heart talking to God, not yours. Let me offer to you a few prayer ideas in the hope that you will meditate, that your heart might talk to God, and that together our prayers may rise as a harmonious chorus to the ever-listening God who created us.

Pray for the wisdom to take good care of ourselves in a way that focuses on the good of others. Caring for ourselves is good and right. Ask God to help you care for yourselves so that others will not have to bear you up. Pray for the wisdom, patience, and tenacity to practice good health habits for your sake as well as for the sake of others.

Pray for the sick and those who love them; pray for those the virus takes from this life and for those who mourn.

The effects of this pandemic will reach far beyond the health of individuals.

Pray for those who are oppressed by fear and for those who are losing the income that sustains them.

Pray for those in the medical community: physicians, nurses, technicians, and aids; custodial staff and food service workers; and all those who have the courage to receive and care for those contracting COVID-19, for they stand in the breach at the risk of their own health and lives.

Pray for those in the scientific, research, and pharmaceutical communities who devote their time and talent to the cause of global health that their wisdom may be multiplied by the Source of all Wisdom.

Pray for chaplains and other pastoral caregivers, clergy and lay alike, who will visit bedsides, enter homes, and bring prayer, blessing, and the sacraments of hope to the ill. Pray that they may have the courage of Constance and Her Companions, the Martyrs of Memphis, who bravely carried out their sacred duties in the face of disease and death.

Pray for our elected officials and all those who hold the common trust that their wisdom and compassion for all people will increase.

Finally,

Pray that our faith—your faith—may be unshakable so that our Almighty God may be our consolation during these anxiety-producing times.

The Rt. Rev. Martin S. Field (Bishop Marty) is the eighth bishop of The Diocese of West Missouri.

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