Do not fear, for I am with you,
do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you,
“Do not fear, I will help you.”
Isaiah 41:10, 13 (NSRV)
God of Comfort, each of your children come to you with unique hearts and minds and experiences and of every feeling imaginable. While we may not know the feelings and experiences of those near or far, you know what lies in every heart. We ask that you rest your comforting hand on each of your children.
God of Strength, lift up those who can hardly carry on. We pray for the refugees on the Island of Lesbos, Greece who suffer under horrendous conditions in the Moria Migrant Center. We pray especially for the children who do not have the strength or will to live any longer, who are attempting suicide wishing to leave the burdens of earthly life. May your hand of comfort lift them up. Give them your mighty strength.
God of Presence, be with those in Japan who have experienced a terrible typhoon. As your people experience this destruction, be with those who have lost loved ones and with the injured. May your healing presence and abundant love be made known. Help us to understand that your presence is so necessary in every human life: in typhoons and other natural disasters, in a hospital room or hospice, in broken relationships and among defeated souls.
God of Help, at times the lives of your people and the things they care about completely fall apart. Be with the people of Brazil who have lost years of history after the fire at the National Museum of Brazil destroyed over ninety percent of the collection in Rio de Janeiro. As priceless pieces and singular specimens are utterly gone and with the research, work and livelihood of so many upended we ask for comfort as they mourn and try to understand this great loss.
God of Hope, we ask that you sustain the people of Venezuela as rampant inflation continues, that they might know stability and peace. While hope might seem distant, lift up those who have had to live under extreme poverty, increasing crime and daily hunger.
God of Life, be with those in Syria as battles loom imperiling more lives. We ask that you protect all who are in harm’s way. Sustain your people as they face the loss of loved ones and destruction of their communities. End the suffering and may the blessings in life prevail as talks of rebuilding begin.
God of comfort and strength, of presence and help, of hope and life, be with your people around the world and in all the ways needed whether it is to receive comfort or rejoice in new seasons of life. May each of your children know your loving hand. While others might hurt or harm, help us to know that your victorious hand will never harm and will always offer hope.
May your words “Do not fear, I will help you” continually ring as an anthem of hope in our lives.