(Many thanks to Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastor/author, Nadia Bolz-Weber, for some of the prayer petitions.)
God who is called by many names, God of this earth and all its peoples, today we are crying out, how long, O Lord?
How long until we can touch our parents and beloved elders? (even as we thank you for each day we have with them.)
How long until we can have things on our calendar to look forward to that don’t involve staring at a computer? (even as we thank you for the abundance of celebrations and movies and live music and meals with friends that we have been granted up until a few months ago….even as we thank you for the gift which electronics can be to us.)
How long until we can gather together again to sing your praise? (even as we thank you for calling an assembly in the streets to overturn the tables of injustice and racism.)
How long until the dying ceases, the brutality ends, the anxiety abates?
How long until justice rains down like waters?
How long, O Lord?
How long until the coronavirus pandemic stops holding our lives and our world in the thrall of fear? (even as we are aware of the increasing numbers of both cases and deaths in Brazil, Mexico, India, Pakistan, and the United States.)
How long for the recovery of the people in six states in southern Mexico, hit by an earthquake this week, killing six people, and destroying many buildings? (even as we are grateful that the government’s alert system worked well, saving many more lives.)
How long until our LGBTQIA siblings in sub-Saharan Africa are free from criminal prosecution for their same-sex loving relationships? (even as the members of the lower house of parliament in Gabon have voted for decriminalization, a significant first step.)
How long until people dealing with cancer in Zimbabwe can get proper treatment, as the health care system has been compromised by the corruption of the health minister? (even as health care workers are making every effort to assist the sick and suffering.)
How long until the massive plume of dust from the Sahara Desert reaches the southeastern United States, bringing with it the possibility of multiple respiratory problems and straining an already-stressed health care system? (even as awareness is raised through technology and the efforts of the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.)
How long until the wildfires in Arizona, United States, which have forced the evacuation of many residents, are brought under control? (even as we give thanks for the firefighters and first responders working there.)
How Long, O Lord?
We’re not asking for a date. We’re asking for the faith that a date will come.