This week’s prayer contains excerpts from The [Episcopal] Book of Common Prayer.
Lord God, today we gather in Your name, though most of us not in the indoor spaces that have come to symbolize gathering spaces for those seeking truth, justice, and faith. Many of us struggle to feel the sacred or even simple connection through a computer screen. And yet, here we are, gathering and struggling and trying to find holiness. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.
Almighty God, you proclaim your truth in every age by many voices: Direct those who speak where many listen and write what many read, that they may do their part in making the heart of this people wise, its mind sound, and its will righteous. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.
O Lord, we pray for the countries where COVID-19 cases are increasing, notably the United States, India, Mexico, South Africa, Colombia, Argentina, Iraq, Indonesia, and Oman. (Click on the link above, then scroll down below the map to see the statistics for each country, and, if you wish, to pray by name for every country currently being affected by the virus.) Give grace to your servants, O Lord.
Mother God, we come to you full of grief. We find ourselves going through the stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—many times each day. Grant us the grace and space to grieve for our own losses, and the grace and space to allow others to grieve theirs: the displacement of children from their schools and playgrounds today and the displacement of Black children for generations, the isolation of the elderly today and of the marginalized throughout history, the power of protest or silence. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.
Lord Jesus, when you came among us, you proclaimed the kingdom of God in villages, towns, and lonely places. Have mercy upon all who live and work in rural areas. May their far-flung health care providers receive the training and resources they need to save lives. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.
O God, behold and visit the cities of the earth. Renew the ties of mutual regard which form our civic life. Send us honest and able leaders. Enable us to eliminate racism and violence so that men and women from different cultures and with differing talents may find with one another the fulfillment of their humanity. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.
God our Father, whose Son had nowhere to lay his head: Grant that those who live alone may not be lonely in their solitude, but that, following in Jesus’ steps, they may find fulfillment in loving you. Even though so many of us around the world right now are never alone, we feel lonely. We miss communing, and we also miss conversations with strangers. We have sacrificed anniversaries and graduations and weddings and birthdays and birth plans in order to keep our communities safe. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.
We pray for our religious leaders and essential workers.
We pray for ourselves as we grapple with the lies of omission from our history lessons.
We pray for health care workers and death care industry personnel.
We pray for the unemployed.
We pray that scientists not be at war with politicians.
Give grace to your servants, O Lord. Help us to grieve so that we may heal. Amen.