A note to our email subscribers: If you are getting this prayer for a second time, it means the problem preventing our email service from “grabbing” the current prayer from our website is, in fact, finally fixed! (We’ve been fighting a massive malware invasion, which caused last week’s edition to email twice, and had been preventing the current edition from being sent out. Thank you for your patience and prayers while we try to get it up and running smoothly again!)
You know so deeply every piece and every possible human emotion we feel in a single day. You are there as we witness the events, tragedies, celebrations, joys, opportunities, and heart breaks which can cause our hearts to change so dramatically from one moment to the next. You see these changes in our bodies and our hearts, Lord, and we are grateful for your motherly attentiveness and fatherly affection. As we face another week in a world filled with innumerable tragedies as well as hope-filled opportunities, help us to hear where your Spirit is calling us. Sometimes our emotions get the better of us and we simply want to curl up in a ball like little children who upon waking prefer to stay under the covers and hide in our beds. Help us up Lord. Give us hope. Lead us to where you are calling. Teach us how to live in peace.
Our world needs the peace that only you can give. We pray that your peace and love might grow like an unpredictable flower in a dry and weary land. We pray for your children at the Gaza and Israel borders. As so many innocent people die, we pray that your peace might overpower the forces that are bent on destruction. We give thanks that Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire after 11 days of fighting. We pray for a lasting peace so that your children no longer have to worry if their homes will survive until tomorrow or if their neighbors or they themselves will live to see another day.
God, we continually pray for families in Kabul, Afghanistan where one mother cries out that, “You have to be brave to send your child to school,” because of the explosions killing young children and families. As we see some of your youngest children suffer, we pray that these parents might no longer have to worry about the safety of their schools and neighborhoods.
God, we pray for the tragic loss of life in India where there are now more than 25 million COVID-19 cases and 275,000 related deaths with likely a much higher count than what is reported. As we see India’s holiest river, the Ganges, being filled with bodies, we pray with those who grieve and suffer every human emotion that comes with such a huge loss of life. We pray that somehow vaccines might be made and delivered more quickly. We pray for India’s states, including Delhi and Maharashtra, where vaccinations are suspended for people between the ages of 18 to 44 because of vaccine shortages. We pray that healing and health might be restored in India where COVID related deaths seem to be out of control at this moment.
God, we pray for other parts of the world that are also suffering under the strain of COVID outbreaks and have limited access to vaccines. We think of our brothers and sisters in the Philippines who currently experience one of the worst COVID-19 infection rates in Southeast Asia. We pray, too, Poland, Hungary, the Ukraine and other parts of Europe where there are recent spikes of COVID cases. Give us hope Lord that somehow your children might experience good health and life instead of sickness and death.
We pray for your children in Mumbai, India, where a barge with 261 people sank during a severe cyclone. For the sake of the families who are impacted by the disaster, we give thanks for the twenty-six bodies that were recovered, but as rescue efforts continue we pray for those waiting for news of loved ones who are still missing.
God, we pray for relief amid devastation as around half of the 8,000 migrants who reached a Spanish enclave in Morocco have been turned away. Many of these dear people do not know where to go next. Sit with them, Lord, and help them find a home once again. As they experience defeat, exhaustion, anger, and longing for hope, we pray that you might remain tangibly present with your people who need an earthly home.
God, we pray for wisdom for those who are making decisions about the Olympic games in Tokyo. With much of Japan in a renewed state of emergency due to a spike in coronavirus infections, a leading group of physicians in Tokyo has called for the Summer Games to be canceled. May those in power be drawn to listen to the guidance of medical professionals.
God, we lift up all of our feelings, all of our hopes and wishes, all of our rational thoughts, because you are in every fiber of our humanness. We appreciate that some things will change and indeed some things will stay as they are, yet in every circumstance we rejoice in the love and peace we have through hope in Jesus Christ. “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). We pray that you will lead us. That you will show us the path to peace as we sit not always knowing what to do next. May you fill our hearts with hope as we rest in your unfathomable peace.
In your name we pray. Amen.