To the one who is not limited by time, we pray for life in a world where time is often of the essence. Move us to be mindful that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
Bless the springtime bursting forth with rich soil for planting, cool rains to water, sufficient sun to cause that which is planted to flourish. We pray especially for regions experiencing drought. Send the rains to Jaen, Spain and the Po River Valley, Italy;
There is a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot:
Bless families preparing for new life in their midst: babies being born; children being adopted; transplant patients receiving another chance to live. We give you thanks for medical advances that often go unnoticed: progress in vaccinology, in the treatment of ALS and prostate cancer and Type 2 Diabetes, post-partum depression, and early detection of sepsis.
Calm those whose routines and practices are being uprooted. Fill them with the grace to see value in the changes they resent. For farmers using regenerative farming, communities planting shared gardens, and businesses employing sustainable practices. May new practices and policies prioritize people over profit and the environment over convenience.
There is a time to kill, a time to tear down; a time to weep and a time to mourn.
How long will those carrying out the orders of evil regimes continue to kill your people, tear down hospitals and schools, cause entire nations to weep and mourn and become despondent? We pray for Ukraine, now in their second year of fighting to protect families, homes, hospitals, schools – their entire way of life. And we pray for the United States where mass shootings happen daily in places that shelter the most vulnerable citizens: schools, hospitals, celebrations of every kind.
And oh God, in Afghanistan 167 young children die every day from preventable diseases that could and should be cured with the right medication. Multiple rooms are full of sick children, at least two in each bed, their little bodies ravaged by pneumonia. One hospital has no working ventilators and just two nurses look after 60 children. The Taliban’s recent ban on women working for non-profit organizations has made it harder for humanitarian agencies to operate, putting even more children and babies at risk. My God, full of mercy, help the caregivers in this place. Stop the endless suffering. Show us the way forward.
There is a time to heal, a time to build, a time to laugh, and a time to dance:
Help us to look for your goodness, growing. To see that people the world over are returning to gatherings that were cancelled during the Covid19 pandemic. We praise you for the hope and joy of graduations again; weddings, well-attended; family reunions, planned. We pray especially for the people of the United Kingdom as they prepare for the coronation of King Charles III. Make him a king who is guided by your Spirit, and sufficiently strong to do the right thing, even when it is unpopular.
Help us to see the full sweep of life as it moves across the earth, and to live in quiet expectation that resurrection and renewal are part of its cycle. Let us not forget that life comes out of death, and that which is scattered is eventually gathered. Whisper to us to notice and embrace all that reflects your presence in our midst, the courage to work against that which tears down life you have created, and the trust to know what to keep, what to throw away. Grant us integrity in a time of war, and humility in a time of peace.