As we continue during these days of social distancing, I commend to you these prayer resources for your own daily prayers. As more become available (or I remember existing ones that are pertinent), I will post them here and reference them.
Peace to you,
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from The Book of Common Prayer
In the Morning
This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen. – BCP, p. 461
For Doctors, Nurses, and Healthcare Workers
Sanctify, O Lord, those whom you have called to the study and practice of the arts of healing, and to the prevention of disease and pain. Strengthen them by your life-giving Spirit, that by their ministries the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. -BCP, p. 460
In addition to these prayers, the Book of Common Prayer also offers the follow rites for daily prayers and devotions:
Daily Devotions for Individuals and Families
Spiritual Communion (when unable to receive communion)
Compline (communal prayers before bed)
from Evangelical Lutheran Worship
Those in Affliction
Lord Christ, you came into the world as one of us, and suffered as we do. As we go through the trials of life, help us to realize that you are with us at all times and in all things; that we have no secrets from you; and that your loving grace enfolds us for eternity. In the security of your embrace we pray. Amen. – ELW p. 84
Recovery from Sickness
Almighty and merciful God, you are the only source of health and healing; you alone can bring calmness and peace. Grant to us, your children, an awareness of your presence and a strong confidence in you. In our pain, our weariness, and our anxiety, surround us with your care, protect us by your loving might, and permit us once more to enjoy health and strength and peace; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. – ELW p. 85
In addition to these prayers, Evangelical Lutheran Worship also offers the follow rites for daily prayers and devotions:
ELW Responsive Prayer (for throughout the day)
Assembled by the Rev. Dr. Melody Knowles
The psalms have given voice to human anxiety for centuries. Here are some ancient prayers for those who are anxious:
“Listen to my cry for help, for I have been brought very low.”
Prayers for help: Psalms 27, 90, 138, and 142
“I have taken refuge in you.”
Prayers expressing confidence in God’s protection: Psalms 46, 91, 100, and 121
“I sought the LORD, and God answered me.”
Prayers of thanksgiving for God’s salvation: Psalms 34 and 116
“Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul?”
Prayers of encouragement to trust in God: Psalms 42, 71, 77, and 130
from Virginia Theological Seminary
Prayers Written by the Rev. Dr. Kate Sonderegger
Prayer in Time of Isolation
Almighty God: Our times are in your hand. We call upon you in this hour of our need, when we are lonely and must stand apart. Be our strength, O Sovereign Lord, our calm in the midst of raging seas, our refuge and our dwelling place. Sanctify to us this time drawn away from others, even as your Son, O Father, drew away to a lonely place for prayer. Deepen our need of you, O Lord, that every breath may be a whisper of the Spirit’s prompting, a renewed searching of the deep things of God. Stir up in us the great act of intercession, that we may spend our time apart in prayer for the world you created and sustain. Bless us in our turning toward you, and make us a blessing to those who stand in need of you, the whole fragile earth. All this we ask in the name of great Physician, even Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer in Time of Pandemic
This hour we turn to you, O Lord, in full knowledge of our frailty, our vulnerability, and our great need as your mortal creatures. We cry to you, as one human family, unsure of the path ahead, unequal to the unseen forces around us, frightened by the sickness and death that seem all too real to us now. Stir up your strength and visit us, O Lord; be our shield and rock and hiding place! Guide our leaders, our scientists, our nurses and doctors. Give them wisdom and fill their hearts with courage and determination. Make even this hour, O Lord, a season of blessing for us, that in fear we find you mighty to save, and in illness or death, we find the cross to be none other than the way of life. All this we ask in the name of the One who bore all our infirmities, even Jesus Christ our Risen and Victorious Lord. Amen.
Prayers written by the Rev. Dr. Barney Hawkins
A Prayer for Our Nation and the World in the Light of this Pandemic
Ever-creating God, be with us as the pall of this COVID-19 pandemic falls upon this “fragile earth” which is our “island home.” We hold in our hearts and prayers all who are suffering in our nation from “sea to shining sea.” We pray for the whole world. Our common anxiety is making us one, undivided human family. We pray for world leaders as they chart these unknown waters. Strengthen them to walk into the Light of a new, healing day for the whole planet. Help us to cross our broken lands and be for each other bridges back to heaven. Lift the cares to which we cling. Descend, O God, on us all to be our Guest. Show us how to find in everything blessing and rest. May this be our prayer while we do not know how to pray and until the last light lingers in the west. Amen, in the name of our creating, redeeming and sustaining God.
(With indebtedness to Malcolm Guite and Flannery O’Connor, two of my companions on the way)
A Prayer for an Online Service of Parishioners, When Regular Services Have Been Cancelled
Almighty God of the Cross and Loving God of Community, we are not in a church building today but Church is never canceled. We are not wise, and not very often kind. But we are the Body of Christ in your suffering world. We know that our vocation is to be the Light of this Christ whose Body we are. Give us courage to be the Church and to keep our minds on what matters—which is to keep loving the world which you have called good. Buildings crumble; the Church Year passes; but your Church endures from generation to generation. Make this for us a Feast Day of your Protection, your Plenty, your Purpose, your Plan and your Peace. All this we ask, as we pray in silence, with all the Saints and with each other. Amen. (Echoing the poetry of Mary Oliver)
A Prayer for a Person Unable to Take the Eucharist
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I love you above all things, and long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.
(Written St. Alphonsus de Liguori, 1696-1787, and discovered by Rev. Dr. Hawkins)
A Prayer for a Person in a 14-day Self-Quarantine
Suffering God, your Beloved Son endured temptations and the wilderness for forty days after his Baptism. New life gave him suffering. The Light was dark and the Word without a voice. From the solitary Jesus we learn that the broken bread is our only food. For once and always, O Lord, be present to those in self-quarantine. Give them ears to hear you say: “I am here.” Give them the grace to breathe in the perfect love that casts out fear. Give them food for their bodies and hope for their beings. This is our prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ. In the healing name of Jesus, we make our petitions. Amen and so be it. (Infused with the poetry of Malcolm Guite)
A Prayer for a Person Suffering with COVID-19 (to be used over the phone or on Zoom/ FaceTime)
God of healing, God of hope, our souls are hungry for health and happiness. You are the Maker and Keeper of billions of galaxies of stars and planets seething in their violence. You are the delicate fashioner of the hummingbird’s wings and the infant’s lungs. You are the architect and creator of our fragile bodies. We know you are the caring Abba of us all. Be with _______, and drive far from her all sickness and all anxiety in body, mind, spirit and relationships. Deliver her from her suffering and may goodness and mercy follow her all the days of her life. We pray in the name of the Great Physician, the Way, the Truth and the Life. Amen.
(Written after reading Reynolds Price’s Letter to a Man in the Fire)
from Forward Movement
Visit the link below for daily prayer resources from Forward Movement and a digital version of the “Day by Day” devotional.