Center your thoughts on God and focus on a scripture passage and a prayer each day
God is with us always and everywhere
Center your thoughts on God and focus on a scripture passage and a prayer each day
God is with us always and everywhere
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
The Good News: This verse hangs in the kitchen on Election Day, reminding us that – on that day – and every day -- in fellowship, in worship, in ministry, in service – when we do the work of the Lord, what we do matters – even in, or especially in, a time of crisis like these present days.
Prayer: As we enter what is sometimes referred to as the unofficial first weekend of summer, we pray that this may be a season of fun, good-health, well-being, and joy, O God. It is certainly a different season than we’ve ever experienced before, yet may that not be a bad thing. Grant unto us new ways of celebrating, of new traditions, of new blessings. It’s so easy to merely wish things were the way we’ve known them to be before. But since they aren’t – give to us a fresh perspective of opportunity, of blessing, of “glass-half-full.” You are a providing God – so thank you! We pray that you will also show us how you are a protecting God, by helping us to do your good work safely, strongly, and sacredly. We pray especially this day for missionaries, chaplains, and ministers of the Gospel that their work would be effective and to your glory, O Lord and Savior, Jesus. Amen.
Isaiah 40:31 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
The Good News: We are weary. But with God we will be strengthened. We are tired, but with God we shall be renewed. The promise is sure. In this marathon of a pandemic, we can continue to run, with the help of God.
Prayer: Guide us O Thou Great Jehovah – we feel adrift. We normally would have been planning picnics and parades. The beaches and boardwalks would have been crowded with merriment and few cares beyond needing sunscreen. We are grateful for the slow opening of public spaces even as we are grateful for the caution that keeps us healthy. So many in the medical field have worked so selflessly and diligently to battle this coronavirus. Thank you for their dedication and sacrifice. May people not disregard or disrespect all that they are doing by irresponsibility. May the day hasten, O God, when we can gather without restriction. Until then, give us the gift of patience. We are waiting – so renew our strength as you have promised to do. And give an extra measure of strength to all those who work to keep us well: doctors, nurses, optometrists, dentists, hygienists, veterinarians, therapists, PAs, technicians, dieticians, pharmacists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, chiropractors, radiologists, counselors, researchers, among so many others… In the name of the great Physician, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Luke 24:50-51 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
The Good News: On this Ascension Day, forty days after Easter, we mark the time when the resurrected Jesus ascended to his heavenly Father. Yet we are not left alone or disconsolate – Jesus yet abides! He prepares a place for us! He sends the Holy Spirit! We are blessed!
Prayer: O God of earth and sky – on this day that doesn’t get the attention of Christmas and Easter, this is a day of significance for Jesus, and thus for us. Having been raised from death, Jesus’ presence in heaven gives us a pathway for our own eternal life. Alleluia! In this day of mystery and miracle, support and sustain us. Give us a good hope in Jesus. For how we need that – grant us hope that we can get through all this trauma by caring and supporting one another. So help us to do just that. We pray for the suffering and sorrowing people of the world – give comfort. We pray for those who are anxious and alone – give companionship. We pray for those who are afflicted with Alzheimer’s and affected by automobile accidents – give help. We pray for those dealing with addictions and seeking to maintain sobriety – give strength. We pray for business owners and those who are unemployed – give opportunity. We pray for governmental officials – give wisdom. We pray for ourselves, our friends, our family, our church – give perseverance and your blessing. Amen.
Psalm 31:24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!
The Good News: This is an imperative. Rather than merely a good suggestion, this is a directive from Scripture. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to accomplish – but with God’s help, we can take courage.
Prayer: God of might and valor – help us! We seek to be strong; we want to be courageous despite the current circumstances. Yet it is so challenging. It’s another Wednesday – with how many more days and weeks of “life on hold?” Our children are struggling with the lack of socialization and structure. We all feel the effects of isolation – because of masks not seeing smiles; because of necessity, not hugging; because of inability, not traveling. So help us, God. Help us establish a new normal that focuses on both caution and opportunity. We are waiting. And waiting. And waiting for relief. Help us to wait for you, Lord and Savior, with a knowledge that you have good things ahead for us and for our world. So surprise us with joy, hope, faith, peace and love that surpasses all we have known or expected. Do great and marvelous things in our world, for we pray in the name of the Mighty Deliverer! Amen.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Good News: Even when it seems like our cups are half-full, the truth, in a larger, God-sized sense is that our cups overflow. There is abundance of hope, if and as we lean on Jesus. So let us let our hope in God spill over onto those who need it and seek it.
Prayer: O fairest Lord Jesus, ruler of all nature, beautiful Savior and Lord of the nations – we thank you as all glory, honor, praise, and adoration is now and forevermore given unto you! Help us trust more, to lay aside the anxieties of this day and to know that you are in charge. So set us free to live and love more like Jesus every day. Help me to rejoice as one of your beloved children. May we dance by your Spirit’s rhythms and give and share and forgive and worship and laugh and cry and praise -- together! For also we are still yet separated, we are together in your name and by your decree. We pray for those who feel left out of your beloved community – those who feel that by their actions, or because of who they are, that they are undeserving of your grace. Help us to be agents of your radical inclusion, abundant blessing, overflowing hope, and unswerving love. So we lift up agencies and organizations that come alongside those who look after our frail elderly, those who are hungry and homeless, those seeking sobriety, those who are marginalized. Be present by your Spirit to fill those with empty stomachs, empty hands, empty lives… Help us boldly to proclaim your empty tomb and the Good News that life, love and resurrection have the last word! Thank you, Jesus! Amen.
Psalm 27:12 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
The Good News: Though times are tough, though the virus is persistent, though life has changed dramatically, God is our fear-dispeller. We can lean on God! Be not afraid!
Prayer: Precious Lord, though others can’t physically connect with us, we ask you to take our hand, to support us and sustain us. This whole mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing, physical distancing thing is wearying. And so many are out of work! The questions about the future abound. We pray for the unemployed and furloughed. We pray for businesses that may not make it through this pandemic. We pray for people who work paycheck-to-paycheck and wonder how they’ll pay the bills. This is real stuff, O God. Help us! We turn to you because we can’t seem to figure out how to. So thank you for being the one to whom we can cast our burdens. So bear for us all that weighs us down. Take heavy loads off our shoulders and ease the anxieties of our minds. We also pray for others – for cashiers and gas station attendants, for landscapers and builders, for barbers and hairdressers and cosmetologists. We pray for those who repair our cars, those who repair our psyches, those who repair our faith. Come, and repair our world, O God. Amen.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
The Good News: We can lean on the everlasting arms of God. Though plans have been disrupted, God’s ultimate plan is strong and sure and for our good. God is always with us!
Prayer: O God, we’ve been doing this social distancing and “abundance of caution” thing for over two months. And it’s tiring. We’re tired. So lift our weary spirits. Provide glimpses of hope. Deliver moments of delight. We want to laugh and sing and play together. Bring comfort to those who are lonely and worried. Bring healing to those who are afflicted and affected by this COVID-19. Bring positives out of the negatives – for the negatives seem so great: Canceled proms and graduations and ball games and weddings and reunions and barbecues. Yet we are grateful for worship that continues, just in new ways. So, thank you for technology that keeps us connected. Thank you for our teenagers who will lead us in praise tomorrow with Youth Sunday. Remind us of the bigger picture and that your plans are bigger and better than our plans. You have promised good for us – we want it, need it, and claim it! Thank you for sending us your Son Jesus who is the Healer, Helper and Hope-giver. Amen.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.
The Good News: We deal with a limited perspective. God’s perspective is “big picture.” We live for now; God’s plan for us is eternal. We cry now; a heavenly reunion is forever. Joy with God is our destiny!
Prayer: Lord God, as the weather grows warmer we are eager to be out and about. We miss our sports. We want to make plans of boardwalks and beaches. These are challenging times. We’re weary of waiting. We’re tired of so much caution. Yes, we understand the need to take health precautions, but that doesn’t stop our emotions. Home schooling is taking its toll – and we have another month to go. Help! So as we pray for ourselves, we pray for others. We pray for those who carry secret burdens, known only to themselves and to you, O God. We pray for those trying to figure out summer plans – give guidance and direction. We pray for those in nursing homes and their staff. Provide new ways of service, of praise, of connection, of blessing. We’re trying, O God – but sometimes it just seems beyond our capacity. So help us. Come along side us in tangible, profound, and real ways. Thank you, O God! Amen.
Lamentations 3:22-23: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
The Good News: We have strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Blessings are ours, with ten thousand beside. All we have needed God’s hand has provided. Great is God’s faithfulness!
Prayer: O Holy Friend and Savior, we are so grateful for your mercy. We aren’t perfect, yet you are. We wonder and we wander and we wait upon your timing. So help us. In our imperfect knowing, help us to trust you. We are used to being in charge and yet this pandemic has reminded us all too powerfully that there is much that is beyond our control. With that, many have been reminded that you are the one who is all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful. Work in the hearts of people to bring out deeper faith, greater service, grander hopes, and better care for one another and for our planet. We pray for those sick in body…, the bereaved…, the lonely…, the unemployed… Sustain those working in health care. Protect our military. Guide our government. Bless our police officers, firefighters, EMTs and emergency responders. We pray for our church – and for its consistory as they meet tonight. Lead us, Lord! In the name of our faithful Savior, Jesus, Amen.
Romans 8:38-39: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Good News: We are within God’s embrace always. Wherever we go God is with us. Whatever happened or happens or will happen – it won’t stop God’s amazing grace or everlasting love. Just receive it. God’s love is a gift, unconditionally given to you.
Prayer: Loving God, how we need you. We look to you to even more in the complexities of our current situation. As there is talk of “next stages” -- on one hand we are eager to reconnect with friends/colleagues and to re-establish routines of commerce and yet we want to promote health and well-being. So we balance mental and emotional health with physical health with economic health. It’s so hard to know. But you know. And you are with us. So be our guide and our salvation. We bring our praise to you, O heavenly Father, for your provision and providence. We offer our “Wednesday worship” to you with deep gratitude. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
The Good News: We are living in challenging times – but we have a refuge! We are protected by the all-encompassing blessing of God. We may not always recognize where we are or what’s going on – but remember and know: God’s provision and perspective are greater.
Prayer: We pray for those who are vulnerable and sick, whether that be in mind, body or spirit. Sustain them; help them. Contain the spread of infection. We pray for a vaccine – so guide our scientists and epidemiologists and researchers. We lift up in prayer those who create, provide and administer COVID-19 tests. May more and more people benefit and be kept safe. Give compassion and wisdom to our local, state and federal governments as they allocate resources. For God, we trust that you are good and do good. Help us to be faithful. Help us to live and love like Jesus. We glorify his name in what we say and what we do. Equip us to magnify your grace, your love, your commandments, your salvation. Give us peace on earth! In the name above all names, Jesus Christ, Amen.
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2 Timothy 1:6-7 "For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."
The Good News: God’s Spirit is full of love, joy, peace, kindness, and goodness. And more! So though we experience earth-bound fear, the presence of God will vanquish fear. Let us live with the burning blessings of God!
Prayer: Good and gracious God – we ask for your blessings to abide generation to generation. So we pray for those of wisdom-earned years – keep them from frailty and fear, and give them strength and hope and purpose. We pray for those who are of a generation of vocation-focused women and men. Give opportunities to labor with creativity, fulfillment and blessing. In these uncertain times so many are wondering about the future of their business or the longevity of their employment. Help, O God! We pray for our college and high school-aged generation – thank you that they have enabled so many others to deal effectively with new technologies. Yet we pray for them as they are missing land-mark experiences – internships and recitals and sports seasons and proms and first dates and going for drivers tests and graduations. We pray for our younger generation as they may not know of a world without “an abundance of caution.” Support them – and the teachers and parents that are educating in new ways. Guide us into a future that will be different, and yet, we pray, good. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
2 Timothy 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
The Good News: The apostle Paul writes to his protégé Timothy and tells of a lineage of faith. On this Mother’s Day weekend we can give thanks for those who nurtured us – and for whomever modeled for us a faithful relationship with God.
Prayer: O God, we give you thanks for those who have nurtured us. Though we may call you “Our Father,” let us not forget how often mothers embody your steadfast and relentless love. We praise you, O God, for your gift of motherly love, both gentle and fierce, both strong and humble, both kind and true. Loving God, often our mothers have been mirrors of your love. They tie our shoes, drive us where we need to be, put a Band-Aid on our knee, braid our hair, bake us cookies, help us pick up our room, write us a letter, say a prayer for us, wait up for us, laugh at our jokes, and explain big words like “pandemic.” For the ordinary ways and countless days of care our mothers gave us, we give thanks. For the worry we caused them, we ask forgiveness. For our place in this family of faith, we rejoice. Thank you! Amen.
Psalm 69:3, 16 “I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God… Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.”
The Good News: Though we are weary, God is abundant with mercy. As hard as it may be to accept, God’s timing is not ours – and God knows best.
Prayer: These are critical times, O God. So many are sick, so many are out of work, so many are running thin on patience, so many are anxious about, not only next week, but this summer and this fall. So guide those who are making critical decisions about how and when to reopen business and society in general. For business leaders making difficult decisions that affect the lives of their employees: God, give wisdom. We need you O God! Provide a future that is marked by opportunities to serve and praise and work and play and laugh and cry and sing and share – together! Though the challenges are many, we bring our petitions to you, who is mightier than a virus. So as the virus shut down the world, we humbly ask you to open us possibilities of something great. Reveal that to us. May more and more people recognize that you – Wonderful Counselor -- are needed and necessary – and the way to life that is both abundant and eternal. Thank you for your Amazing Grace that has brought us safe thus far, and that grace that will lead us home. We pray in the name of our Precious Savior, Jesus. Amen.
Psalm 37:39 "The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their stronghold in the time of trouble."
The Good News: “Stronghold” means a place of security or survival. And how we need both! Let us spend time sheltering in the place of God.
Prayer: O God, send your steadying, supporting, strong hand to us this day. It’s easy to get discouraged because we’re dealing with quarantine fatigue. We were resolved to deal with this for days and weeks – but months? How long, O Lord? So help us persevere. Help us to do the hard work of promoting health and healing when all we want to do is give a hug and have a meal with friends. So in the midst of our longing, we pause to pray. This is proclaimed a “national day of prayer” – and so we join our prayers with many – for strength for the journey ahead, for our family, for our friends, for our church, our nation, our world. We pray for those who are ill, whether from COVID-19 or some other disease, and for their families as they are unable to be physically present to one another. We pray for those who work in our hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers, food pantries, as they, in addition to their attention to physical healing, offer emotional comfort. Bring your help in profound ways to us and our world, O Holy Spirit! Amen.
Romans 8:31 "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?"
The Good News: If God is on our side, no one can harm us. We just have to believe in Him and his son, Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Almighty God, Awesome Jesus, Abiding Spirit – many of the rhythms of life have been challenged and changed. Yet spring follows winter, Wednesday still follows Tuesday. The waves still crash on shore, the stars still shine. Help us to cling to the unalterable love that you give. Help us to know and remember that you are “for us.” Send reminders of your goodness and grace, O God. And as we are reminded, may we then, in turn, be reminders to others of the blessings that yet are abundant. So we pray for those who ache for a sign of hope – those who are hungry and homeless, those who are chronically ill, those who are tired and overworked, those who are on the front-lines of dealing with trauma. Help us be beacons of your light into a dark time. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
1 Peter 5:6-7 "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."
The Good News: We have anxieties. Yet we don’t have to cling to them. Instead of tossing and turning or losing sleep – take all anxiousness and give them over to God. God invites you to do! Remember that God cares for you – completely and unconditionally.
Prayer: O God – you have got our attention! So much of what we had thought of as “normal” and expected to continue on without thought or pause is now up for grabs. So may we take this, humbly, as an opportunity to renovate our souls and restructure our ways so that our ways may, more and more, align with your ways. Help us to be full of grace and agents of love. Help us to practice kindness, and thus to be more human-kind. We pray for the citizens of all the world; may all come to acknowledge your Presence. Thus we pray for our missionaries: Amy, Linn, John, Jennifer. And we pray for missionaries closer to home, namely all those who are making masks, delivering meals, shopping for others, supporting small businesses, giving financially to care-agencies, writing letters and making phone calls, praying for the vulnerable. And we lift up those who are working in places to care for the frail elderly, the sick and dying that they may be protected from infection even as we are grateful that they can come alongside loved ones when we are not permitted to do so. The needs are great, O God. And you are greater! Thank you. Amen.
Mark 10:27 "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With humans it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.'"
The Good News: We are to walk by faith, with humility, and trust. God is at work. The force of God is strong! So we seek not what we can see and know from our limited viewpoint, but we seek to see God more clearly, love God more dearly, and follow God more nearly.
Prayer: In this time of dislocation, distancing, discombobulation we come to you knowing that fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering, Thus, Lord of all hopefulness, we just pause now to pray. We just breathe in and out, slowly, deeply, longingly focusing on remembering that you are our God from whom all blessings flow. You are our God in whom all our needs are met. So, thank you. And even as we stand on your promises, we pray for others:
▪️For funeral directors whose work has lately been so taxing.
▪️For truckers and those who deliver our mail and packages.
▪️For those working so that we have food.
▪️For our church’s consistory and staff.
▪️For governmental leaders.
▪️For our neighbors.
▪️For the children of our world.
▪️For those who are ill and suffering – from whatever their suffering is called.
Come, Lord Jesus and bring help. Amen.
Isaiah 40:31 "But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."
The Good News: It’s so hard to wait. Yet that is our call and commission especially in these days of pandemic. The long view provides a perspective and promise – we will renew our strength!
Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. So, thank you God. Thank you for your company and your presence. In these times of isolation we need your amazing grace, your abiding mercy and leading love more than ever. So come to this world to shine your light into the darkness with healing and hope. Bless us. Bless us so that we may be a blessing to others. We pray for our firefighters, first aid and EMTs, police officers – keep them safe. We pray for our doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, researchers and all health professionals. In the name of the Great Physician, Jesus Christ.
Psalm 62:6 "He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken."
The Good News: These are trying times. Unprecedented. And the way forward is unknown. Yet God knows all and God is the one who saves!
Prayer: Heavenly Father and Abiding Friend – here we are at the beginning of another month. Another month of physical distancing, of working remotely, of children learning not alongside their friends. Another month of not knowing. So we pray, from the deepest parts of our souls: help! Especially we lift up small business owners and hourly wage earners – provide sustainability. Provide wisdom for people making decisions about how to best “open up society.” We pray for those making plans for an uncertain summer – people for whom it is an important season – shore businesses, summer camps, farmers, tourist destinations. Even as we pray for these real and heartfelt needs, we also say “thank you” for giving us a world that is robed in the blooming garb of spring. Renew our world. In the name of our Rock and Savior, Jesus, Amen.
Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
The Good News: Though life is challenging, we are not solely in charge. God has given us minds to think carefully and creatively and compassionately, but God is the ultimate guide. Lean on him when you need a hand; we all need somebody to lean on!
Prayer: Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart; naught be all else to me, save that thou art -- thou my best thought by day or by night, waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word; I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord; thou and thou only, first in my heart, High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.
High King of heaven, my victory won, may I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun! Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, still be my vision, O Ruler of all. Amen.
Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
The Good News: In our homes, at the grocery store, in our hospitals and care centers, God is always with us – day and night. As tough as it gets -- we are not alone.
Prayer: You are Lord, Sovereign, King – in other words: in charge. And so we both worship you and look to you to solve all this -- all of it – the emotional worries, the physical disease, the mental exhaustion, the financial uncertainty, the relational distancing, the spiritual questions. Heal us as our cries of “How much longer?” are consuming us. We pray for so many others – but we also pray for ourselves that we can endure. Help us O God as we need to stay home, stay safe, and stay strong. Give us a Spirit-fueled resolve! In the name above all names, Jesus Christ, we pray.
Revelation 21:4 “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
The Good News: The time will come when God will take away all pain and suffering. Eternal life is our promise; resurrection is assured; salvation is God’s great gift.
Prayer: O God of all comfort and blessing, we pause in the midst to just acknowledge your presence. All of this pandemic has refocused us on things like masks and washing hands and finances and zoom meetings. We wonder about much – but may we never wonder about you. So come, and let your Spirit’s reassurance wash over us that we are not alone, that you will not let the challenges of these present days persist. So by your power, bring healing! Eradicate COVID-19! We give thanks, first and foremost for the gift of your son Jesus, our friend and Savior. We worship you and adore you for your goodness and mercy, which follows us all the days of our lives. But so many are grieving and anxious. Come in real, persistent and tangible ways that we might be reassured that you are present in personal ways. Bless our families, our church family. The hopes and fears both are laid before your throne of amazing grace. Help us! Please, Lord Jesus. Amen.
1 John 3:1 "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him."
The Good News: We are children of God! We are cherished always and unconditionally. God is a safe place to land.
Prayer: O holy Father, we know that we aren’t perfect. Far from it. And these days have challenged us. Yet you love us with an everlasting love. And you want good for us. So use your power to turn the hearts of all people – all over the world – to your will and your ways. Work in and through the leaders of government to collaborate on solutions not only to this pandemic, but for the ceasing of violence and war, for the healing of the planet , for the eradication of disease, for the elimination of hunger, for the lessening of the gap between the “haves” and “have nots.”. We pray for our military and their families as they work for peace; save us from war! We pray for our children and their future – may this year be the beginning of a new kind of hope and help for all the people of the globe. Come, Holy Spirit! Amen.
Psalm 37:39 "The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their stronghold in the time of trouble."
The Good News: God is our Savior in times of trouble -- for the Bible tells me so! Little ones to Him belong; we are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me!
Prayer: O living Lord – be our rock, our fortress, our strength. All seems to be crumbling down. All that used to be “normal” – worshiping together, family time, shopping for fun, walks in the park, baseball games, handbell concerts, weddings and proms and baby showers and birthday parties – all that we miss makes us feel adrift and wistful. How we long for being together again. Yet when will that be? And how will we feel when we are allowed to gather? Are we ever going to be able to hug and handshake without hesitancy? The questions are many and the feelings are deeply-felt, O God. So come alongside and give us that peace that passes understanding. Amen.
James 1:2-4 "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
The Good News: These are tough times – but God gives us faith and strength to endure and perhaps even grow. How can our resolve grow stronger and our love for others increase?
Prayer: O Rock and Redeemer – we want to be faithful. We know we are not the first generation to face hardship, but this world-wide pandemic has us on edge. We cough and wonder, “Is it the virus?” We go to the store and worry, “Was I exposed?” So we pray for ourselves and our loved ones. And we pray for all who work in places where exposure is possible. Keep them protected, O Lord! Especially we lift up those in nursing homes and rehab centers and prisons and hospitals -- where so many are vulnerable and living quarters are close. In the name of the great Physician, Jesus Christ. Amen.
1 Corinthians 15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."
The Good News: When we spread God's love and share His word, it is not for nothing. It may be difficult, but we reflect the very goodness and grace of God as we do so. Keep it up!
Prayer: Loving Father, we pray for perseverance. Help us to keep a positive attitude and to not get discouraged. This time of isolating is hard. We know it is necessary but we wonder about the ability to keep functioning like this. So we pray for those who are alone and anxious. We pray for those who are staffing essential business and are overworked and tired. We pray for children who can’t understand why they can’t have playdates and birthday parties. We pray for those who have autism and their families who can’t have the routines that help bring needed structure to their lives. So many needs --- help us Jesus! Amen.
Psalm 104: 24-28 “O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. …These all look to you to give them their food in due season; when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.”
The Good News: Though the world is rightly focused on COVID-19, we remember on this Earth Day (and every day) that God has given us a beautiful world. We are to care for creation and care for one another as a form of worshiping our Creator.
Prayer: O Eternal God, you provide so much for us to enjoy, to use, to thrive. Yet in these days we are reminded how vulnerable we are. Much of what we expected to always go on and on and on is now questioned. Still the grass is re-greening and the flowers blooming. Beauty is yet possible. So attune us to caring for your creation. Help us to be mindful of ways to be better at being good stewards of your earth. Help us to become instruments of a new creation, founded on the covenant of your love. We pray for farmers and gardeners, for a fruitful season. We pray for veterinarians and the creatures of earth, air and sea. We pray for the future generations… In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Psalms 46:3-4 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea, though its waters rage and foam and mountains totter at its surging.”
The Good News: Though the school buildings are closed and the hospitals crowded, though the virus has raged, we do not fear because God is present and God is strong!
Prayer: Our questions are many, O God of our salvation. Our weariness and wariness is significant. So lead our leaders that their work would be sufficient to our needs and glorifying to your name. So many plans have had to be put on hold. Will we ever be able to gather without hesitation or offer a handshake without reluctance? So much is unknown to us – yet you are a God of knowing and blessing. So bring clarity out of confusion and peace from the turmoil. Specifically we pray for those who deal with addictions that the stranglehold would be broken; we pray for those in 12-step programs that sobriety would be maintained despite the inability to meet face-to-face. Support us each and all, in however our needs might be named, for we need help, hope and healing. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
The Good News: We live day-by-day, for that is our privilege and responsibility. God takes an expansive, long-term view – and God’s plans are amazing!
Prayer: O God of victory, thank you for Jesus. Come to us by the power and presence of your Holy Spirit. We are grateful that you receive our prayers, even when we have meager words and a faltering faith. As another week of uncertainty is upon us we pray for our teachers and our students that they may not be hindered by the challenges of teaching/learning in new ways. We pray for those who are lonely and depressed that this time of isolation might not defeat them. We pray for those serving in our military and their families that they may be protected even as they protect us. Bring healing to those who are ill, for we pray in the name of the living Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Romans 12:9 “Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good.”
The Good News: Paul gives instructions of how to live as people who have been saved by grace alone. Let us hold on – and practice kindness as diligently as we practice physical distancing,
Prayer: God of help and hope – so many have been affected economically by this pandemic. Unemployment is up. Small businesses and restaurants wonder if they will be able to hang on. Farmers are thinking about this year’s crops. Many have been living paycheck-to-paycheck. And there are still ongoing concerns of hunger and homelessness. Work a miraculous work to bring help and dignity and solutions! Use us to be conduits of your compassion and care, O Lord. Amen.
Jude 20-21 “But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”
The Good News: We often need to wait what we want and need – but as we do so, we are given an opportunity to build ourselves up in faith. The prize is eternal life! Alleluia!
Prayer: These are challenging times, O God. We’re trying to keep ourselves focused on your love. So come to us in new ways of blessing. Help us to be attuned to how you are working. May this pandemic, despite its devastation, bring people into new levels of kindness, cooperation and faith. Yet we do pray that this time of isolation is able to end soon. But when things slowly return, keep the virus away. Banish it, Lord! Thus we pray for our health care workers, immunologists and first responders. We pray for those in hospitals, nursing homes, continuing care communities, and rehab centers – both staff, patients and residents. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Psalm 56:8-9 “You (O God) have kept track of all my sorrows; you collect my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your record? Then my enemies will retreat in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.”
The Good News: God knows our heartache and collects our tears. We are not left alone. God is for us!
Prayer: God of resurrection, we abide in hope. We are ever-grateful for eternal life and the knowledge that when our time comes to conclude our earthly journey that there will be a glad heavenly reunion! Yet we do pray for those who grieve. For people who have died of COVID-19; for those who have lost loved ones no matter the cause; for those who are scared of dying alone. Bring your comfort. Help us, Jesus! Amen.
Zechariah 14:9 “And the Lord will become king over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be one and his name one.”
The Good News: Who is the “King of kings?” the “Lord of lords?” Though all our earthly nations have different leadership, there will come a day when we will be all united, not by pandemic, but by the leadership of God.
Prayer: Almighty God. Our prayers of “save us,” “deliver us,” “help us,” continue. Yet so do our prayers of gratitude. Thank you that you are not distant, but abide with us. Thank you for the empty tomb and the joy of resurrection despite the powers of disease and death. Thank you that hospital admissions are decreasing and that there are signs of “flattening the curve.” Thank you for technology that enables us to stay in touch and to worship online. Thank you for all those who are working so diligently that we might be safe and fed and nurtured. In the name of Jesus, living Lord. Amen.
1 Corinthians 15:51-57 (The Message) Let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be changed. In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal. Then the saying will come true:
Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
Who got the last word, oh, Death?
Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?
It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!
The Good News: All the dangers, toils and snares of this world are real. But they do not have the last word! We do not know when or how, but God will make all things right!
Prayer: O Father of Easter-power, we sing/pray/believe that “you sent your Son, they called him Jesus; he came to love, heal and forgive. He lived and died to buy my pardon; an empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. Because he lives I can face tomorrow; because he lives all fear is gone; because I know he hold the future and life is worth the living just because he lives! To you, O God, be all glory! Alleluia. Amen.
John 20:19-22 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week (Easter Sunday), and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
The Good News: We have the Holy Spirit as a continuing guide, blessing and comfort. Peace is assured! Resurrection is ours!
Prayer: God of victory and life – Alleluia! Even in these troubled times, we lift up our praise. For though we live with so much uncertainty, what we claim as certain is your power and presence. Thank you for not abandoning us. But, my Lord, what a morning… my Lord, what a morning… for the death toll rises, the stock market wavers, our weariness increases. Bolster us so that we can yet be a blessing. Strengthen our resolve and steady our faith. We lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim till all the world adore his sacred name. May this not be just another Monday – but rather the Monday of a new era, when more and more people accept the gift of life and love that you offer – and in return, commit to your holy purposes. Thank you Jesus for your love. Blanket our world with your healing. In Christ’s prevailing presence, Amen!
Jonah 2:6-7 The waters swirled about me, threatening my life; the abyss enveloped me; seaweed clung about my head. Down I went to the roots of the mountains; the bars of the nether world were closing behind me forever, but you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord, my God.
The Good News: As Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days, and Jesus in the tomb for three days, God does not leave us forsaken, but will raise us up!
Prayer: O Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us. O Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us. O Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world, receive our prayer, and grant us thy peace. We yearn for peace – for peace for the world, for peace for our bodies. Peace for our souls. As we remember Jesus in the tomb, we pause acknowledging the pain and problems, the sin and suffering, the disease and death that were vanquished by God through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
The Good News: The powers of death are defeated through the cross. God’s power, presence, and perfect love are everlasting and unfailing.
Prayer: We pray for all nations and peoples of the world that you so love -- and for those in authority among them. We pray for our country -- our president, members of Congress and the Supreme Court; we pray for those who are members of our armed services. We pray for their safety and protection, but we pray that all may be given your wisdom and counsel, O Mighty God, that by your help all people may seek justice and truth and so to live in peace and good will.
And Compassionate Physician, we pause to pray for all who suffer and are afflicted in body or in mind. We lift before you those who are hungry, the homeless, the destitute and the oppressed. We pray for the sick, the wounded, the disabled; we pray for those who are lonely, fearful or distressed. We pray for those who face temptation, doubt and despair. We pray for the sorrowful and the bereaved that you, O God, in your mercy will hear our cry and by your holy spirit, bring consolation, comfort and relief.
And Seeking Shepherd, we pray for all who have not received or accepted the good news of salvation. We pray for those who have lost their faith; for those hardened by sin or indifference; for the contemptuous and the scornful; for those who are enemies of the cross of Christ and persecutors of his disciples and for those, who in the name of Christ, have persecuted others. O God, open all hearts to your truth and lead all people to faith and obedience.
We pray for the grace of a holy life, that, with all who have departed this world and have died in the peace of your son Jesus Christ, and with all those whose faith is known to you alone, one day may we be accounted worthy to enter into the fullness of the joy of heaven and receive the crown of life in the day of resurrection. We humbly pray this in the name of your blessed son, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
John 13:34-35 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The Good News: On this Maundy Thursday (the word “Maundy” coming from the Latin word for “commandment”) we are commissioned by Jesus at his Last Supper to the highest of callings: to love one another. Let us be persistent and creative in extending that wide embrace to all people.
Prayer: As we pause in prayer O Lord, and as we prepare to share in your holy Supper, remembering that we are connected in a real way to you, and then through you, to one another -- even to those past and yet to come. It is truly the “communion of the saints.” So we pray for one another. We think of those who brought us to faith, our church school teachers, our parents and grandparents, youth group leaders. We think of those with whom we’ve worshiped, those who have served with us on church committees and choirs, joined us on mission trips, united with us at the Election Day Events! Ease our anxiety and heal our communities, O God. Help! Amen.Type the content for this list item here. This is just example text to show you what it will look like when you enter text content into this list item. Your unique, authentic, and appropriate text will be filled into this section.
Isaiah 53:3-5 He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hid their faces, he was despised, and we held him of no account. Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
The Good News: Jesus carries all our problems, all our pain, all our difficulties, all our diseases. Not only does he carry them, but he heals them. While it is true that healing doesn’t happen in ways of our choosing or our timetable, but God’s provision is guaranteed!
Prayer: O Lord – all we like sheep have gone astray. We have all turned to our own way. So turn us around. Turn us to you. All of us! You are the only source of salvation and the path of peace. We await the time when we can again sing full-throated doxologies of praise together – but until then, we pray for our friends, our families, our church family, ourselves. We pause to ask you to, in particular, support those who are in 12-step programs or dealing with addiction. Without meetings to provide a safe place to keep sobriety, we pray with them: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 “We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.”
The Good News: Yes, the Palm Sunday parade is over; it is true that Jesus is in the last week of his earthly life. And yet -- then, as well as now, though we live afflicted and perplexed – we have not been, nor will we be abandoned or destroyed. God has the final word – and that is “victory!”
Prayer: O promise-fulfilling God, we come with questions – like, “will we ever see ‘normal’ again?” Each day brings more diagnoses and death than the day before. Now it becomes not, “I wonder if someone I know will test positive?” but rather, “who do I know who will test positive?” Mind-numbing and worrisome. How many questions must your Son have also had as the day of his crucifixion drew nearer. Thus, we are grateful that we do not go through this alone, but that you accompany us and know all our emotions. We pray for those who staff our hospitals and pharmacies, researchers and first responders. Protect them, Lord! Amen.
John 12:27-28 Jesus said, “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
The Good News: In this passage following the Palm Sunday parade, Jesus commits himself to his mission, to save us and save the world. Salvation is assured!
Prayer: Come, Lord Jesus. In this Holy Week, as we remember the journey to the cross, remember us in our journey through this valley of the shadow of death. Yet we give thanks that you do not, and will not leave us in that valley, but that you walk with us through it. So, come alongside us in a very real way. Bring healing, help, hope. We pray for those in hospitals and care centers. We pray for those in continuing care communities. We pray for ourselves. All glory, laud and honor be to thee, our Redeemer, King. Amen.
1 Peter 1:22-25 “Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. For 'All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever.'"
The Good News: God’s promises never fail, falter, fall or fade. Our response? To love one another deeply from the heart. God loves you, let us respond in kind to our families, our friends, our neighbors, our world.
Prayer: Just last year, Palm Sunday was a time of gathering, singing, rejoicing, laughing. Though our worship tomorrow will feel different, may it be no less fervent nor faith-filled. We offer our “hosannas” in different ways, but still and all, we lift it up to you. So help us to overcome geographic distance and come together with our church family and with all those who call upon your holy name. May we this day be compassionate of heart, gracious in our relationships, courageous in our living, and generous in love. Amen
1 Peter 1:8-9 “Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
The Good News: We can’t see one another as we’re used to. But we know that we’re still around. Though we can’t see Jesus, he’s still around! In times like this, lean into your faith and know you are never alone.
Prayer: We used to say, “thank God it’s Friday” – grateful for the conclusion of another work week. But now, O Lord, we’d welcome of the routine of what we used to have. We’re full of questions. As the virus spreads and everyone knows someone who has been infected, we are trying not to get overwhelmed. But it’s hard. So, even as we bring our questions and heavy hearts, remind us that there is yet the possibility, nay – even the reality, of glorious joy. Surprise us with joy this day, O God we pray… Amen.
1 Peter 1:5-7 “… you are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
The Good News: Salvation’s glory is not revealed… yet. But it will be. So we rejoice despite the various trials which we face. Our faith is genuine and God’s promises to us are assured – we are protected, cherished and saved!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come with very earthbound concerns. So may thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We seek to rest in your assurance, that blessed assurance, that brings from above echoes of mercy and whispers of love. As we do so, we pause in prayer for others. For the governmental leaders of the world; for those serving in the military – in particular those serving far from home; for doctors and nurses and all those working to combat this virus; for police, first aid members and firefighters. Bless us Lord Jesus. Amen.
1 Peter 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God…”
The Good News: We stand at a cross-road, the road to the cross. May this journey be marked with the signs of a living hope guiding us in all the complexities and difficulties and changes of life unto the knowledge that we are one with Christ and with each other in a faith that may not lead us around our troubles but will carry us through them. We are one with Christ and with each other in a faith that may not give us easy answers but will give us the ability to hold on.
Prayer: Great and Gracious God – what powerful words: imperishable, undefiled, unfading! Your love knows no bounds, your mercy is expansive. So help us. We need you. We weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. So for those are combatting illness, whether that be this virus or another disease, and for those who grieve the death of a loved one, hear our cries and receive our tears. And for those who are celebrating – a birthday, an anniversary, a new birth, hear our songs and receive our smiles. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 Peter 1:1-2 “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood: May grace and peace be yours in abundance.”
The Good News: Peter couldn’t see his friends and fellow believers face-to-face. Yet God’s grace and peace are with them all… in abundance! The same is true for us. Grace! Peace!
Prayer: O dearest Jesus, these are wearying times. The adrenaline has worn off and now we begin to wonder deeply about the upcoming weeks. Things we took for granted like food choices or paychecks or travel plans are now feeling uncertain. Come along side those who have had to postpone wedding celebrations or baby showers and all those events that are made sweeter by being together. Help us! Send your Spirit’s comforting presence to abide with us. We’d love an extra measure of grace and a heaping helping of peace. Please, O Lord… Amen.
John 1:14, 17 "And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth…. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
The Good News: The unforgettable words of John remind us of the pivotal role our Lord and Savior has played since the beginning of time, and of his saving grace available to all who turn to Him.
Prayer: Draw us to You, O Lord Jesus. In these turbulent times, bring healing to those who have been affected by this virus – which is all of us. Some have been physically exposed or sickened; some have
been emotionally contaminated; some have been mentally exhausted; some have been spiritually scarred and are scared. Hear us and help us! Especially be with those health care workers who are on the front lines of healing. So many are in such need. Keep us safe. Keep us sane. Keep us strong. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
2 Timothy 1:3-4 "I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience as did my forefathers, as I constantly remember you night and day in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy."
The Good News: Paul and Timothy were physically separated, but they (and we) are united in ways that are still strong and profound. We are never alone!
Prayer: Come, Lord Jesus, be with me in my longing, and abide with those I cherish despite social distancing. The calendar says that it’s Saturday, but without the structure of daily appointments and responsibilities, one day flows into the next. Help me remember that your grace also flows – from you, through us, out into this world. The world so desperately needs your power and presence, so use us, despite our isolation to be a blessing – somehow, in some way. In so doing, we lift up prayers for those in “essential businesses” – our grocery clerks, our sanitation workers, our bank tellers, our mail carriers, our gas station attendants, our first responders, our health care workers. We pray for perseverance!!! In the name of the provider of daily blessings, our Lord and Savior Jesus. Amen. See Less
Psalm 23:6 "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long."
The Good News: Know this and feel it in the depth of your being: The faithful are always in the loving care of God.
Prayer: Attending God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – we come to you in prayer. We bring our prayers of thanksgiving. Though there are pain and problems, you also provide love and beauty and wonder. We always pause in gratitude for friends, family, and our church family. We also bring our prayers of petition – especially for those who are delighting in the birth of a baby, but who have to celebrate in isolation. And we pray for those who are mourning the death of a loved one, but who have to grieve without the gathering of others. Restore our souls. In the name of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Amen.
Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
The Good News: God is here, now! At this very moment, He awaits your prayer, ready to comfort and help.
Prayer: O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, we lift up our prayers to you. Prayers for strength and help. How good it is that we can find refuge in you! During these uncertain times, refuge speaks of safety and blessing. So wrap your heavenly arms around us. Heal our world. We pray for our teachers and students as they are learning in innovative ways. We lift up those whose final semester of college has been altered and that a time of opportunity now has been challenged. Bless us that we may be a blessing to others – even if that is in new and different ways. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Luke 2:10–11 "But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”
The Good News: Christ is born in Bethlehem and He lives today! Give thanks and take comfort in God’s inestimable gift of his only begotten son.
Prayer: O Holy Child of Bethlehem, it’s nine months until Christmas. What will the world be like then? We’re living day-by-day, so it’s challenging to think about the future. But to help guide us, our prayer is the third verse of “Away in a Manger”: Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay close by me forever, and love me, I pray. Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for heaven, to live with thee there. Amen.
1 Corinthians 1:8–10 "He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
The Good News: Take heart. God’s love, made manifest to us through his son, Jesus Christ, will never falter.
Prayer: Powerful God – we are trying to have courage and feel strengthened, but there are just so many unknowns. But we do know, remember, and claim the promise that you are present, powerful and perfect. So we pray --- we pray for peace for our bodies, our minds, our souls. We pray for the healing of the nations. Especially be with those who are alone and those who are now unemployed. Help! In the name of the one who is the Keeper of Promises and the Composer of Grace, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Romans 8:26 "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words."
The Good News: God knows us better than we know ourselves. Turn to the Lord in prayer and trust that the Holy Spirit will search our hearts and know what we need.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are in need. We need your presence, your help, your healing. Give us holy permission to do what is best in each moment, even if that’s “hunker down.” In these days of questioning minds and heavy hearts, we lift to you our prayers, whether through words or just our sighs. Hear us and calm us by your assurance that you will bring us through this. So we pray – for our daily bread, for our friends and family, for our church family. We pray for all those who are wearied and worried. Gather us to be with you even in our separate places, as you are always with us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Psalm 34:17–18 "When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit."
The Good News: God stands with the broken hearted, the dispirited, the troubled. You are never alone.
Prayer: Great and Gracious God, be with us, abide with us, in this time of anxiety. Comfort those who are infected and soothe all of us who are affected. So many are affected emotionally, physically, economically, spiritually. Hear us as we cry for help. Answer us, please! Renew our world — With less anxiety and more joy, less fear, and more love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Romans 5:4–5 "And endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."
The Good News: Do not lose heart. Practice endurance. Wait patiently for the Holy Spirit and the strengthening love of God.
Prayer: Precious Lord, we need you. We need the miracle of your presence and the miracle of stopping this pandemic. Life is murky and we seek clarity. Help! Especially be with those who are in nursing homes, hospitals, rehab centers and places where visitors are not able to stopover for a face-to-face word of encouragement. Be with those who work in these places of care and support. Come alongside those who are lonely, anxious, and depressed that they would be granted peace for their soul. Please, O God! Amen
1 John 4:8–9 "Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him."
The Good News: Jesus has redeemed the world and is our only comfort in life and in death. Accept this gift of grace and rest with confidence in the arms of our merciful God.
Prayer (written by St. Patrick about 433 A.D.):
I arise today through God's strength to pilot me, God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to see before me,
God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me, God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me, God's host to secure me –
against snares of devils,
against temptations and vices,
against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in a crowd...
Christ, be with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit,
Christ where I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Christ.
May your salvation, O Lord, be ever with us. Amen.
1 Corinthians 13:13 "Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love."
The Good News: As the Beatles said all those years ago, love is all you need. With love for one another reflecting the love of God, everything is possible; without it, our lives have no meaning.
Prayer: O God and Father, despite all the problems that surround us, there are yet reasons for giving thanks. Let us not lose sight of the blessings that you provide – of friends, of family, of this day, of our daily bread, of your amazing grace. May we be a blessing to others as we reach out to our neighbors and extend compassion to others. This we pray in the name of Jesus – the Savior of healing touches, of wondrous stories, of broken bread, of the cross, and of resurrection. Amen.
Romans 8:31–32 "What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?"
The Good News: Nothing will separate us from God and God’s presence – not things past or present, not disease or difficulty!
Prayer: O Lord, help us. We are alone, but we are not alone. You abide. Help us and heal our world. We ask for your wisdom to guide our leaders, your blessing to be with health care workers and emergency responders, your support to be with those whose income and work are affected, with our students and educators as they deal with a whole new way of learning. Help us in our distress and comfort us in our concerns. In the name of our Savior Jesus, Amen.