“A prayer to God in the time of Coronavirus and Distress”
Oh God, our Healer and Comforter:
We pray that you’ll give immeasurable strength and wisdom and abundant protection to medical staff working tirelessly in nursing homes, hospitals, and other medical and mental facilities to alleviate our pain and suffering, and cure our diseases.
Would you please be mindful about the healing and longevity of the sick and those who are socially incarcerated in a hospital room and away from the physical touch and proximity and from the presence of their family and loved ones. Heal their diseases; touch and stabilize their wounded scars; restore their broken spirit; and comfort their troubled soul.
Oh Maker of the cosmos and people:
We pray for truck drivers, migrant and undocumented workers, farmers, factory workers, grocery managers and staff, and all others who make nutrition and other basic necessities possible and available for a nation in crisis and fear. We beseech you, oh gracious Lord of the universe, to give them physical strength, psychological stability, and mental rest so they can be successful in what they do. Keep them and their family from being contaminated or infected, as you would do the same for our medical professionals and staff.
Oh Lord of the cities:
Governors, state representatives, local authorities and officials are confused and lacked of human power and resources to accommodate the great needs of their people, their cities, their states, and the urgent needs of the coronavirus pandemic. Give them sufficient grace and wisdom to act in wisdom, to comfort those who are hurting and dying, and to contribute to just and equitable communities and cities. Help them not to use their strength and influence to maximize suffering and prolong the effects of the virus. Direct their thoughts; calm their spirit; and may their actions will bring healing and human flourishing in their cities. Grant them the attitude to behave and act like true public servants and community-caregivers.
Oh God of the Poor and the Oppressed:
The poor and the marginalized in our communities and citirs place their hope and future in you. Remember the poor in the developing and developed nations! You will not disappoint them in this time of despair nor will you turn your face away from their existential needs and urgent care in this period of anxiety. The poor are hungry for food, thirst for water, and long to receive and be satisfied with the basic things of life. They are the most vulnerable group to sickness, abuse, exploitation, even their rights to live and exist. Give them justice, security, and protection. Do not forget them when you visit other people; do not look upon them with disfavor, but with compassion, tenderness, and empathy; and do not remove your presence from their dwelling. You are the God who claims to be in solidarity with the poor, the marginalized, and the economically-disadvantaged individuals and populations. Make your face shine upon them and rescue them in this time of excruciating pain and depression!
Remember Oh Lord, some people will become poor and homeless in these dangerous and dark times. Make provision for them. Sustain them and their family. Shine upon them with grace and favor. Restore their lost employment and wages. Be their Hope, Shelter, and Comfort!
Oh God who gives us children and families:
We thank you for the gift of life and grace to have children and families. We also thank you for the gift not to have children but to care for other individuals’ children and families. We thank you for the gift of singleness; oh Lord you don’t look down upon those who belong to this category. Bless those who are singles and those who are waiting upon you to start a family.
In the time of coronavirus, we parents have become everyday teachers of our children-students and we just assumed the role of professional teachers and educators. (We were not ready for that.) Lord, you know our inadequacy in various fields of learning. Give us wisdom and the willingness to accommodate and adjust in this moment of teaching, learning, observing, and role modelling. Help us to seek assistance from those who are stronger and more equipped than us.
Grant us patience to teach our kids at home in this short period of school recess. Help us to manage our time, stress, anxiety, and worries. We parents need urgent divine wisdom, assistance, and presence, and help us to get along with other parents. Foster in us a spirit of teamwork and collaboration.
Oh Sovereign God and Ruler of the nations:
The leaders and the people of nations, both rich and poor, developed and developing countries, long for deliverance and healing from the coronavirus and its aftermath potential effects.We pray for national and global peace, and more humane and compassionate foreign relations and policies throughout this transitional crisis that is affecting all peoples and nations–especially the poor and darker nations of the world.
We call upon your name to give global leaders and authorities a heart for their people, to focus on the well-being of their nations, and to prioritize people’s lives and health above the material, physical, and economic advantages they could benefit from this predicament. Help them to look for the best interest of their allies, even the welfare of the nations they see as their enemies–in this time of coronavirus. Remove the heart of stone and replace it with a heart of love; transform the dependent attitude to mutual actions that are interrelational and global-focused; and dispel ideas of hate, revenge, and war and substitute them with a passion for peace, interexchange, teamwork, and global unity.
Oh the Lord of the Church:
Do not abandon your church, your people, and those you have redeemed with your mighty hand when they come to you for aid in this time of distress; when they seek your face in this time of mourning; and when they cry out loud for your providence and intervention in this moment of crisis! You will not inflict pain upon them nor would you stay angry at your people forever. You will never abandon your church and your people. Forgive them of their sins as you would wash away the sins of anyone who call upon you for forgiveness and repentance. You will never reject or say no to such individuals. You are love and act toward all of us in lovingkindness.
Oh Father of Light, we call upon you that you will arm your people with transforming power from above to comfort the brokenhearted, to dispell fear and anxiety among your people and others, and to bring peace in places of division and disharmony. Father, conscientize your people to be in solidarity with the weak, the marginalized, the widow, the orphan, the prisoner, and the needy. You will also bestow upon the church a spirit of hospitality and humility, an attitude of gratitude toward you, and a passion to bring your healing power and salvation to those who are hurting and living without the hope and light of Christ, the Savior of the world.
Give them grace so the followers of Christ could model a genuine and sustaining life of faith in this time of crisis and terror.
Give them godliness so the disciples of Christ could love like you, lead and shine like you, and serve sacrificially those in need and moments of distress.
Grant them a piety that is Christ-centered and a God-focused lifestyle that is full of compassion, kindness, charity, patience, and zeal to contribute to the common good and human flourishing–for the sake of your name and renown among the nations and peoples of the world.
In Christ’s name, our Lord and Redeemer, we pray and ask!
–Dr. Celucien L. Joseph