A Prayer for Aching Hearts

Heavenly Father, thank you for my health and for the health of my loved ones. Lord, everyday I hear about widespread physical suffering and death from the coronavirus pandemic. It is not like anything we have experienced in our lifetimes. Lord, again I pray for doctors, nurses, and nurses aides who put their own health at risk to save lives. Again I pray for essential workers who risk their own health to provide essential goods and services to the public.

Lord, this global pandemic has caused more than physical suffering and financial woes. It has brought widespread heartache. In normal times, doctors and nurses and ministers learn to face the reality of suffering and death. My sister has made a career of caring for the elderly, including our mother. She has seen a lot of death. This pandemic is like nothing anyone has experienced.

When my mother-in-law was dying, we stood at her bedside in the hospital and held her hand as she struggled to breathe. We had the chance to say goodbye. When my mother lay dying in the nursing home, we gathered around her bedside as her organs failed. We kissed her face and held her hand and said our tearful goodbyes.

This is different. When a person is afflicted with a contagious disease, healthcare workers can only approach wearing masks and protective clothing. Doctors and nurses cannot extend a human touch of comfort. Loved ones cannot surround the dying in the last moments of life as we surrounded my mother with love.

Father, this is heartbreaking.

Lord, bless the hearts that break for others. Comfort those who must maintain physical distance to guard against infection, even as they long to comfort the afflicted. Be their personal protective shield against this virus. Give them strength to face each day.

God of mercy, hear my prayer. Amen

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

A Prayer for Mental Health

Dear God, thank you for this day and thank you for always providing for me. These days, when we go to the grocery store, we find empty shelves. Hospitals and clinics can’t find the equipment they need to care for the sick. I know I need not worry about a single hour of my life – about what I will eat or drink or wear or about my health. Your eye is on the sparrow, and I know you watch over me.

Lord Jesus, the world is struggling with all the consequences that a pandemic brings – death, illness, a lack of resources, social isolation. I pray for all the people around the world who are struggling with fear, worry, anxiety, loneliness, depression or despair. Comfort them with your loving presence.

Lord, people have always struggled from mental health issues. This crisis only makes things worse. I pray that people will get the help they need. I pray for the psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, psychotherapists, counselors, and other professionals who dedicate their lives to helping people with mental health issues. I pray that you will give them the resources and means to treat their patients while maintaining physical distance.

I pray that you will help me to have more compassion and empathy for others. Help me to understand what other people are going through. Show me how I can help others in need.

Amen.

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Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash

A Prayer for Healthcare Workers

Life as we know it, has been turned upside down by a novel virus. People are hoarding TP, emptying grocery store shelves, stockpiling supplies like it’s 1999. Job losses. Worry. Fear. Denial. Social isolation.

In times like this, it really hits home how much we need each other. We are grateful for and need the healthcare workers who put themselves at risk everyday to help other people. We are grateful for and need teachers who not only educate kids but also keep them occupied for hours so their parents can work. We are grateful for and need restaurant and retail workers and all the people, too numerous to list, who provide goods and services to the public.

Several days into this global health crisis, as I read post after post on social media, I had an idea – share a prayer. I pray silently. I am not good at praying in front of other people. As I share my prayers on social media over the coming days, I hope that my personal prayers will help even one person who is struggling during this difficult time.

Heavenly Father, I thank you for your love and protection. Lord, I pray for people who are living in fear of coronavirus. I pray for those who worry about how they are going to pay their bills or pay their employees. I pray for those who have already lost loved ones and for those who are fighting COVID-19 right now. I pray for all of us, the whole world, as we struggle with things that are beyond our control.

Lord, I pray that something good will come from all of this. That we will learn to love one another as we love ourselves.

You’ve got the whole world in Your hands.

God, I thank you for uniquely gifting each of us. Today, I especially thank you for blessing healthcare workers with their talents and for giving them hearts that care about others. Today, I lift up the people in my own extended family who work in the healthcare industry: Cindy, Jamie, Ashley and Gary, Adrian and Cassandra, Garrett and the girlfriend I have not met, Lindy, and anyone I unintentionally missed. Protect them from this deadly virus. Give them courage. Erase all fear. Lord, at the end of their long and stressful days, I pray that you will give them rest.

I lift my eyes up to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

Amen

As I think about how we are all connected, I remember what the Apostle Paul said to the church about unity and diversity in the body (1 Corinthians 12). The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable…

We need each other.

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Photo by Luis Melendez on Unsplash