Global Ministries will be sharing prayers for the world in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic written by mission co-workers and Global Ministries staff each week.
September 16, 2020
by Jane Sullivan-Davis, Executive for Resource Development
In these days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we come in your presence with very heavy hearts. We grieve many losses. We grieve the loss of loved ones. We grieve the loss of work or parts of our work and lives that mean a lot to us. We grieve the loss of things that we were looking forward to. We miss the physical presence of our dear ones. We miss possibilities to move forward in our goals and purposes. At times, we are downright overwhelmed by the uncertainty in our daily lives, in our health, and in what is ahead for our communities. We miss those things we thought we could count on.
We come to you with frustration in our hearts. We are frustrated and tired at the injustice in the systems surrounding us - injustice in our systems of health care, and in our systems that should provide social care and solidarity. We are frustrated that systems of racism, of inequality, of unfairness, of disrespect are not neutralized, but rather are able to continue to apply their evil in such a time as this pandemic. We are frustrated that we are incapable of implementing your radical inclusion, your justice, your equality, your fairness, your respect in our daily individual and collective lives as your people.
You have made us your people, God, now make us one with all people.
You have called us out of isolation and selfishness, now send us forward with the Spirit of life and solidarity.
You have caused us to turn around and wake up, now keep us ever faithful to you.
You have begun the work of grace in us, now complete your salvation in us.
Oh God Our Help In Ages Past, Our Hope for Years to Come. Empower us now and forever with the love of Jesus.
September 9, 2020
by Violeta Rocha, mission co-worker serving in El Salvador with the Emmanuel Baptist Church
Dear Jesus, you have been our oldest lifetime friend in every crossroad of our lives. Today, we know that we can still communicate with you.
We are still able to share our trusts and doubts with you, and we know you are the only one who can heal our sadness and sorrow.
With open arms, we want to reach out to every suffering sibling who has been affected by this global pandemic. With open hands, open arms, and open hearts, we are sending a warm healing touch to every sick body and to every broken heart that has originated from COVID-19.
We are keeping them in our prayers and sending love in large waves.
Today, we AFFIRM LIFE even under these times. The gospel of Jesus has said that we still have a lot of work to do. We are moving toward new opportunities of changes to our planet and a full shalom for the entirety of creation.
September 2, 2020
by Julia Brown Karimu, Co-Executive of Global Ministries and President of the Division of Overseas Ministries
God of Grace and compassion,
You love us so much that you created us in your image.
You love us so much, that you gave us the freedom even to reject you.
You never give up on us,
You sent the prophets to save us from ourselves
and when we did not listen,
You sent your beloved son, who made the ultimate sacrifice that we may have life abundantly.
Lord, we confess that your love for us is beyond our comprehension. We are thankful that we are able to breathe in your presence with us.
Today, we are in a state of confusion in chaos as we find ourselves living in a global pandemic as a result of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
We feel a deep sense of loss because of the deaths of so many of our sisters and brothers around the world.
We pray for the families who have lost loved ones to this virus.
We pray for the healing of those who are infected by this virus.
We pray for the healthcare workers and those who are on the frontlines working to care for those who have contracted the virus.
We pray for all those essential workers who do not have the luxury of staying at home in order to have physical distance from others, thus having the possibility of being more exposed to the virus.
We are thankful for those who have been healed and have been able to resume their lives.
Lord as much as we are anxious about our present reality, we are confident of your love for us and that you will answer our prayers according to your will.
So, “We wait for you, Lord. Our souls wait for you, in your word, we hope” (Psalm 130:5).
August 26, 2020
by Martha Mensendiek, mission co-worker serving in Japan with Doshisha University
We come to you in prayer during this challenging time.
We are anxious, afraid of the unknowns,
tired of the limitations, and stresses.
Be with us during this time and give us the assurance of your constant love.
Help us to reach out in new ways to those who are lonely, isolated, those who mourn, those who have no home to “stay home” at, or those who cannot return home due to travel restrictions.
Let us show compassion for all of your children in communities throughout the world. We have been reminded how interrelated we are. Let us use this as an opportunity to make wise choices, to act responsibly, and to care for each other as a society and as a global community.
We also pray that the leaders of our countries will put aside nationalism and take actions for global cooperation.
Open our hearts to the hope that you provide.
Let us notice the beauty of the earth, the skies, and the kindness of people.
We give you thanks for giving us the blessings of life.
Help us to spread those blessings and do our part to bring about the peaceful world you intend for us.
August 19, 2020
by Sean Amato, mission co-worker serving in Egypt with the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services
Help us to run this race, as we run toward you.
Calm our hearts – let us respect limitation and acknowledge success, in ourselves and others.
Remind us to be gentle as we walk this un-trodden path.
Lend us your light - give us the decency to see our own decency.
Lord of Preservation,
Grant us the tools to care for ourselves and our neighbors in these unknown times.
You are our manna, our honey from a rock - unexpected joy and humbling salvation.
Even though we are dispersed, your love binds us together. We are one, and you are here between us.
August 12, 2020
By Karen Georgia Thompson, Co-Executive of Global Ministries and Associate General Minister of Wider Church Ministries and Operations, UCC
God of many names, God of the poor, God of hope and change, you are God ever-present with us, calling us and healing us for the mystery of these days. We experience your presence with us in these challenging times, when pain and suffering are so visibly present among us. We are reminded that those who are most in need are among those who now find themselves once again overwhelmed by adversity and set upon by COVID-19.
O God, we ask that you provide for those in need. We ask that you be a source of strength and comfort for those who are hurt and grieving. Holy God, hear our prayer.
There is change and uncertainty upon us, creating questions and anxiety. We are in grief and mourning. Our family members are dying, our communities are sick, and the world is in need of healing.
We pray your mercy be upon us. We ask that your healing presence be with us. Heal your people O God. Heal the land. Holy God, hear our prayer.
We hold in prayer our siblings around the globe who continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 virus. We know you hear our prayers. We know you hear our cries.
Holy God, be present with us as we wait. We wait on you O God, for healing. We wait on you in the midst of uncertainty. We wait on you praying for those who are hurt and grieving. We pray these things in the name of the resurrected Christ who gives us new life. Amen.
August 5, 2020
By Elena Huegel, mission co-worker serving in Mexico with the Intercultural Research and Studies Institute (INESIN)
Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. (Philippians 4:4-6, CEV)
Lord, it has been hard to be glad. I haven't been very gentle with myself or with others. I find myself worrying about everything and praying about some things. I have known in my head that, for many people on this planet, uncertainty is a way of life. They do not know from day to day if they will have food, shelter, or safety, much less a paid vacation, health care, or a pension plan. This pandemic has stripped away the illusion that any one of us really knows what our life will be like tomorrow. My heart has had a taste of uncertainty and worry like I have never felt before. Gratitude expressed to you, God, to others, and to myself is a way to keep the disorientation at bay. So with a thankful heart, today I offer up a prayer of gratitude for my family, the food I eat, the house where I live, and the health I enjoy. With this thankful heart I request that you send your Spirit to guide and encourage me, and through me, others, as we face the stark reality of uncertainty. Amen.
By Joani Adorno Diaz, Database Manager and Administrative Assistant, Resource Development Office
I want to take a moment of our time to thank you. Thank you for your love and protection, thank you because we are blessed beyond our own understanding.
We thank you for nurses, doctors, scientists, grocery store workers, restaurant workers, bankers, food delivery workers, and all the others that are currently working while the rest of us have the option to stay and work safely from home. May you bless them, protect them and give them strength.
In this moment, I ask that this world could experience your healing love, your comfort and your healing touch. You are the excellent doctor, our healer.
You are our comforter. Comfort those who have lost loved ones because of this virus, comfort those who may be experiencing the virus themselves or know of a loved one that may be experiencing this virus.
Cast out fear, anxiety, depression, and any other negative feelings and thoughts that may want to take over us. Let us experience your peace, let the whole world experience your peace.
In your precious name,
July 22, 2020
By Phyllis Byrd, mission co-worker serving in Kenya with the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC)
Merciful God, we look for your strength and guidance at a time when the whole world is affected by COVID-19. We pray for the variable members of society, who are most impacted by the virus.
We lift up the members of the world family who are:
We bring to you all who are sheltering at home; especially those for whom home is dangerous because of violence. We pray for all who are living in areas in the world where healthcare is not available or affordable. We pray for those who don’t have access to running water, for farmers, and all other essential workers.
God of new things, we come to you during such a kairos moment in history. We come at a time when the universal Church is being called out of the ineffectual retreat that some have found comfortable. We are called out of the echo chambers of our coffee hours and from the endless sound/feel good documents we produce, to a deeper reflection of the meaning of the cross in this day and time.
We are being called to move beyond the pageantry of Easter to the revolution it ignited in the world. Transforming God, we are in desperate need of a stimulus check. Stimulate us with fresh and new articulation which will lead your children to action. Revive your church, to a 365-days-a-year Pentecost experience. A Pentecostal experience which will blow away the spirit of complacency and stimulate the whole church to be Spirit-driven and cross-shaped. Blow upon your church as we boldly participate in confronting the evil powers of poverty, injustice, greed, and inequality and work to build a more just human community.
Finally, oh God, we don’t want to go back to normal, we stand open to your metanoia, a change in mindset and in our life. We pray these things in the Name of your Son, Our Liberating Lord and Savior. Amen
July 15, 2020
By Rosalind Gnatt, mission co-worker serving in Germany with the Evangelical Church of Hesse-Nassau
Rosalind shares, “My professor Hal Taussig called prayer ‘an outpouring of primal emotion and not a loyalty oath.’ It is a scream of primal emotion – it’s something like Job and his arguments with God through his responses to his so-called friends. Right now, I want God to give us humans a bite of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God knows, we stupid humans need some knowledge as we talk about ‘returning to normal.’ What normal is it when our normal spells death for this tiny planet, of which we are only a part?”
How prosperous the United States was - a luxuriant vine loaded with fruit.
But the richer some people get, the more pagan entities they build.
The more bountiful their harvests, the more beautiful their mansions.
The hearts of the people are fickle; they are guilty and must be punished.
The Lord will break down their corporations and smash their mansions.
They spout empty words and make covenants they don’t intend to keep.
So injustice springs up among them like poisonous weeds in a farmer’s field.
The rich tremble in fear for their golden bull.
The land will be ridiculed, the nation put to shame because its people have trusted this idol.
Wall Street is like a trained heifer treading out the grain - an easy job she loves. But I will put a heavy yoke on her tender neck.
I said, "Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love.
Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that righteousness may be showered upon you.”
But you have cultivated wickedness and harvested a thriving crop of sins.
You have eaten the fruit of lies— trusting in your military might, believing that great armies could make your nation safe.
When the day of judgment dawns, the king of the land will be utterly destroyed.
(Transposed from Hosea 10)
July 8, 2020
By Marco Cable, Area Executive for Africa
“Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.”
For years, we have lamented: “Not enough time!”
NOT ENOUGH TIME:
For creative thinking
For cleaning and organizing
Not enough time!
Our lives have been overcommitted
Filled with obligations on top of commitments
Not enough time!
With the rapid unpredictable movement of COVID-19
Our worlds have slowed down
Come to a complete halt
Appointments and obligations canceled
We now have enough time
We want to exchange it for “back to normal”
Whatever that illusion was
We are reminded
A gift to some…
A curse to …
Families who eat their daily wage
Women who sell goods in the market
And so many more
We hear the Psalmist say:
Know the fullness of God
Witness God’s power in the world
Join all creation in God’s praise
God grant us
July 1, 2020
By Judy Chan, mission co-worker serving in Hong Kong with the Hong Kong Christian Council
Teach us to be grateful! How quickly we forget all good gifts are from You. We neglect to say ‘thank you’ until we are in danger of losing them altogether. Today, we thank you Creator God for Your wisdom and grace that give us all these:
- Air to breathe
- The great outdoors
- Freedom of movement
- A body to exercise
- The magic of touch
- Feelings of safety
- Meals to share
- Places to study
- Spaces to work
- Worship in the House of God
Guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us, for we have no help but thee, yet possessing every blessing if our God our guide shall be.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
June 24, 2020
By John Campbell-Nelson, mission co-worker serving in Indonesia with the Evangelical Church of West Timor (GMIT)
Creator God, you have seen the mountains rise up from the sea, witnessed the ebb and flow of polar ice; you have seen the rivers find their channels, you watched the dinosaurs come and go. You know the growth of the oak from acorn to tree, and back to soil again. Teach us to be patient. Help us to place the span of our lives within the eternity of your loving care. We can wait this out, knowing that you are waiting for us as well. Amen.
June 17, 2020
by Derek Duncan, Area Executive for East Asia and the Pacific
Thank you, Creator God, for this space between.
While six feet separate me from us,
may this measure not mean isolation.
May this space not lead to social distance, nor a thinning of relations.
Do not permit us to pretend, to proclaim,
duly spaced, that “I have no need of you, or you of me.”
Or to forget that we share space
in the same city, on the same soil, under the same sun.
That we breathe the same air.
Remind us, O God, that distance cannot remove the connection between us,
any more than we can be removed from your love when we fail to see or feel your presence.
For surely nothing can separate us from your love, Dear God.
Not our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow.
Give blessing, God of Grace, to this space between.
May we see this expanse as what connects us.
Like to islanders the sea is not a void, but a waterway that weaves together kindred lands.
The space between is not empty.
It is not an absence that admits no mercy,
as we are reminded by those who stand in the gap between disease and cure.
Like them, may our stand apart be a posture of love,
a commitment to do no harm and an expression of care.
Let us, Present Spirit, see you in the space between.
This is no place for fear or panic.
It is an opening for trust, an opportunity to bridge the ignorance and suspicion that infects all spaces.
This space between what was and what will be is a moment given to us
to reflect. Help us find in this space room to renew,
to perhaps rethink and loosen too-tightly clung notions and ways of relating.
We pray for the courage to venture into this space with new visions,
to place hope in our midst that can be reached by all and not just a few.
If space between makes the heart grow fonder,
then let us long for the moment when we can once again stand close,
and feel the touch of your presence in the soft gestures and assuring embraces of those we love.
Be with us until that time when we can conspire face to unmasked face,
near enough to share the breath of whispers and feel the resonance of laughter and song
and the exclamations of yes,
You are here in this space.
June 10, 2020
by Fiyori Kidane, Global Mission Intern serving in Greece with the Evangelical Church of Greece
Ever-present and ever-loving God,
It is a true blessing that we can come to you in times of celebration,
in times of stress,
and in times of loss.
Thank you for walking alongside us on our journeys.
God, we pray that you
comfort those who are weary,
be present to those who feel lonely,
and ease the minds and hearts of those who worry.
We ask for your presence always,
but especially in such a time as this.
Some of us may be leaning on you more than usual.
Thank you for being dependable enough for us to do so.
In your holy name, we pray.
June 3, 2020
by Raul Santiago Rivera, mission co-worker serving in Puerto Rico with the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico (SEPR)
God, Creator, and sustainer of life, we want to thank you for your grace and blessings. Even in the middle of the distress and uncertainty we are living today, you remind us that you are the Creator and the Sustainer of life.
As the coconut palm continues to bear fruit even in the middle of the pandemic, you continuously bless us with your grace and mercy.
Open our hearts to feel your love. Open our eyes to see your mercy. Give us the wisdom to receive your grace. Give us the courage to share your blessings with the world.
May 27, 2020
by Kahala Cannon, mission co-worker serving in eSwatini with the Council of Swaziland Churches
God, we enter into your Presence with thanksgiving. Thank you for being All Mighty God. You are the First and the Last, the Living One, Redeemer, Creator, and Lord. You alone stretched out the heavens and spread out the earth. You are the Lord our God! We wholeheartedly put our hope and trust in you.
Thank you for hearing our cry as we lift our voice towards heaven. We bring before you those who have faced: illness, loss of a loved one, maintaining mental and emotional health amid physical distancing and isolation, work furloughs, financial hardships, fear, and an uncertain vision for the future during this coronavirus pandemic.
Thank you for your everlasting arms that comfort us, your strength that sustains us, and your mighty hand that saves. We hold tight to your promises because You are our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. You promise to be with us and will uphold us with your righteous right hand. You supply all of our needs according to Your riches in glory through Christ Jesus. And you are God who healeth thee.
Thank you for your manifest presence and omnipresence in our lives. We thank you and glorify you.
In Jesus name we pray,
May 20, 2020
by Linda Lawrence, Global Ministries Child and Elder Sponsorship Program Manager
God of all creatures big and small, we want to give you thanks.
Thank you for Global Ministries domestic staff, mission co-workers, partners, donors, and friends around the world.
We pray for those experiencing homelessness, hunger, and unemployment because of the pandemic.
We pray for the already under-represented migrant workers, immigrants, and refugees here and around the world.
We pray for our first responders as they put others and their countries in front of their own lives and families.
We thank each of them for what they are doing to sustain lives everywhere as they walk the way you would walk.
Keep us still so that we may listen to you.
Give us a sound mind about this Coronavirus.
Be by our side as we pray daily that this will pass and will come to an end soon.
Let the prayers of all people in all nations pray that the challenges from this pandemic will end soon.
We will overcome in your Name.
May 13, 2020
by Andrew Larsen, mission co-worker serving in the Philippines with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines
During this time of topsy-turvy, upside down existence of a pandemic we long so desperately for the simple comforts of an embrace. We are reassured God that you send your grace to us, mothering us and loving us. Your love is one that assuages the fear that creeps up within when we see what is happening to the world around us. Your love is one that never runs out of time to listen to our anxious calls. Mother, bring is unto the deep comforting hug of your existence and let us know we are with you. Hold us tight during this pandemic and remind us to love our fellow siblings in Christ. We rejoice in our global family and the care our Mom always has.
In your heavenly name,