COVID-19 Prayers from Mission Co-workers and Staff
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.
May 5, 2021
by Deenabandhu Manchala, Area Executive for Southern Asia
God, our creator and sustainer. We come to you as persons and as a community at this hour—fearful, anxious, vulnerable, and distraught about ourselves and our families amidst massive loss of life, wailing, and uncertainties at this time of pandemic.
We pray for the families of thousands of those who have lost their lives in this country and around the world. We pray for those who are fighting for life, and those who risk their lives to protect us.
God, we do not ask you to take us back soon to our familiar world but to accompany us as we walk through this unknown and frightful path. Help us discern the mystery of this phenomenon, and to look for your new signposts that may grant life, justice, and dignity for all—one that is different from our familiar world.
Be with us as we discern together as partners to find our calling fulfilled as agents of life, change, and newness.
We remember millions of daily wage and migrant workers in the Southern Asian countries of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and others who have lost their livelihood and are now exposed to hunger, homelessness, and unemployment. We pray for our partners and associates, for their safety and health, and for your accompaniment as they reach out to those affected by the measures to contain the spread of the virus.
We ask you to be with us now and in the days to come.
April 28, 2021
by Bryan Parrish, mission co-worker serving in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the Church of Christ in Congo
Eternal God of Life,
Thank you for allowing us to say what we do not understand and have trouble accepting.
All the suffering of those who have lost their loved ones, the violence, the anxiety, and the injustices that have resulted from the coronavirus.
At the same time, we understand that you give us life.
In this prayer, we thank you for life, for our lives, for everything beautiful and joyful, and the future that you give us.
Eternal God of Life,
Inspire us. Inspire us to love, to become, to speak, to walk, to encourage, to cry, to share joy, to listen, and to understand those that we meet.
We believe in your presence in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
Rejuvenate the joy of our mission to bring the Good News of your love for service to the neediest amongst us.
Eternal God of Life,
We thank you for permitting us to find ways of sharing by social networks and Internet. We know that we are privileged and that many are isolated without means of communication.
Eternal God of Life,
We thank you for all of the artistic and humorous messages that help us keep good morale in spite of the circumstances and help us to stay creative while imagining new ways to share in solidarity.
We thank you for prayer which gives us strength and hope day after day.
April 21, 2021
by Karen Campbell-Nelson, mission co-worker serving in Indonesia with the Evangelical Church of West Timor (GMIT)
O God, come to us in this time of confusion; come close and hear the prayers of our troubled hearts. We long to celebrate the Resurrection, renew our hopes for the future, be faithful servants of your will, but it is not easy. We watch the numbers of those infected and dying, of those unemployed in Indonesia and the US rise and rise and rise again, and experience moments of panic. We read stories of those who have been so very ill, of those who have died, of medical workers and ambulance drivers, bus drivers and prisoners, migrant workers in the US, and those returning from Malaysia to Indonesia. We stay at home, yet stay linked to news that breeds despair and sadness. We long for the comfort of physical contact, for unmediated social interaction, for opportunities to worship together under one roof. As we walk through this valley full of frightening shadows, we seek your presence. Still our hearts, God of Comfort, that we may hear the birds of the air, feel the cool shade of the trees, and see the stacks of newly harvested rice as promises that life endures. Shake us into an awareness that we need not the resumption of a broken world but rather courage, imagination, and love to transcend the paralysis of fear and the isolation of grief. We beseech you for these things that can draw us towards your Spirit where we may become harbingers of a new heaven and earth. Be here for us now, O God, and hold us in your everlasting arms. Amen.
April 14, 2021
by Peter Makari, Area Executive for the Middle East and Europe
“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (I Corinthians 12:26a).
“As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them” (Luke 4:40).
Loving and caring God, in this time of global pandemic, when our bodies, our souls, our communities, and the nations in which we live are all wounded, we rely on you for a healing that only you can provide.
For weeks, life as we know it has been upended. We have been required to stay distant from colleagues, from school and work, from the stores we frequent, from friends and family members, and from our communities of worship.
For some, this time has meant staying in comfortable homes, where close family surround us and offer unexpected time together, even while continuing our lives, albeit in a different, still unusual, pattern.
For others, new pressures compound already uncertain and uneasy circumstances. I think of those who are already displaced, having been forced from their homes and countries due to violence, conflict, and war, who were already struggling to eke out a daily existence and care for family members. I think of those who are caught needing to continue to work, even if that means putting themselves and their loved ones at risk. I think of those whose health required unavailable attention before, and who are now especially vulnerable. I think of those who struggle, every day, to make ends meet, but for whom jobs are even less accessible. I think of those whose mere identity arouses suspicion, and who are now in greater risk of sentiments of hatred, physical harm, and even being victimized by callous public policy.
So many people around the world have contracted Coronavirus themselves, and many have known the pain of losing a family member to it. Some countries and communities have been ravaged by the virus, while others have been less severely affected.
Gracious God, as we face a pandemic that has impacted us all, we know that it has not affected us equally. We know that some of our siblings are more vulnerable than others, and we pray for the ability to be conscious and aware of the ways that each is affected. As Paul wrote, “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it.” We pray for the strength and wisdom to be present and to both offer solidarity and receive a hand of support, according to our abilities and needs.
Loving Christ, we also recognize that the global circumstance is not only one of pandemic, but of preexisting conditions that are exposed and exacerbated by COVID-19. We affirm that this reality lays bare systems of injustice that deny people the possibility of a full and abundant life. And we know, too, that the pandemic has affected us not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually.
We know you as a healer: of physical ailments and of spiritual crises. You are with us until the end of the days, and we rely on you for sustenance and for strength. At this time, we call upon you for that healing, and for your call to justice that we might be prompted to act: to care and edify the downtrodden, and to call for change so that a new “normal” may be closer to your vision of justice and peace for all people.
We lift this prayer to you, O God, in the name of your son, Christ the healer and the prince of peace, Amen.
April 7, 2021
by G. Lou, mission co-worker serving in China
As the Coronavirus pandemic has rapidly transformed people’s lives all over the world, we recognize that all of us are your children, created in your image, and held with your mercy and love. We pray together at this moment with our mission partners and all siblings in Christ around the world. We realize that although our physical bodies are isolated, we are one body in Jesus Christ, and our Faith is the same which frees us from these worries and fears. Although our cultures are different, our Hope is the same which enables us to overcome the anxiety and hardships. Although our languages are different, our Love is the same which burns within us to support and help each other.
We pray for those who are affected by the Coronavirus and their families. We ask that your healing power and comforts are among them. So that they may be healed and walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
We pray for those medical workers who are fighting the virus on the frontline for us. May the Holy Spirit be with them and give them wisdom and enough supplies to protect themselves and save people’s lives.
We pray for those who suffer from the impact of unemployment and economic hardships. May God be with them and give them what they need.
We pray for the leaders of our countries, the World Health Organization, and the scientists as they are seeking ways to lead us through this crisis. May God give them the power and wisdom at work or in the community, and make an emergency response plan to fight the virus.
We pray for the churches, our mission partners, and mission co-workers around the world. Please keep your loving arm around our shoulders, open our minds and hearts, and guide us in a new direction that we may better serve people around the world.
Oh, almighty God. You tell us over and over again not to be afraid and you will be with us. During this difficult time, let us truly love and support each other, then our faith and hope will never fail. We give you thanks for your great glory.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray,
March 31, 2021
by Tammy Ooley, Finance Associate
“If I ever shut off the supply of rain from the skies or order the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on my people, and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins and restore their land to health” (2nd Chronicles 7:14, The Message).
Lord, we humbly come to you and thank you that you are the Great Healer. We ask forgiveness for our sins and we pray you would heal our land and heal us from the virus. We pray for everyone who is presently sick with the virus that you would heal their bodies. We pray for protection for those who have not gotten sick. We pray you would use this time to draw us closer to you and that each person would come to you and ask you into their hearts. We love you and thank you for who you are. Amen.
March 24, 2021
by Bosela Eale, mission co-worker serving in Kenya with the All Africa Council of Churches
God, in times of distress and confusion like this, human beings ask the origin and the purpose of the calamity.
O Lord, COVID-19 seems to appear to us as a wake-up call for your church. So far, it has caused a lot of fear and anxiety. All economic, financial, and health systems in literally every society have been challenged.
Lord, we humbly come before you to seek wisdom as the Church and society have been challenged to rethink the way we live and cooperate, as well as our responsibilities in the world. Let your Church be reminded of connectedness and interdependence of the world now more than ever before.
Almighty God, we lift up to you all health professionals who risk their lives to save others. We come to applaud and appreciate the gift of knowledge as scientists are working hard to find a cure and vaccine. We also thank you for the fact that the role of faith has also been lifted, with the notion of dependence to you being laid bare.
Everlasting God, in nations, cities, villages where the church is present, let us be reminded to take seriously its call to be in solidarity with the most vulnerable. The poor, homeless, unemployed, refugees, and displaced people suffer more than those whose economic and social situation enables them to fend for themselves better. We remember them in our prayers.
Lord, with the lockdowns we hear about a dramatic increase in some places of gender-based violence against women and children. People with disabilities are not cared for properly, and those who have recovered from the disease face stigma in their own communities. We cry to you for help.
We thank you Lord, for what the church is doing across the globe for those in need. Let this situation be a wake-up call for your church in its mission of witnessing love and care for humanity.
God, hear our prayer, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
March 17, 2021
by Catherine Nichols, Executive for Mission Personnel
We are listening for the still, small voice in this world of noise.
When you said: whenever you visit a prisoner, you see me.
Are you guiding us to understand the prisoner and the pain of isolation with our quarantine?
When you said: whenever you welcome a stranger, you welcome me.
Are you opening our eyes to the pain of family separation of refugees as we miss our own kin?
When you said: whenever you feed the hungry, you feed me.
Are you asking us as we look at empty shelves to think of those around the world who have been stripped of the minimum sustenance they had?
When you said: whenever you give water to the thirsty, you give me life.
Are you opening our eyes to all those who are living without running water, who cannot even wash their hands easily?
God, we thank you for this gift of the desert.
We thank you for this time of isolation to hear your voice and to be humbled. To remember that we are all your children and that each and every one of us is the embodiment of your love.
Now give us the strength to live into this new understanding of your words.
March 10, 2021
by Fiona Kendall, mission co-worker in Italy with Mediterranean Hope
God of Creation,
A breeze blows gently over quiet streets,
It brings breath from places we cannot visit
Birds swoop and sing in the empty skies,
They signal a freedom for which we long.
From the depths of our frustration, we thank you, Lord, for this time of waiting.
We thank you for silence and the space to notice all that is around us
And all that is within us.
This season brings us hard lessons, sorrow and anxiety
Teach us to seek solace from your spirit, comfort from your word
And strength from your constancy
May we, your children, use all that we learn to bring about rebirth:
A planet we steward as you called us to do
A society where self-interest is outweighed by concern for all
May we not falter in our work to bring about your kingdom
May we not hesitate to be your hands and feet
May we, in all that we do, demonstrate your love.
In Christ’s name,
March 3, 2021
by Abi Hernandez, Global Mission Intern serving in Japan with the Asian Rural Institute
“I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praise! My body rests in hope” (Psalm 16:8-9).
You have always been good, you continue to be good, and you will always be good.
When our minds get distracted with the things of this world, may you help us to focus on your presence beside us.
When our hearts get discouraged, may you remind us that we can always find comfort and hope in you.
When anxiousness and worry try to cloud our thoughts, may your light bring a clear picture of the unwavering truth of your faithfulness.
When we feel weighed down by pain, confusion, or unrest, may your love envelop us with a joy that cannot be touched by whatever may come, because it flows from the inside out.
When our eyes are tired from trying to see what is to come or from seeing so much of what is wrong, may they see your grace more clearly.
When our hands itch to do what we cannot, may they continue to work according to your purposes.
When our ears are easily attentive to the voices all around us, may they listen even harder for your voice in the din.
When our lips are inclined to speak more of all that is negative, may instead they be full of prayer and praise.
When the trials of this world try to touch our own spirit, may we remember that we have your Holy Spirit within us, and no light is brighter, no power is greater, and no love is stronger.
You are good. All the time. Amen.
February 24, 2021
by David Barickman, Program Associate, Resource Development Office
Jesus Christ, who overcame the powers of death through resurrection and overturned the death-dealing systems of the world, we pray for your presence in this time of uncertainty. We ask that you would shine your light to scatter the shadows. Walk with us and guide our steps as we seek to remake a world that looks more like your Kingdom. A world where there is enough for all and all are cared for. A world where systems of violence are dismantled and replaced by rivers of justice. Let us not fall into despair but find hope in your love. Amen
February 17, 2021
by Kelsey Riebel, Global Mission Intern serving in Ecuador with the Ecumenical Foundation for Integral Development Training & Education (FEDICE)
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
There aren’t many times in the world when everyone faces a life-changing event all at the same time. We have been asked to change every aspect of our daily life. We all have new routines, new expectations, and new challenges. As humans do, we have adapted and done the best we can to take care of each other by adopting a whole new set of safer hygiene practices. Throughout this time, I am reminded of how amazing people are in this world. The random acts of kindness and the tremendous giving nature of people are signs of hope.
During my work at FEDICE in Ecuador, I saw this same act of banding together as a community to work toward a common goal. The word to describe this is minga in Spanish, and we talked about it a lot at FEDICE. The organization spends a lot of time working together with communities to teach how to take care of the land and livestock in order to improve the conditions of their own lives and the earth. They work very hard and are persistent. When the time is right, they are rewarded with their harvest, because they do not give up.
We also will not give up on each other. We will continue to protect our families and our communities the best way we know how, and at the right time, we will reap our harvest, because we did not give up.
Heavenly Father, thank you for all that this world has to offer and teach us. Please remind us to be patient through the uncertainty. Remind us to focus on you and to trust and rely only upon you for all that we need. Keep us generous when we have less and help us to embrace the quiet and the stillness when we feel restless. Remind us that we are doing good things, and that if we are patient and do not give up, together we will reap the benefits. Amen.
February 10, 2021
by Danielle Murry-Knowles, mission co-worker in Lesotho with the Lesotho Evangelical Church
We wrestle with opaque uncertainty during this pandemic. Now, more than ever, we are reminded of our continuing desires to control, fix, and see the path ahead in fine detail. We know we simply cannot control, fix, or see with the clarity for which we long. We pray for a sense of your presence, for hope that knits together moments of struggle with ones beyond it. Breathe into us a greater sense of self, one that extends beyond the bounds of our own skin, one that opens up in us space for grace, for empathy.
We pray for the most vulnerable, for those without safety nets. For those struggling to feed themselves, who are living in fear of violence. For those who are lonely or afraid, who are desperate or frustrated, who are experiencing grief or loss. May they find comfort and reassurance in your abiding love.
We pray for wisdom for the world’s leaders, that they may serve with honesty and integrity. We especially hold the nation of Lesotho in our hearts, our partners in LECSA, and our Basotho neighbors as they navigate these challenging times.
In your holy name we pray,
February 3, 2021
by Angel Luis Rivera-Agosto, Area Executive for Latin America and the Caribbean
In times like these, we recognize that being vulnerable is part of being alive. However, we aren’t always aware of that reality of life. The COVID-19 crisis makes us remember our own needs for attention, guidance, and support from You and from our neighbor, even amid physical distancing.
We are not always aware of the preciousness of being alive unless we feel threatened by circumstances beyond our control. That is why we implore you to help us recognize the preciousness of life, not because it is unchangeable, but because it is vulnerable, subject to awareness, change, and transformation.
Thank you, oh God, for the opportunities to value what we have, and to walk with you to discern how to be present for You and for our neighbor.
In the name of Jesus, we pray. AMEN.
January 27, 2021
by Jeffrey Mensendiek, mission co-worker serving in Japan with J.F. Oberlin University
God, source of life and love, we give thanks for the gift of each new day. We give thanks for our family and friends, for the beauty of nature, for the people who help us, and for the opportunity to serve you in our daily lives. These opportunities remind us of the ways in which we share in your Life and Love for this world. However, at times life greets us with a closed door. Our lives are restricted, and we cannot move around as we wish. There are also times when relationships break down and we fall into conflict. Forgive us, when we are the ones who slam the door in the face of others. Trusting in you has been like a journey into the light of the world. Loving God, you always find ways to open closed doors and connect us to our own dignity, the dignity of others, and the dignity of the world created by your own hand. When we connect to the source of life that you have given to each and every part of the created world, we are filled with a new surge of life that helps us to stand tall and journey on with thanksgiving. Thanks be to God who never fails to bless us with the treasures of life and love.
January 20, 2021
by Donna Cummings, Administrative Assistant, Mission Personnel Office
You are great and mighty in Power. I put my trust in you. I believe in my heart that you are in control of this pandemic. My prayer is that you please forgive us for all the times we missed giving you praise and worship. I come in faith, not fear, although at times I am searching for answers. Please help me to focus on Jesus instead. Draw me into your holy presence. Give me the courage for whatever my tomorrow holds. Thank you for your presence as I live in the moment today. In your word you ask that we humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, turn from our wicked ways, and then God will hear from Heaven and heal our land. I am asking, please God, heal our land. Please forgive all the wrong that we have done or said. Lead us to the promised land, where there is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
In Jesus Name Amen!
January 13, 2021
by Kaitlin Thompson, Global Mission Intern serving in the Dominican Republic with Caminante
Dear Loving Creator,
In these times of uncertainty, your children gather together to cry out to you. Allow us to feel your presence even when we are unable to gather in the presence of our dear ones. When we are unable to join in the sanctuaries of your churches, be present with us in the sanctuaries of our homes. Remind us that wherever two or more are gathered in your name, we are together in holy communion.
Dear Lord, be present in the homes of those who live alone, allow them to seek comfort in you. Be present in the homes of broken families, who suffer now in this time more than ever. Be with your children sleeping in the streets of our world who have no home to seek shelter in during these times of illness. Be present in the homes of children whose only source of nutrition was provided by a school lunch. Be present with the children struggling to learn at a kitchen table, and be present with the children who do not have the luxury of continuing their education at this time. Be present in a spirit of rejoicing with those who will not gather to celebrate graduations, birthdays, weddings, and the beginning of new lives. Be also with the grieving who are unable to lay their loved ones to rest in a manner to which they are accustomed.
Lastly, Heavenly Parent, please be with not just your human children but with your whole creation. Be with the animals wandering into spaces previously dominated by humans. Be present on empty beaches and within our forests. Be present in the mountains and in the valleys. Creator, we know that you are eternal and omnipresent and that this crisis is nothing in comparison to your power and your grace. We know you are all-powerful and all-loving and we rely on you now more than ever.
In your blessed presence,
January 6, 2021
by Rebecca Young, mission co-worker serving in Indonesia with Artha Wacana University
To our loving and merciful God,
We praise your name this day, even as we confess that we are afraid. In your tender mercy, help us to remember that our fear is a sign of our passion for your world. We are fearful for the future because we want our fellow human beings, all other living beings, and indeed all of creation to enjoy lives of justice, peace, and shalom. We are afraid that the bad news we hear day after day is a threat to the world you have envisioned for us. Forgive our fearfulness. Help us to tap into our passion so that it will embolden us to stand up for our siblings, who are always the most vulnerable in times of disaster. This we pray in the name of the one who said to his disciples, “Do not be afraid.” Amen.
December 16, 2020
by Nishan and Maria Bakalian, mission co-workers serving in Lebanon with the Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East
God our rock, our refuge, our hope,
As we wander through this wilderness, doubting we will ever emerge into a place of promise and joy, the voice of fear wells up within us, overpowering your strengthening presence. We cling to you as we seek that voice resounding in our hearts and reflecting in our actions. Remind us anew that this earthly reality is one that you faced in Christ Jesus. From birth, to the cross, and through the resurrection from the dead you showed us that even death cannot stand in the way of your victory. Help us to live in your victory, as we take care to protect others from disease, some of us risking our lives to do so. Inspire us to extend a hand to those whose greatest burden may be one of affording daily bread, or paying tuition, or finding and keeping employment, or caring for someone very old or very young. May your self-giving love be perfected within us, casting out all fear. May the coverings we wear never cover the radiant beauty of Jesus emanating from hearts filled with the grace and truth of your Spirit. Amen!
December 9, 2020
by Lorna Hernandez, Director of the People-to-People Pilgrimage Program
When faced with uncertainty and doubt,
We will wait and rest in you, God our Hope,
For you are with us.
When threatened by illness and death,
We will trust in you, God our Healer,
For you are with us.
When overcome with grief and sorrow at unimaginable loss,
We will cry out to you, God our Consoler,
For you are with us.
When feeling sad, anxious, lost, and fearful,
We will bring our troubles to you, God our Comforter,
For you are with us.
When losing financial security and ability to provide for our families,
We will come to you, God our Provider,
For you are with us.
When life is overwhelming and despair sets in,
We will pray to you, God our Savior,
For you are with us.
When alone, distant, and disconnected from each other,
We will feel your presence, God our Companion,
For you are with us.
When facing discrimination, injustice, and oppression,
We will stand with you, God our Strength,
For you are with us.
For you are with us, God of Love,
We will care, comfort, support, respect, and cherish one another.
We will turn the tables of injustice and work for peace.
We will ensure a healthy and abundant future for all life on this planet.
For you are with us.
December 2, 2020
by Marcy Gansler, Executive for Mission Engagement
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast (Psalm 139: 9-10, NIV).
Dear God, the heaviness of the world weighs on us, and while we know you are listening and protecting us, we are struggling. Our personal worries and the worries of the world crush in on us and try to break us. Gracious God, remind us that you are the one holding us together. No matter where we are on earth, your love is with us, healing all, lifting us, and surrounding us in love and light. We know we can’t bear this on our own and we are held tight by your grace.
May we find great comfort in knowing that wherever we are on your earth, you, God, are with us. You are there to guide us. We can turn to you in need and receive your aid and comfort. We can reach for you and know that we are not alone. Thank you for being the strength that sustains us when we don’t have the strength to go on.
When tomorrow dawns, we will be with you no matter what happens during the night. Let us trust in you, God, that we may rise above our anxieties, guided by your hands, and continue to serve you and your world.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
November 18, 2020
by Larry Colvin, mission co-worker serving in Ghana with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana
Radiant God, who continues to bring light as COVID-19 covers the planet. We thank you that you do not abandon us. We are grateful for your rays of hope which we see in the face of those who speak and act with empathy.
We offer our prayers of comfort for those who suffer, our prayers of support for those who tend to the health of loved ones, our prayers of encouragement to those who agonize over loss of income, and prayers of solace to those who mourn.
Particularly in Ghana, we give thanks for your servant and president, Nana Akufo-Addo, who speaks with compassion and hope as he tends to the health of his nation. We are grateful for the women and men who give of themselves not only to provide for the sick but those who simply share words of comfort and pray each day. We rejoice in the hospitality of the Ghanaian people who, even in this time of struggle, openly care for each brother and sister regardless of race, or spiritual persuasion.
God of light, our faith is in you that you will again bring full illumination to Ghana and to the world. We have hope that in this new light we will see more clearly and love more nearly. Amen
November 11, 2020
by Abby Fate, Global Mission Intern serving in Mexico with Melel Xojobal
God of uncertainty,
These days, I feel most at home when it rains. The gloomy thunderstorms match my mood. Big, heavy raindrops rolling down the windowpane feels appropriate. This feels like a season to lament.
We weep with every woman, man, and child for whom their home is an unsafe or unstable place, for whom suggestions to stay home means violence, tears, and abuse.
We weep with all those who are lonely and isolated, those who long for simple human touch and connection. We weep with all those who are weary, who are trying to do their jobs and love one another even while exhausted and at their wits end.
We weep with nurses and doctors and hospital staff who watch patients die every day, who do all they can and still feel that they are not doing enough. And we weep with the daughters and sons and mothers and fathers who have lost their loved ones, who could not even say goodbye or mourn these losses in the ways that they should.
We weep with all those who are victims of injustice. We weep with all those in marginalized and under-resourced communities who are bearing the brunt of this pandemic because of the broken systems in which we live.
The gloomy, rainy days fit this season of lament. But even through the storm, we still see glimpses of hope, of love, and of grace. We practice kindness, patience, and flexibility. We tell our loved ones that we love them. And we hope and pray and trust that the sun will come out again. Amen.
November 4, 2020
by Brande Midgett-Crosby, Communications Associate
We stand in the gap of the unknown, but our Father the Creator is all knowing.
He is the Great I am. The God who is there.
In moments of uncertainty, He reaches His hand out to let us rest.
I know our God will take care of all of our needs.
October 28, 2020
by Rebekah Choate, Associate for Global Advocacy and Education
In this time of global pandemic, we pray for justice for those living on the margins whose needs aren’t adequately met by government responses; compassion and support for those who have lost loved ones; healing for those ill; and strength for us all to move forward into uncertainty.
We ask for clarity in envisioning a just world for all and tearing down systems of oppression and hate.
We remember that we are all your children and we are commanded to love all our neighbors here and around the world as we love you.
Help us to feel your presence in all that we do now and into the uncertain future.
October 21, 2020
by Robert (RJ) Howard, Global Mission Intern serving in Fiji with the Pacific Christian Council
God, you who are all encompassing, ever loving, and infinitely caring, stand with us today and in the coming days of uncertainty. We are in the midst of crisis and stress as our world and ways of life change around us. Help us to shape a future that is changed for the better as we move forward through this extreme and unique time. Comfort those who are lost, support those who are vulnerable, and strengthen those who are in need. May we all find that we seek, receive what we need, and enter a brighter tomorrow.
October 14, 2020
by Monica Liddle, mission co-worker serving in East Timor with the Protestant Church in East Timor
I am confused, my God, by this new sickness in the world.
So many around me are feeling afraid! Afraid for the health of mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers . . . for one’s own health. We avoid hugging one another for fear of fatally contaminating our most beloved. At what cost?
I am conflicted, Lord.
I, an American, have lived in places where, in intensive illness, Death is the rule.
“Intensive care” for those in critical condition is provided by family through sips of water and spoonfuls of rice porridge to stave off death. Germ theory doesn’t exist here. Here, people die every day of infectious diseases… other infectious diseases.
I am your servant, God. Help me give voice to the people dying daily of forgotten diseases in unknown places around the world. Help me to bring justice to the world through adequate health care for all people.
October 7, 2020
by Julia Flores-Ferrer, Administrative Assistant, Latin America and the Caribbean Office
Holy, Holy, Holy…
I come before you to glorify, bless, and honor your name. Your scriptures teach me to come before the Throne of Glory and ask for anything in the name of Jesus. I declare that I have forgotten that you still have control over each event of my life. You only ask that I love my neighbor as myself and be obedient to your word.
I come before you in these moments to ask for your forgiveness for not respecting all of your creation—be it plants, animals, or my sisters and brothers, all created by you. I know that I must use this season of social distancing to meditate, learn, and recognize the greatness of your creation. I humbly ask that you help me to continue looking for your face, just as you helped your daughter Esther, your son Job, my teacher Paul, so I may be the best ambassador in declaring your Good News. Help me to share Good News with the sad of heart. Help me to share that we are free in you. Help me to announce the year of your favor has arrived, and to proclaim your Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ, will return soon.
I know all this time of isolation and confusion is not a surprise to you. Yet as the children of Israel declared after their pandemics, you will always be with me. Your rod and staff will protect me, and even if I pass through the valley of death, you will still be with me, today and always. Because I will lift my eyes to you, I will be in your shadow, if the mountain should fall into the sea, you will give me eternal life.
Giving you thanks for everything and in everything, in your Beloved and my Lord and Savior’s name.
September 30, 2020
by Rachel Pellett, mission co-worker serving in Jamaica with the United Church in Jamaica and Cayman Islands
Breath of Life: Creator, Comforter, Christ, we are reminded that you are everywhere, in all things, in all people, in all places, situations, and times. With your help, may we be more aware of your “in-it-always-with-us”-ness. May we be more aware that we are not just all created by you but that we are created of you. Even as (your) breath fills our bodies, may that sense of knowing you fill us deeply to each crevasse and corner of our minds and hearts too. May your Love fill us. Help us to pause, breathe, and notice without judgment what we need to see, hear, feel, and become aware of in order to find you in the ordinary and extraordinary moments of our every day. May that sense of you give us courage and calm—a peace that surpasses logical reason and the strength to venture into the unknown or well-chartered territory ahead. Lovingly. Courageously. Wholeheartedly. Awake to you. Strengthened by this knowing of you with us. May we share this peace with all others, all creation, ourselves included. May we refuse to allow fear, insecurities, pride, judgement, or difference to interfere with our relationships. May we choose Love, empowered by an awareness of your Love for us foremost.
September 23, 2020
by Mark Knowles, mission co-worker serving in Lesotho with the Lesotho Evangelical Church
We pray for humility,
whether for things we do not understand,
or things we assume we do understand.
We pray for gratefulness,
for that which we recognize as good,
and in spite of all that which we recognize as not good.
We pray for peace,
without crying “peace, peace” where there is no peace.
We pray for those we love,
and for those we need to love.
We pray for those we are separated from,
and those we are always with.
We pray prayers we don’t know how to pray,
and sometimes we ask you to pray them for us.
We pray for all of our homes,
old and new,
near and far.
We pray for a better appreciation of our past,
a stronger hope of our future,
and a fuller enlivening of our present.
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,