Rabbi Yaakov Bleich, the Chief Rabbi for Ukraine, has asked Jews and Christians around the world to pray Psalm 31 in solidarity with those in Ukraine who are under attack. Millions of people are saying this psalm daily, and in Ukraine people are praying it aloud in subway stations, bomb shelters and wherever else they are sheltering. Let’s join them.
Bishops Ian Douglas and Laura Ahrens recently wrote, “As the horrific and unjust Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, so do the inevitable repercussions of war. Over 400 civilian deaths have been reported in Ukraine. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, more than 2 million people have fled Ukraine in the days since the invasion began. This is not the way of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. We write to you today asking you to continue to join us in prayers for an urgent ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian forces in Ukraine. Pray earnestly that this unwarranted act of aggression by Vladimir Putin will come to an end and that the people of Ukraine will be freed from death and destruction.” Read the entire statement and more
“There are people and children of God whose lives and freedom are threatened, and so we pray and are mindful of what St. Paul said in Romans: ‘The Spirit helps us in our weakness, because we don’t know how to pray as we ought—and sometimes the Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.’ We pray for peace, but maybe we don’t have the words. We pray for a just peace, but maybe we don’t have the words. We pray that the lives of innocents, and the lives of any human child of God, will be spared. We pray that our leaders will find a diplomatic way—a nonviolent solution. But we don’t know how to pray as we ought, and so the Spirit must intercede for us at this time.”
"God of peace and justice, we pray for the people of Ukraine today. We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons. We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow, that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them. We pray for those with power over war or peace, for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions. Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear, that you would hold and protect them. We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amen.”
The Bishop Transition Committee has shared the following prayer which parishes, communities, and individuals are encouraged to pray as we lift the members of the BTC to God:
Grant the Bishop Transition Committee the gifts of wisdom, humility, and empathy as they discern your will for a new shepherd, inspirational leader, and willing advocate as we further your work in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut.
O Lord, keep bringing redemptive moments and actions out of this calamity day by day. Please open our eyes to see your hand at work in the world about us. We ask this in the name of Jesus, your son, our savior. Amen...by the Rt. Rev. Gordon P. Scruton.
God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to us as we wait in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make us the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring us courage to endure what cannot be avoided.
Open our eyes to recognize your presence and guidance with us always.
Give us grateful hearts for the signs of grace you never fail to send,
For you are God, and we need you. We place our trust in you, our Good Shepherd. Amen.
Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book
as I prepare to go into the world,
help me to see the sacrament
in the wearing of this cloth –
let it be “an outward sign
of an inward grace” –
a tangible and visible way
of living love for my neighbours,
as I love myself.
since my lips will be covered,
uncover my heart,
that people would see my smile
in the crinkles around my eyes.
Since my voice may be muffled,
help me to speak clearly,
not only with my words,
but with my actions.
as the elastic touches my ears,
remind me to listen carefully –
and full of care –
to all those I meet.
May this simple piece of cloth
be shield and banner,
and each breath that it holds,
be filled with your love.
In your Name
and in that love,
May it be so.
May it be so.
By Bishop Richard Bott
Moderator of the United Church of Canada
I bid your prayers for the all dioceses, bishops and their spouses who are on the front lines of responding to the unrest in our nation. Especially, pray for the Diocese of Washington and Bishop Mariann and Paul Budde. Pray for all those who are trying to speak truth to power with clarity and in peace.
Pray for all those who, by virtue of the color of their skin, are placed in jeopardy and live under constant anxiety and pressure in our unjust society. Pray for law enforcement and for their families. The vast majority are trying to do their best and be helpful under very personally threatening circumstances.
Pray for all our leaders, that they will have the wisdom and courage to lead us into healing. Pray for the Truth and the Light and the Power from on High to shine in us and through us, and to prevail against the storm.
Let us stand in solidarity with one another and work always and in all ways to replace the energy of fear and hate with the power of love. In Christ's Spirit,
I put all my trust in you, O God. All my hope is in your mercy.
Barbara, Chaplain, Priest-in-charge of the Spiritual Covenant Parishes of St. Paul's, Lewiston and St. John's, Youngstown, Director of The Hope Center Chaplain of the Community of Spouses/Partners of the House of Bishops Associate Priest - St. Paul's Cathedral.
Adapted from World Vision: https://www.worldvision.org/disaster-relief-news-stories/prayers-people-affected-new-coronavirus
Jesus, during Your ministry on Earth You showed Your power and caring by healing people of all ages and stations of life from physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. Be present now to people who need Your loving touch because of COVID-19. May they feel Your power of healing through the care of doctors and nurses. Take away the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation from people receiving treatment or under quarantine. Give them a sense of purpose in pursuing health and protecting others from exposure to the disease. Protect their families and friends and bring peace to all who love them.
Dear Lord, we lift to You our concern for people who are more likely than others to become severely ill from COVID-19 — the elderly and people with chronic health conditions, those who are poor and homeless, people in refugee camps around the world, those in nursing homes and in prisons. Protect them from harm and be their comfort in this time of uncertainty and, for many, preventive isolation from loved ones.
God, as more people get sick, healthcare workers and first responders are working longer hours with fewer supplies and with more risk of contracting the new coronavirus themselves. Renew their energy and sustain them on long shifts. Bring Your protection upon them as they work with patients. Multiply their supplies so they have the protective items needed to stay safe on the job. Inspire and invigorate the research doctors developing better tests to diagnose the virus, create vaccines to prevent it, and identify protocols to eliminate the disease’s spread.
Father, we seek Your wisdom daily. Be with people making decisions that affect the lives and futures of our families, communities, countries, and the wider world. We pray that they communicate clearly, truthfully, and calmly — with each other and with the public — and that their messages are received and heeded. May truth and empathy be the touchstones of people setting policies for our protection.
Holy Spirit, as families adjust to everyone being home as businesses and schools close, we ask that You guide people in their new realities. Give spouses grace for each other. Prompt worn-out parents to speak words of kindness and encouragement to their children. Help children find creative ways to experience the beauty of all You have created and continue learning.
Jesus, we thank You for Your faithfulness in how you have guided and equipped people in their jobs and have provided in the past. It can be scary and overwhelming not knowing how bills and obligations will be met or to not be able to provide for families. As people feel financial strain during the uncertainty, bring them comfort and peace, reminding them that You are there for them. Provide for them in their times of need.
Lord, we are so grateful for all the people who continue to work each day so that people are able to eat. We ask that You bless and protect them as they serve. Give them grace to handle disgruntled customers during supplies shortages. Keep their bodies healthy as they unload and stock boxes of supplies. Keep their cars and trucks running smoothly as they deliver needed supplies and food people have ordered online. And please protect them all from contracting the new coronavirus.
Almighty God, we know that everything is in Your sovereign control. We ask that You keep this new coronavirus from continuing to spread. Give government officials the ability to safely handle people arriving from other countries. Help people decide to stay home instead of traveling or going out needlessly. Holy Spirit, remind people to wash their hands properly. And while it may be heartbreaking, comfort families as they decide to keep their distance from elderly or other high-risk family members.
God’s gift to us: our
Unique life. Our gift to God:
Way we live our life
Know, live, steward now
God’s/your gifts, calls. Let go fear.
Share Life. Don’t hide Light.
Do you refill your
Spirit-oil flask often so
You have enough to
Sustain your Christ-Light
Shining through long draining
Be wise, not foolish.
Burns out quickly, needs daily
What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath— the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life.
Center down. And when your body has become still, reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful. (You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives are in one another’s hands. (Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands. Reach out your heart. Reach out your words. Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love— for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, so long as we all shall live.
Used with permission. More of Lynn's poetry and her work at http://www.lynnungar.com
Many traditions and gatherings won’t happen this year;
The world’s upside down, because COVID is here
It started last Spring when a pneumonia epidemic
Came out of China and caused a global pandemic
World leaders and scientists were scratching their heads
About what could be done to stop the spread
Borders were closed, travel restricted
As we all endured lockdown still the virus persisted
Businesses foundered, some had to close
Jobs were lost and anxiety rose
Depression and loneliness have become commonplace
As we continue to isolate, and cover our face
Though we all social distance, wash our hands, and wear masks
Why does our church have to close? we all ask
They’re keeping us safe, while the cases are spiking
And we all must stay home much to our disliking
For some, 2020 has been lonely and sad
Yet there’s plenty of things for which to be glad
Our homes, indoor plumbing, sunshine, and laughter
Our fine church and its people, and a wonderful pastor
And though we still want to all be together
Let’s take comfort in knowing this won’t last forever
So, I decorated my house and put up a tree,
And listen to Christmas carols, I do it for me
We must care for ourselves and stay healthy and sane
‘Til we all can go out in the world once again.