These are difficult times and I admit to feeling stressed myself, therefore, let us consider those people who suffer mental anxiety and think about how they are trying to get through the next few months. Let's say a prayer for them.
Dear God, you are always with us.
You are with us in the day and in the night.
You are with us when we are happy and when we are sad.
You are with us when we are healthy and when we are ill.
You are with us when we are peaceful and when we are worried.
Today, many people are feeling worried, anxious and scared because of the uncertainty and disruption caused by COVID-19.
Help us to remember that you love us and are with us in everything today.
So much is out of our control. We abide by the government guidelines but there is still no guarantee we will not catch this virus. So, in many ways, it has brought me closer to God. I have to trust and rely upon God's love to see me through. If I needed inspiration from the Bible, I turn to Philippians 4:6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." I am reminded that in Jesus' ministry he tries to heal and to cleanse. As Jesus is the incarnation of God, we are seeing a God who cares and I take comfort in that.
It is glib to say that we are living through unprecedented times, but somehow together we will get through this. I know the elders have said that they are ringing each of their pastoral flock to ensure everyone is okay and I will also ring to make sure that all is well. So, trust in God and I am sure in a few months when we come back to worship and normality prevails we will have many examples of God's blessing.
I attach a prayer concerning COVID-19 and also a prayer regarding the NHS and all the key workers who are doing their utmost to ensure a semblance of normality.
A Prayer from Uncertain Times
From the URC
Living, loving God,
we praise you,
and through times of peril we lean into you,
for in Jesus Christ
you have trodden paths as difficult as ours,
revealing there a love that nothing defeats,
a love that bears us through.
Even as we strive to behave responsibly,
and to care reliably,
so we feel after you
that in these uncertain times we might trust you are with us,
our refuge and strength,
and our faith, hope and love might be renewed,
through Jesus Christ.
A Prayer for hospital staff and medical researchers
From the Church of England
give skill, sympathy and resilience
to all who are caring for the sick,
and your wisdom to those searching for a cure.
Strengthen them with your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer for Key Workers
They are not people of fear:
They are people of courage.
They are not people who protect their own safety:
They are people who protect our’ safety.
They are not people of greed:
They are people of generosity.
They are your people God,
giving and loving,
wherever they are,
whatever it costs
For as long as it takes
wherever you call them.
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon