In the midst of this pandemic, I keep wondering what to write… It seems like everything has already been said. You want a hot take? Head on over to Twitter. Looking for a thoughtful Christian response to plagues? Martin Luther’s got it covered. Who am I to compete?
So today, I am only offering three short prayers—none of them original—all from various prayer books. I find a lot of comfort in written prayers when I am struggling to know what to say. I hope these comfort you as well.
For Spiritual Communion
Dear Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to possess you within my soul. And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to you, together with all your faithful people, and I embrace you with all the affections of my soul. Never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.
In Times of Trouble
O God, thou art my hope and strength, a very present help in trouble; grant me faith and courage, that I may not fear, though the earth be moved, and the hills carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof rage and swell, and the mountains shake at the tempest of the same. O be in the midst of my soul, that I may not be moved, but may be still and know that thou art God. Amen.
For the Sick
Lord Jesus, when your disciples were tossed and tormented by a terrifying storm, you came to them with great calm, and they were safe. Speak peace, we pray you, to those who are in agony of mind or body; that even when pain and fatigue threatens to overwhelm them, they may find rest to their souls and to their bodies; grant them to drink deeply of the fountain of life that is in you and that gives hope and healing evermore.
- Pope Francis’ Urbi Et Orbi Address – Pope Francis reflects on Jesus calming the storm
- Forever Amen, Steffany Gretzinger – especially “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus”
- Songs of Common Prayer, Greg LaFollette – especially the confession “Most Merciful God”
- Solitude is Not Separation, Thomas Merton – Merton reflects on the difference between true solitude and mere isolation
- Social Distancing, Death, and the Coronavirus, Hope Webster – My mom writes about my grandpa’s five-year quarantine after contracting tuberculosis in 1946