A Prayer for a Time of Global Sickness and Fear
Stephen M. Veazey, president of Community of Christ
So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” -Exodus 17:4-7
Eternal God of abiding love, everlasting source of hope and peace, we prayerfully come to you in faith and humility, trusting in your compassionate concern for us and all creation.
During this time of mounting sickness and fear, when we have been asked to distance ourselves from others for the good of all, we humbly ask that you “bless the space between us” (John O’Donohue).
Give us assurance that physical space does not diminish the bonds of love and commitment that spiritually bind us together as families, friends, and as community in Christ.
Daily may we gain comfort and strength in the faithful witness of scripture, that nothing-not illness, distress, or even death-can separate us from your love and eternal purposes as revealed in Jesus Christ.
Grant to those who find themselves more isolated or alone a durable sense of their worth and place in your household, O God, a spiritual household of divine hospitality that knows no quarantines or borders. May we, as disciples and ministers of the gospel, find innovative ways to make that truth evident when more familiar forms of ministry are not available to us.
In times of personal angst for our own health and security, may we, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, hear your anointing words of blessing and feel your healing touch. May such experiences fill our souls with peace and hope.
And let us not forget those for whom concerns for health and safety are everyday realities made even more acute and burdensome now. May we continue to find ways to join with you in tending the needs of the “least of these” in our congregations, villages, cities, and nations.
O God of all people, places, and situations, we trust that there is no time or condition in which you are not already present. With that in mind, we pray that these times and circumstances, as daunting as they are, will serve to bring out the best in us as individuals, families, nations, and as a church.
We look to you, Eternal One, to be our hope and redeemer. May the peace of Christ rule in our hearts.
In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?
Lenten Spiritual Practices
Moving Toward the Peaceful One
As Jesus was nearing the final days of his life, he wept over the city and proclaimed, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace” (Luke 19:41-42).What are the things that make for peace in our lives, communities, and around the world? During the Lenten season, spend time in silent refection or journaling each day to notice: Am I moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One? Pay attention to your attitudes, actions, and relationships this day. When did you most embody the peaceful One in your daily living? When were your thoughts or actions contrary to the peace of Jesus Christ? How might Jesus, the peaceful One, who is always near to you, be inviting you to draw nearer to him through your daily living?
Fasting and Giving-$40 in 40 Days
A Lenten fast gives us an opportunity to make space in our lives so that God can live in and through us. It’s a time to evaluate what we hunger for most and what we consume. This year, we’ve been invited to tithe as a spiritual practice by setting aside $40 during the 40 days of Lent. If you are participating, pay attention today to the dollar you have given. What might you have done with that dollar otherwise? How does Lenten generosity invite you to reflect on what is “enough” in your life? Who might you invite to join you in this practice? How might your gift be magnified by the many others responding to the same call?
You can make your $40 offering anytime during the Lenten season online or through your offering envelope for Worldwide Mission Tithes.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.