The congregation of St. David’s United Church offers you prayers and support during this difficult time. But please remember that social distancing is not the same as spiritual distancing. This page offers thoughts and prayers to help keep you connected to your faith, even while we are not able to meet face-to-face. This booklet can be used for a daily or weekly prayer time. A pdf version can be downloaded at the bottom of this post.
Blessings and prayers.
Unless noted otherwise, all prayers are from Celebrate God’s Presence.
Blessed are you, O God, for you framed the universe as the dwelling place of creation and your Word pitched a tent in our midst. Grant the grace of your presence in this home during this time of uncertainty. May you dwell within this place, and may those who live here find shelter in your loving presence. Amen.
Pick one or two from the following, or add your own.
The Twenty-Third Psalm
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff,—they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.
Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.
Jesus said, “So then, anyone who hears these words of mine and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, and the wind blew hard against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock.”
Psalm 84 (Happy are they who trust in God)
Psalm 127:1-5 (Unless the Lord builds the house)
Isaiah 40:31 (On wings of eagles)
James 5:14-16 (Prayers for the sick)
Matthew 6:25-33 (Do not worry...)
Richard Bott, Moderator, The United Church of Canada
When we aren’t sure, God, help us be calm. When information comes from all sides, correct and not, help us to discern. When fear makes it hard to breathe, and anxiety seems to be the order of the day, slow us down, God.
Help us to reach out with our hearts, when we can’t touch with our hands; help us to be socially connected, when we have to be socially distant; help us to love as perfectly as we can, knowing that ”perfect love casts out all fear.”
For the doctors, we pray, for the nurses, we pray, for the technicians and the janitors and the aides and the caregivers, we pray, for the researchers and theorists, the epidemiologists and investigators, for those who are sick, and those who are grieving, we pray, for all who are affected, all around the world... we pray for safety, for health, for wholeness. May we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked and house those without homes; may we walk with those who feel they are alone, and may we do all that we can to heal the sick,—in spite of the epidemic, in spite of the fear. Help us, O God, that we might help each other.
In the love of the Creator, in the name of the Healer, in the life of the Holy Spirit that is in all and with all, we pray. May it be so. Amen.
Add your own prayers, or include any of the following as appropriate. End with the Prayer of Jesus and the Blessing.
Eternal God, you know our needs before we ask, and you hear our cries through lips unable to speak. Hear with compassion the yearnings of [your child, or Name], and the prayers that we would pray had we the words. Grant her/him the assurance of your embrace, the ears of faith to hear your voice, and the eyes of hope to see your light. Merciful God, we thank you for all who minister to [Name] in this time of need. Give them compassion and tenderness. Amen.
God of the dark night, you were with Jesus praying in the garden; you were with Jesus all the way to the cross, and through to the resurrection. Help us to recognize you now, as we watch and wait with [Name]. Help us through any bitterness or despair; help us accept our distress; help us to remember that you care for us; and that in you alone lies our true peace. Amen.
Eternal God, you know our needs before we ask, and you hear our cries through lips unable to speak. Hear with compassion the yearnings of [your child, or Name], and the prayers that we would pray had we the words. Grant me/her/him the assurance of your embrace, the ears of faith to hear your voice, and the eyes of hope to see your light. Merciful God, we thank you for all who minister to [Name] in this time of need. Grant me/him/her/them compassion and tenderness. Amen.
Ever present God, for all the times in the past you have carried us, we give you thanks. For all the times in the future you will keep us, we praise your holy name. Help us today to find strength, patience, wisdom, and your presence. Amen.
Lord, it is night. The night is for stillness. Let us be still in your presence. It is night after a long day. What has been done has been done; what has not been done has not been done; let it be. The night is dark. Let our fear of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you. The night is quiet. Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all who are dea to us, all who have no peace. The night heralds the dawn. Help us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
God, our beginning and end, grant us grace to bear bravely the changes we must undergo, the pain we may have to face, the uncertainty we live in now. Give us the courage to welcome the unimaginable as it unfolds around us. Grant us trust and confidence; grant us your deep peace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
O God, our strength and comfort, hear our prayers. Grant [Name] the assurance of your presence, that this sickness may be turned into health, and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
May God bless you and keep you. May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May God look upon you with kindness and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
Blessed are you, Lord our God, Creator of the universe! Through your work, all things were made, and by your goodness, we have this food to share. Blessed be God forever. Amen. (Jewish, traditional)
Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this food to eat, and this fellowship to enjoy. Bless the food for our use. Bless us in your service, so that we may help those who are in need, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
Chapathi! Chapathi! Puri and rice! Burrito, taquito, spaghetti and spice! Dim Sum, egg foo yung, two all beef patties, special sauce on a bun! Hands across the table, hands across the sea, sharing in the banquet of the earth! Thanks!
For all your goodness, God, we give you thanks. Thanks for the food we eat, and for the friends we meet; for each new day we greet, we give you thanks. (No. 549 Voices United)
For food in a world where many walk in hunger, for friends in a world where many walk alone, for faith in a world where many walk in fear, we give you thanks, O God. (No. 552 Voices United)