Prayer resources for use during the coronavirus crisis

Life is very different for us in this country because of the coronavirus crisis and it has happened so quickly. Some are self isolating, others are working from home. Some have lost their jobs and their income. Some are ill or bereaved. Its a disorientating and confusing time for us all. The willingness of people to adapt to the changes that are necessary in the way we live and the resourcefulness of so many in finding new ways of doing things is a real testimony to the creativity and the endurance of the human spirit.

The Church of England is producing prayer resources for families. Take a look:

https://www.churchofengland.org/faith-action/faith-home/i-am-parent

Here are some prayers you might find helpful…..

Prayer for the start of the day

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of this new day. As we step out into its light and hope we ask for your strength and guidance for what the day will bring [take a moment to lift to God the people you expect to meet and the situations you expect to encounter]. You are close to us, help us to know it in each moment. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

During the day

‘In the rush and noise of life, as you have intervals, step within yourselves and be still. Wait upon God and feel his good presence; his will carry you through your day’s business’. (William Penn)

Prayer for the end of the day

Heavenly Father, we thank for you the day that is ending, for all that was good in it and its many blessings. Where we have failed to live as you would have us live, forgive us and help us to do better tomorrow knowing that each day you give us the chance to start again. Watch over us and all those we love as darkness falls. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayers for reassurance of God’s presence

Heavenly Father, drive away our fear of the unknown future and keep us strong and brave knowing that we step into it safe in your loving arms. Amen.

‘As the rain hides the stars, as the autumn mist hides the hills, as the clouds veil the blue of the sky, so the dark happenings of my lot hide the shining of your face from me. Yet, if I many hold your hand in the darkness, it is enough. Since I know that, though I may stumble in my going, you do not fall’. (Gaelic prayer)

 

A prayer by St Teresa of Avila

‘Let nothing disturb you, nothing alarm you:

while all things fade away

God is unchanging.

Be patient

and you will gain everything:

for with God in your heart

nothing is lacking,

God meets your every need’.

 

An idea for daily prayer from Bishop Keith, Acting Bishop of Chester:
Take one hand and look at:

  • Your thumb – pray for your church community and family;
  • Your first finger – pray for the NHS and those medical researchers looking for a vaccine;
  • Your second finger – pray for the Government and all those making tough decisions;
  • Your third finger – pray for those in care homes and working with the most vulnerable in our communities; and
  • Little finger – pray for individuals known to you and yourself.

Each prayer focus for each thumb and finger could itself open up into prayer personally, locally, nationally, and globally.

Take the other hand and read out loud:

“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12) and let your thumb and each finger represent one of these “clothes” we are to put on:

  • Thumb – compassion
  • First finger – kindness
  • Second finger – humility
  • Third finger – meekness
  • Little finger – patience

When you pray, put your hands together, and let the “clothing” of one hand touch the people and places in the other, and see what God does.

 

 

The Church of England has produced some really thoughtful and helpful reflections to help us all support good mental well being during these challenging times. Use the link below:

https://www.churchofengland.org/faith-action/mental-health-resources/supporting-good-mental-health/supporting-good-mental-health

 

Collect for this week

Collects are set prayers for every day of the week said by millions of Christians throughout the world. We will include the current prayer below with some words of explanation/reflection

Sunday 29th March (the fifth Sunday of Lent and the start of Passiontide in the Church’s yearly calendar)

Gracious Father,

you gave up your Son out of love for the world:

lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,

that we may know eternal peace

through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sunday 29th March sees the start of Passiontide in the Church, the last two weeks in Lent ending in Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. Today’s collect brings us to the heart of Christianity which is that God gave up his son to suffer, to shed his blood and to die (his passion) for us, so that we might know peace not just now but for ever. Imagine giving up your child to some cause for the good of others, but knowing that the outcome would mean his death. Try and ponder on the enormity of what God has done for us – for you – out of his never-ending love, and be thankful.